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Overview

Champions of Norrath is a classic style hack and slash point and click dungeon crawler, but instead of it being on the pc, it is for the PS2. Set in the Everquest world, you get to pick familiar fantasy type classes, such as cleric, barbarian, wizard, etc. The game has a deeply rooted coop aspect to it, it was one of the few games to use the Playstation 2’s online peripheral in order to play a coop campaign . You can also play local multiplayer coop (which also made it one of the only games to buy the ps2 multi-tap for) .

Gameplay

Since there is a game pad in use rather than a mouse and keyboard, its not a point and click game. Instead you move around like any other 3rd person action game. And put that attack things by holding the attack button down. And instead of hotkeying spells, you have to map only a few of them at a time due to button limits. The camera is set isometrically, and when your playing single player or your teammates die, you can move the camera around to wherever you prefer, you can even zoom in a little bit if you would prefer.

Equipment is acquired as loot dropped from enemies or chests, but can also be bought at a store. The equipment looks different when worn, so it can allow you to look unique from other similar classes. Each weapon or piece of armor has 4 available upgrade slots to it, most, if not all pieces of equipment already have at least one of these slots filled up. You can use special items obtained as loot to give stat increases to you or the item. Some increases could include added fire damage, increased attack speed, or any number of different attributes increased.

The inventory system is governed by how much weight you can hold. This is increased by your maximum strength and/or skills you may have. So, provided you have unlimited strength, you can carry unlimited items. You can see each items weight value by hovering the cursor over it to better maintain your inventory and see what weighs too much to really be worth it. The skill tree is different for each class. It works on a tier system so if you don’t have a lower level skill, you wont be able to gain the next skill down the line. It starts out with the ability to simply increase your weapons damage or other very basic attack. But later on down the line you can summon skeletons in the shadow knights case, or perform deadly tornado spins as a barbarian with a flame enhanced hammer.

Classes

There are 5 different classes in the game, each are governed by a different race as well. These classes are:

Barbarian Warriors

These are your tanks, they can take damage, deal damage, lots of health, good all around character.

  • Basic Weapons-club, sword, maces, daggers and war hammers.
  • Basic Skills- blunt damage increase, slashing damage increase, regenerate.
  • Advanced Skills- endurance, shield bash, dual wielding, tornado spin, ancestreal call., critical hit.

Wood Elf Rangers

These are your archers, they use bows primarily, have decent ranged magic attacks and are tough to play because it can be tempting to run up and start meleeing everything. Suggested to be used in coop play so you can effectively stay away from enemy units. Also one of the more customizable class' to suit any players proffered skill/weapon set.

  • Basic Weapons- Bows and daggers
  • Basic Skills- Bow damage increae, blunbt damage increase, slashing damage increase, endurance.
  • Advanced Skills- Triple shot, regenerate, poison shot, flaming shot, ice shot, entanglement, explosive shot, dual wield.

High Elf Clerics

These are your healers. They can also buff you and your allies fairly effectively. Very much a support class, but have a high enough defense to hold their own.

  • Basic Weapons- Staffs, hammers, clubs.
  • Basic Skills- Blunt damage increase, shield bash, holy strike, healing, blessed.
  • Advanced Skills- Blinding light, convert enemy, endurance, holy armor, undead shield, dismiss undead.

Erudite Wizards

These are your mages, their attack value by itself is poor, but they have more then enough energy to continually cast magic spells. However, without the ability to hold shields, they can go down pretty fast.

  • Basic Weapons- Staffs, and maces.
  • Basic Skills- Blunt damage increase, shock of frost, frost storm, cold weapons, bolt of shock, cone of frost.
  • Advanced Skills- Wizard beam, lighting weapons, root, shock of fire, fire flares, fire weapons, fire storm, bind wound, concentration.

Dark Elf Shadow Knights

These are a unique class in that they are a blend between magic and melee. They are similar to rogues in that they are limited to lighter type armor and weapons. However they have plenty of poisonous damage spells to make up for this as well as some pretty fast attack speeds.

  • Basic Weapons- Swords, daggers, bow, maces.
  • Basic Skills- Disease bolt, disease trail, disease shield, shield bash, harm touch, slashing damage increase.
  • Advanced Skills- Life tap, engulfing darkness, summon skeleton, convert undead, bind wound, endurance, riposte.

Online Multi-Player

By selecting this mode the player was able to choose from any of their pre-saved characters from the single player game and take them questing online with up to three other players from around the globe. It wasnt an entrily new concept at the time but definitly still fun. The ability to join a game sessions in progress at any point or create a new game to begin with was also a nice feature appearing in the online portion of the game. Also supported was the ps2 headset (which many people probably didn't even own) but this was in fact one game where it could be used. Players character names as in the single player were located on the tops of the life bars in the color of the circles denoted to the respective characters, a basic way of telling who's who. Weapons and armor could also be traded to fellow players online via the same system used in the single player mode.

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