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When Sony Online teamed up with Snowblind Studios, everyone figured the resulting game would be awesome. What came out of that partnership is Champions of Norrath, a game that sets itself apart in an up-and-coming genre with its lovingly crafted look and devilish sense of challenge.
Champions of Norrath is the best dungeon crawler I can remember on any platform, the superb interface, and super polished gameplay allow anyone to be able to pick up and enjoy this one. The folks at Snowblind really know their business, and if they keep turning out titles of this quality they will be around for a good long time. If you need to be told straight out or just skipped to the end of the page, buy this game, a product of this quality belongs in everyone’s collection.
Strangely enough, everyone doubted that online play for the PS2 would be a strong contender, but looking at current trends, almost everyone wants the games to be online. I don't know when this console online boom started for the PS2, but I believe it was with SOCOM, one of my favorite online shooters. In an attempt to broaden the variety of games, Sony decided to bring another game online, one that is fortunate enough to have the creators of Baldur's Gate behind it.
Champions of Norrath bringt einfach Spaß. Als momentan bester Genrevertreter ist es ein Pflichtkauf für alle Action-Rollenspiel-Fans. Die Atmosphäre, das Fertigkeitensystem und der gelungene Multiplayermodus - hier stimmt einfach alles.
So, after all this, what makes COF so special? Isn’t it still just a repetitive dungeon crawl with character upgrades to manage, attribute points to distribute, monster after monster to kill (although using some strategy), items to collect and discard, quest to complete, leveling up to attend to and always one more dungeon level to descend to? Absolutely. And if that whets your appetite you owe it to yourself to try COF. Fans of BG will feel right at home and new players to the genre can find no better introduction. COF is intuitive, beautiful to look at, addictive and always fun. It may a slightly older title but even by today’s standards, I’ve yet to play a more engaging dungeon adventure.
Game Over Online
Issues aside, Champions is still a very solid title with a ton of fighting, a complex yet satisfying plotline and plenty of replay value. Even more, the deep weapon creation system and multiplayer play (flawed, yet hosting nice features) provides a worthwhile adventure for any action or role-playing game fan. If you’re a PS2 owner, you should seriously consider becoming one of Norrath’s Champions.
I love Baldur's Gate and I loved Baldur's Gate II, but I think it would be safe to say that Champions of Norrath delivers a performance that is simply a cut above the others. I mean, you can choose your class/race, you can find over 10,000 items, the dungeons are random, you can play it online, and more. It features some of the best graphics seen on the Playstation 2 to date and is simply a game that is so fun, so addictive, that you'll find it hard to stop playing. The online element needs some tweaking, but is still a blast if you can find a way to hook up with your friends. If you're in the market for a good hack and slash RPG, I highly recommend this title over Baldur's Gate 2. Both games are good, but Champions of Norrath has that edge that pushes it over the top and thus makes it the champion of the genre. Pick it up today!
Next Level Gaming
This is in fact the cream of the crop of Action RPG's. And until such time as someone else comes along with an online action RPG of their own, this will be a game of choice for many fans of the genre. I have already put more time into this game than Dark Alliance, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. And I hope to see you guys online soon.
GamePro (Germany) (IDG)
Auch wenn Norrath draufsteht, ist nicht wirklich Everquest drin: Statt mit Hunderten von Leuten gleichzeitig online zu kämpfen, geht ihr hier auf simple, aber spaßige Monsterjagd.
When Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance appeared in 2001, it gave PS2 gamers a more action-heavy version of the popular PC RPG franchise that they were apparently craving for. Some time has passed and now there are three games that have been based on the Snowblind engine originally developed for Dark Alliance.
Overall, hack and slash adventure fans will no doubt have a good time with CoN, and is a definite improvement over the Baldur’s Gate series that it so closely resembles. If you enjoyed Baldur’s Gate or Baldur’s Gate II, then the additional hours of play time, increased action, and random dungeon generations mixed with easy to get into and operate gameplay will be a great purchase that will offer lots of enjoyment. If you are new to this type of game but enjoy a good dungeon running hack and slash title, then check out Champions of Norrath. Definitely good stuff.
