Posted on October 30, 2012 AT 01:14pm
So it turns out that the Al-waav Urban Allied Forces are out of control. Three nations are battling for resources and land. There are weapons in a ruined megalopolis that provide infinite power. Mercenaries are fighting to get them. Every time I start Clan of Champions, it flashes a bunch of text that provides some sort of backstory for why so many people would like to see you dead. I would argue that the backstory isn’t necessary for this, especially since I don’t really understand what’s going on. But it’s always a good time when you’ve got some orcs to slaughter, so I’m content to ignore the story and focus on stabbing someone while doing a backflip.
Clan of Champions is a fantasy arena battle game that is best played with friends. Up to three people can join in a co-op mission, but if you choose to go alone, you’ll still have two companions. They’ll just be AI controlled. I would have preferred for the missions to simply scale to one player. The AI isn’t horrible, but when there’s one enemy left, more often than not you’ll end up standing and watching them take him out as they maneuver directly in front of you and block your attack path. Fortunately, if you choose to attack anyways, there isn’t any sort of friendly fire. Through some miraculous magical engineering, your fireballs don’t hurt your friends, so blindly fire away! If you’d rather fight your friends, Clan of Champions also has a versus mode that provides an arena for 3 vs 3 combat. This is the mode to choose if you do want to hurt your friends with fireballs (and who doesn’t?).
The character customization is simple and limited when compared to other games that incorporate some kind of character creation. You can choose between three races: humans, orcs, and elves (the orcs are particularly disturbing to look at). If you want to play a female character, you have to choose an elf. No option is given for choosing gender. Each class has a few appearance tweaks to choose from, like different hair styles or tattoos. Again, these choices are very few, and if you’re looking for a fully customizable character, you won’t find it here.
Once you’ve created your sexy female elf (because that’s what everybody does, right?), there are skill points to distribute. Your character has four attributes (strength, vitality, agility, and spirit), and the starting values for each are determined by race. That’s pretty much the only thing the various classes seem to affect. They all start out with the same basic attack moves and the same fireball spell. The four attributes affect exactly what you’d expect them to. It’s a system that’s been done so many times before that I’d be surprised if Clan of Champions somehow managed to screw it up. Fortunately, they didn’t.
The combat is the best feature of Clan of Champions (which is good since it’s all you’ll do for the entirety of the game). The attacks don’t happen instantaneously as soon as you press the button, and it forces you to anticipate your opponent’s next move. Every click is a tactical decision as you try and strike your enemy where he isn’t blocking. There are three basic moves to attack at the head, torso, or legs of your enemy, and combinations of each attack lead to powerful combos that can stagger or even disarm your opponent. Beyond that, there are special attacks based on your combat stance.
Now, your combat stance is determined by your equipment. Choose the standard sword and shield to use the (you guessed it) sword and shield stance. You can also dual wield or brawl with brass knuckle type weapons. Again, this is nothing new to the genre, and again, Clan of Champions doesn’t screw it up. My only complaint is that they don’t do anything different. That doesn’t mean that the combat isn’t fun. Honestly, it’s the only reason to even try this game. You won’t find an engrossing story or detailed RPG here.
Summary: Clan of Champions is a typical fantasy combat game with some RPG elements thrown in for good measure. It doesn’t do anything exceptional or new, but neither does it do anything terribly bad either. The problem with games like this is that they don’t do anything to differentiate themselves from the rest of the games like this, and in the end, I’d rather play Dark Souls.
- The Good: The combat feels solid and it’s fun to run around and hack enemies to bits.
- The Bad: It’s just a bland fantasy fighting game that doesn’t bring anything new to the table.
- The Ugly: The orcs. Seriously, they are hideous.
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