GAME STUDIO DESCRIPTION: Champions: Return to Arms brings all the action packed hack n’ slash fun from Champions of Norrath back to the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. The sequel offers more than 100 hours of gameplay per character, unlimited battles, deadly missions and the ability to import characters from the original game. Champions: Return to Arms enhances all the groundbreaking features that made the original the must-have action RPG of 2004 and brings in a host of advancements to take multiplayer gaming to the next level.
PLAY: If you’ve had any experience with Baldur’s Gate and last years version of Champions than Champions: Return To Arms is going to be very familiar. Norrath is set up in an interesting manner–The levels are planes and you go through portals to get to the different areas.
There are new characters Iksar Shaman (Lizard Man) and a Vah Shir Berserker (Tiger Man). Overall this is exactly like Baldur’s Gate with the hack and slash, smash barrels, open treasure, and the like. There are a few updates however it never seems like an upgrade from its predecessors. One of the biggest pluses is the ability to play up to 4 players. Curiously you cannot use the same character that you’ve built up offline as you play online.
GRAPHICS: Years ago Baldur’s Gate looked decent however Champions: Return To Arms doesn’t feel so advanced. Because the game is designed from a wide, distant view it’s hard to realize how well the game is designed. Most of the effects are growing tired.
SOUND: There is sound of slashing from swords, axes, knives, etc. Berserker lets out a roar that can hurt his enemies while others have their special powers. The voice acting is average at best.
FRANKLY: Champions: Return To Arms isn’t a fundamental change from last years version or Baldur’s Gate—but there are those of us who really enjoy those games and this will have those fans busy. Champions: Return To Arms takes it up a notch and for those who have no experience in the predecessors will do well to start here.
+ Richie Wright