Great hack and slash game with an awesome leveling system.
-Awesome leveling system
-Great selection of unique characters
-Wide variety of skills, weapons, and armor
-Multiplayer (1-4 players) online and offline is lots of fun
-Graphics could of been better
-A few minor glitches and bugs can get annoying
Champions of Norrath, despite some of the minor glitches, is a really solid game. This game takes place in the realms of the popular game, EverQuest. In this "spin-off" you start off in a place called Kelethin and the Elvish king, Liethkorias, asks for your help in defeating an orcish horde that is on a path of destruction. Once you stop the orcs you quickly find out that there is more to this story then killing a few orcs. In fact, in your quest you will fight the undead, lava monsters, sea creatures and even the god of the plain of hate, Innoruuk. Only when you defeat Innoruuk and regain peace to Norrath will you become a champion. The story is very long and pretty good, if you don't skip through it which is easy to do. There are five acts in the game and each act puts you in a completely different place with new enemies to fight and side quests to accomplish. There are a lot of interesting characters to keep your attention (like the half naked women) and add to the overall story. Then, once you complete the game you can play the game again on a higher difficulty setting (with the reward of getting better equipment).
You have a good selection of characters like the Barbarian (skilled tank that deals good physical damage), Ranger (skilled archer), Wizard (main nuker with support magic spells), Cleric (provides the party with much needed healing) and Shadow Knight (skilled fighter and part necromancer) and each character has unique skills. The leveling system works a lot like Diablo II. You gain experience from defeating enemies (share experience with groups) and then when you reach a certain point you receive skill points and attribute points based on your level. With your attribute points you can increase your character's Strength (physical damage), Intelligence (mana capacity and mana regeneration), Dexterity (range weapon damage and accuracy), and Stamina (health capacity and health regeneration). With your skill points you level up (max 20) your skills like healing, dual wield, lightning, etc... When playing multiplayer you can all level up certain skills to help the group which puts an emphasis on teamwork. But, if you want to play on your own, this game does a good job with making it possible for each character to solo. The controls are pretty good in this game. You have a button for melee fighting, blocking, using health and mana potions along with the ability to pre-set some skills to use quickly in battle.
Champions of Norrath offers a huge world with plenty of weapons and other equipment to arm yourself. You can obtain new equipment one of two ways. The first method is to purchase the items from shops all over Norrath. The other way is to defeat monsters and take what they drop. The second method is where you will find the more powerful weapons but the shops do offer a great selection of rare items too. Another great thing about this game is that there are gems that you can place in the weapon that give the user different powers. Some of these gems can increase your health, critical damage chance, add fire damage, etc... This lets you freely customize the weapons and armor for your character. There are some minor glitches with gems not working properly and levels now loading. So, my recommendation is that you save and save often. Champions has many challenging bosses which will have you using many skills and tactics to try and take them down. You'll really feel like a "Champion" after defeating some of the bosses and the items that they drop make it well worth your trouble.
GRAPHICS & SOUND
The graphics could have been better. For a PlayStation 2 game I was pretty disappointed but I will say that the cut scenes are very good. This is one of the game's weaker points.
The sound effects and musical score are decent. There isn't anything to special for the sound in Champions.
Champions is a fun game to solo or play with friends and you will not be disappointed. You will probably have a better time playing with friends. If you are looking for a great action RPG with a good fighting system, leveling system and plenty of replay value then this is a game you are going to want to play.