Champions of Norrath

Overview

The developers behind the ever popular Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance brings fourth to you the same sort of idea combined with millions of people’s favorite, Everquest. Combine the two to form a game and you have a title that has caused quite a stir in the gaming world, and it has now been released for your PS2. Will Everquest fans find this game enjoyable, or will this be one of those games that take up space at retail stores nationwide, read on and find out.

Gameplay

For those of you who are wondering, Champions of Norrath does have a story but unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot to it. There are the good guys (humans and elves) and then you got the bad guys (orcs and goblins). The good guys are losing the battle and are in desperate need of something to change before they end up losing the battle between good and evil. The storyline progresses as you go through the game with a few twists along the way, and a pretty interesting tale to keep you interested throughout the way.

Champions of Norrath is an Action RPG that truly feels and plays very similar to Dark Alliance. You run around massive dungeons hacking and slashing enemies down in order to move on throughout the level. The game starts off like most RPG’s, with you creating a character which is definitely half the battle of the game. You can choose from both genders in three difference races which are: barbarian, ranger, cleric, wizard, and shadow knight. Of course like you can imagine, depending on which race you choose in the game will definitely impact how you make your way throughout the game.

The game is pretty straightforward and if you have played Dark Alliance you will have a pretty good idea of what to expect with Champions of Norrath. Once you’re done creating your character you are thrown out into the world where you will be sent on plenty of missions. These missions usually consist of one of two things, either that you need to kill all enemies in a certain dungeon, or that you need to retrieve a certain item. There are a few missions that require you to complete other tasks, but those two are the main ones you will encounter throughout the game.

Of course with the genre title being RPG, you have to know that upgrading is a key feature in Champions of Norrath. During your quests enemies will drop armor and weaponry that you can always pick up and sell in the towns. There are portals that connect to different areas throughout the game which really gives you the ability to sell off the extra weaponry and items that you have and don’t need to purchase something else. One of the downsides to looting from these enemies is that most of there armor and weapons are poor quality and/or are cracked. Which makes most of the weaponry and items lying around pretty useless, and therefore most of it will probably end up sitting around the dungeons.

The gameplay of Champions of Norrath like I said is basically what you would expect from an Action RPG. Is that a bad thing? Well not at all, because the gameplay is very fluid and has a lot to offer for all fans of the genre. The game progresses through 45 levels and 50 areas. Now that is a lot of areas; don’t expect some gigantic environments but the game is based on a huge map.

Control in the game is very easy to pick up and works extremely well. For a game such as this you really want to the controls to be simple in order to concentrate more on the game at hand rather then the controls. Speaking of the game at hand, if your looking for an easy piece of cake RPG then this one is not for you. I will grant you that at first the enemies are pretty cake, and don’t put up much of a challenge, but as the game progresses so does the difficulty. As you get later on in the game you really are going to need to know what your doing to be successful.

Champions of Norrath is actually both a single and multiplayer title; the game can be played both online and off. Online is a mode that I was truly excited about, but unfortunately it becomes the one downside to the game. Online you can play with up to three other people going through the game. The use of the USB headset is an essential to be successful in the game because the trading system is rather poor. But unfortunately there wasn’t enough time spent on developing the online mode, which means if you play the game with a group of non-caring people then watch out you might lose some valuable items. Another problem is that if one player you’re playing with decides to the leave the current location, everyone else is forced to follow. Let’s just say the online mode works great if you are planning to play with friends you trust but otherwise you will have to be careful who you play with.

Graphics

When Dark Alliance was first published, one of it’s best features was how visually stunning the game was. For the depth that the game showed it was great to see that the game could maintain a very steady appealing look throughout the game which truly did wonders in my opinion to making the title interesting throughout. Well luckily for all of us, Champions of Norrath follows that some path, and let’s just say its visuals are very impressive.

Champions of Norrath is a game that truly does a great job with detail. With the ten different character types to choose from, you can truly see the amount of detail placed in each and everyone. Not only are the characters nicely done but the environments all of plenty of detail and truly look splendid throughout the title. You can zoom in and out while playing which truly shows the amount of detail placed on each environment.

Overall I must say I was skeptical about the graphics before playing the game, but after playing through the game I must tell you, that we are truly looking at a very nicely done game that really did a great job with details.

Fun Factor

For those of you who enjoy Action RPG’s there is no way in heck you will not have fun with Champions of Norrath. The game spans through so many environments with some many different quests and side quests to do that you will be occupied for a good amount of time. The story progresses throughout the game, which means that as you get farther in the game there are even more extra incentives to keep you going. The gameplay stay’s fun throughout, and any fan of Dark Alliance will have plenty of fun with Champions of Norrath.

Overall

Champions of Norrath is a very nicely done Action RPG that I would recommend to any fan of the genre. If you are looking for a game that includes challenge, good storyline, and also the ability for online play, then look no further then Champions of Norrath a great title that people will keep you occupied for a while.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.