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As WP's managing editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games.


'Champions: Return to Arms' (PS2) Goes Gold - Screens

by Judy on Jan. 24, 2005 @ 7:43 a.m. PST

Sony Online Entertainment today announced that Champions: Return to Arms, the sequel to the critically acclaimed Action/RPG, Champions of Norrath, has gone gold. Champions: Return to Arms, available exclusively on the PlayStation2, will ship to U.S. and Canadian retail stores on February 7, 2005.

"With the first game, Champions of Norrath, achieving 'Greatest Hits' status on the PlayStation 2, the popularity of this series just keeps growing and we expect the momentum to continue with the launch of the second edition, Champions: Return to Arms," said Michael Lustenberger, vice president of marketing, Sony Online Entertainment. "Champions: Return to Arms builds upon the features that made Champions of Norrath such a great game by offering players two new races, competitive play for both online and offline modes, a whole new storyline and much, much more content for players to enjoy."

Champions: Return to Arms combines the creative talent of Snowblind Studios with SOE's expertise in developing fantasy worlds to create a unique visual style, immersive storylines, and highly interactive environments. Champions: Return to Arms introduces two new playable races, more character customization options, thousands of items, weapons and spells, beautifully detailed environments, the ability to import characters from the original game, a whole new storyline, an innovative medal system which unlocks secret gameplay modes, more online and multiplayer options and much more.

Champions: Return to Arms offers an online multiplayer component for no additional cost to players (players are responsible for providing a broadband internet connection and PlayStation 2 Network Adaptor for online play). Up to four players per game can adventure in Norrath via their broadband internet connection, using the PlayStation 2 Network Adaptor (sold separately). Players have the freedom to join an existing game or host their own through SOE's matchmaking service, Champions: Return to Arms has both USB headset voice and keyboard chat support, allowing players to plan strategies during online play (USB headset/keyboard optional, each sold separately). Alternately, up to four players can use the Multitap (sold separately) to play together on a single PlayStation 2.

The Champions of Norrath have destroyed the god Innoruuk, shattering his body into Shards of Hate. Innoruuk's followers and allies have taken it upon themselves to gather these Shards in order to resurrect their fallen prince. Firiona Vie has called upon the champions to take up the crusade against evil to rid Norrath of this evil threat once and for all. The game is designed to offer up to 100 hours of gameplay per character, unlimited battles, deadly missions and the ability to import characters from the original game.

Champions: Return to Arms also features:

  • A continuation of the engrossing fantasy storyline of Champions of Norrath, with exciting twists and turns that require the player to choose his or her fate
  • Two new playable races: the Vah Shir Berserker and the Iksar Shaman
  • New competitive online and offline gameplay modes allow 2 to 4 players to battle for ultimate supremacy
  • Earn medals based on gameplay performance, which can then be used to unlock secret levels
  • Thousands of new items, weapons, armor and magical artifacts to acquire
  • All-new and beautifully detailed environments
  • New spells and abilities for all classes
  • A host of new monsters to battle and non-player characters to encounter
  • Secret Epic items of incredible power found through unlockable side quests
  • The ability to import characters from the original game and start on a higher difficulty level
  • Increased level limits -- take characters to level 80!
  • More than 50 gameplay areas along with a mission system containing non-linear side quests
  • Multitap support for up to 4 players
  • Superior online multiplayer options for up to 4 players via Network Adaptor -- no additional subscription fees required (players must provide their own internet connection and PlayStation 2 Network Adaptor for online gameplay modes)
  • All new multiplayer and online gameplay options
  • Import and download characters via Memory Card

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