On se demande si on n'a pas atteint les limites du hack'n slash sur consoles avec Champions of Norrath, tant le jeu se révèle parfait à tous les niveaux. Les développeurs de Dark Alliance nous servent un titre encore plus accrocheur, au gameplay intouchable, à la réalisation irréprochable, et qui plus est jouable à quatre simultanément, même online. L'eldorado en somme, si vous appréciez le genre.
Playing Champions of Norrath can be a little bittersweet. The core components that make up the game experience--the graphics, the sound, the actual gameplay--all come together to create an experience that is, across the board, better than the original Dark Alliance and better than any of Champions' current rivals. The game offers an enjoyable single-player and multiplayer experience, and there's enough to it to keep you entertained for a long, long time. That all of this fun is hampered somewhat by some noticeable bugs, which could have and should have been addressed before the game's release, is a shame. However, Champions of Norrath is still truly great, warts and all, and that speaks to the sheer quality of work that Snowblind has put into its latest game.
Champions of Norrath couldn’t have been released at a worse time. Those interested in this type of game have probably already picked up the heavily touted Dark Alliance 2 and may not be ready to plunk down another fifty bucks for something so similar. Don’t make that mistake; Champions of Norrath is the best game of its kind to ever grace a console and to pass it off as more of the same would be a grave injustice.
Despite my many minor gripes, Champions of Norrath is actually fun to play once you get into it. Some of its elements reflect better decisions on the part of Snowblind, but as a total experience I don't think it measures up to Black Isle's take on the Dark Alliance engine. Unless you really love these kinds of games, I'd say that if you bought Dark Alliance 2 when it came out, don't run out and buy Champions of Norrath, but definitely rent it.
Auch mit Champions of Norrath ist das Genre noch nicht ausgereizt, aber trotz allem ist der Action-Ausflug in die EverQuest-Welt das derzeit systemübergreifend beste Spiel seiner Art. Man kann gespannt sein, was sich die Snowblind Studios für die bereits angekündigte Fortsetzung einfallen lassen, um diesen Status auszubauen – Möglichkeiten gibt es allemal. Angesichts der nicht immer überzeugenden Synchronisation ist allerdings unverständlich, wieso der Titel ein ums andere Mal verschoben wurde. Der Einstieg wird dadurch unheimlich zäh, so dass manche Spieler eventuell vor Genuss aller Pracht und Stärken des Titels das Pad ins Korn werfen.
Hiccups on the logistics of the online game aside, Champions of Norrath is a total package of great dungeon crawling action. You have a robust single player game plus an online game that plays excellently. Of course, as you might expect from the creators of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, it's an extremely attractive game too. Like the best of Japanese-developed games, the artistry is spot on. It's artful and visually varied, and the soundtrack is appealing if slightly bombastic. Although the online options lag behind the quality of the rest of the game, this is a four-star title through and through. If you have friends you trust and you love to hack and slash together online, then this game will be in your PS2 for a long time coming.
Voilà un excellent jeu qui s’impose sans difficulté comme le modèle du genre. Tous les fans de Diablo (et Dieu sait qu’il y en a…) se doivent de le posséder. Pour les autres, si les jeux défoulant vous tentent, n’hésitez pas à franchir le pas car la réalisation, la durée de vie et le mode coopération en font un jeu « Diablolique ».
Champions of Norrath is solid fun all the way through. Between the fast-paced combat and item collection there’s not a dull moment to be found. So long as you can find good gamers, playing cooperatively definitely enhances the fun of this title and exposes you to the support skills some character classes offer. Offline, CoN plays smoothly. Online play is just as great, but introduces occasional hiccups. At least someone is bringing the hack-and-slash genre online for the PS2—it can only get better from here.
With Champions of Norrath: Realms of EverQuest, Sony Online Entertainment has attempted to merge the story development and excitement of its EverQuest massively multiplayer online RPG with the quicker pace and immediate accessibility of hack 'n' slashers like Diablo or Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. For the most part, the experiment has succeeded with glowing results.
This game is fun, no doubt about that. However there’s no heart to it. It’s hard to explain what I mean by that, but I’ll try. The game just feels too much like all you are doing is killing and selling items. I don’t give a crap about the characters, the story, or why I’m doing the killing, I’m just doing it so I can gain more experience and more items to sell. That may be enough for some people, but I like to care about the world I’m supposedly saving or at least the character I’m playing as. I don’t in Champions of Norrath.