Clan of Champions by NIS America will have you stepping into the arena to battle the most dangerous opponents you will ever face. You must fight slaves, gladiators, skeletons, and other brutal enemies as you compete in arena battles all across the world for fame and wealth.
Clan of Champions is a combination of arcade action and role-playing. When in combat, the game is a tried-and-true hack ‘n slasher with combos and special attacks. If you have ever played Gladiator for PlayStation Portable, you will instantly fall in love with this game.
What makes Clan of Champions different from previous gladiator games is its non-linear format; you fight in various locations that sometimes have multiple selections. Unlike some games that force you to fight in a confined area, you’re given some room to actually experience the battle. Even the smaller areas appear large and spacious. You never feel like you’re cramped inside a corner and you don’t have to fuss with the camera angles to get a better view of the battlefield.
There is more to the gameplay than just hacking and slashing; it has plenty of heavy rooted role-playing elements such as distributing skill points and talent points to improve your champion.
The leveling system in Clan of Champions is innovative; you can focus on building certain skills without working on others. So if you prefer to work on your duel-wielding skills, you can do this by using two weapons during combat. It’s even possible to build your skills by using random weapons found during combat. These weapons could be daggers, spears, or swords. Magic can be used to level your champion as well. This adds to the game’s replay value because no character will ever be alike.
You can choose to use either a controller or a keyboard, but it boils down to personal preference. I have tried both and feel the keyboard and mouse work best. The controls do feel a bit strange at first, but they grow on you over time. Once you get the hang of things, you’ll find that it’s very easy to control your champion.
The single missions are offline with two other NPCs accompanying you during combat. Team missions take you online for co-op matches and versus missions are more like PVP (Player vs Player) matches. PVP matches can have up to three versus three.
As mentioned earlier, you can pick up equipment and weapons during combat and use it to your advantage. But once the battle has ended, everything you collected inside the arena is removed from your inventory. I feel this shouldn’t happen; you work hard during battle and anything the player obtains during fights should remain as a reward of sorts. Either way, you get paid rather handsomely for competing in battles, so there are ways to purchase items and weapons for future battles.
When you’re not in battle, you can visit the shop to buy and sell any unwanted gear. Plus, the shop offers you the ability to enhance any weapons and armor you currently own. Similar to a crafting system, you can combine two different items together to create something much stronger. The features are limited, but there is some flexibility.
Aside from the three different fighting styles which are sword and shield, dual wield and close combat (hand-to-hand), you can also cast magic. These magic spells can be found in the Grimorie menu which is located in the Shop menu. You can only equip one magic spell at a time, but you can change out the spell whenever you want by accessing the Grimorie menu.
Clan of Champions is based heavily on customization. Unlike other games where changing your equipment doesn’t affect the look of your character, anything you equip will change your champion’s appearance. There are three different races – Human, Orc, and Elf. While the race selection is limited, the choices are still fantastic.
Online matches are silky smooth and have little-to-no lag. The game makes a seamless transition from offline single-player to online multiplayer. Whether you are playing co-op or verses, you will have a fun time fighting players across the world in the arena.
The graphics are absolutely stunning. The different arenas contain a great amount of detail that look incredible on larger monitors. There is also a dark, eery atmosphere about the environments that seem to keep you on edge before, during, and after a fight. You never know what to expect when jumping into a fight; you could face off against humans or something far more sinister.
Clan of Champions plays flawlessly; I didn’t experience any slowdown online or had any problems with the graphics. Oddly enough, there is no way to change the game’s graphic settings, so the game must auto detect your computer’s hardware. Considering how well the game performed, it’s a good indicator of the quality of programming used for this release.
I highly recommend Clan of Champions for PC. It has the right mixture of action and customization to keep fans of both the arcade and role-playing genres happy. If you have been searching for a really good action title with role-playing elements, Clan of Champions by NIS America is worth checking out.
James ‘Daripp3r’ Pittaro
OS: Windows XP Professional 32bit
Processor: Core2 duo e8500
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT240, ATI RADEON HD6450
Hard Drive: 40 GB HD space
Sound: On board sound card
Other Requirements: Broadband Internet connection
Developer: AQUIRE Corp
Publisher: NIS America
|Stunning visuals that build up the atmosphere.|
|Dazzling music and realistic sound effects that include blood curdling screams.|
|Intense arena battles that will have you at the edge of your computer chair|
|An incredible arena-style fighting game that works well on the PC. Clan of Champions is simply one of the best games in the genre, period.|