Clan of Champions PC Review
Clan of Champions is one of those titles that I really want to like. I want to like it because it tries to stray away from the norm. It’s one of those games where the developers tried to combine the freedom of a fighting game with the complexity of an MMO. While this is something I support, I have yet to see a title combine these two and be successful.
Starting from the beginning, the player is allowed to customize a character in one of three races (human, elven and orc). These races will offer players predetermined stats before allowing the player to change how their particular race looks. Additionally, players can pick a fighting style from one of the three offered, but this isn’t a permanent decision as players can change fighting styles whenever they want. Taking this opportunity, I made a bright pink orc with a purple mohawk, named him “BronyDestroyer,” and set to work.
An immediate negative to this title is the fact that players have no access to an overworld. Anything the player does starts from a central hub that does everything from let the player shop, to start a quest. While this can be overlooked to some extent, it offers the first hints of how very little this title has to offer. Everything is designed to be minimal.
After shopping, players go on “quests”. The single-player quests are designed to imitate the online quests. The player is offered two randomly-generated NPCs and told to go beat down opponents. This quickly becomes the only thing a player will do. Whether it’s online or offline, the quests will almost always be the same. You go into an area and beat the living crap out of everything. If they have a shield, you use guard breaks then punch them in the face. If they use two swords, you punch them in the face. If they have fisticuffs, you punch them in the face twice as hard for trying to copy you. Any strategy immediately descends into button-mash hell.
I’m not even sure how I feel about the controls. It was obvious from the get-go that the title is intended to be used with an Xbox 360 controller – God help you if you try to use a mouse and keyboard. Even then, the controls often become a task to remember certain combinations. Sure someone who has every key on their Zboard mapped out perfectly for their level-90 troll priest wouldn’t have a hard time remembering…but it was just bothersome for me. More often than not I simply spammed the same combo and did a flying drop kick when I had enough mana (don’t ask why I needed mana for drop kicks).
The sound is also nothing I’d praise. What little music the game offers is quickly drowned out by mad grunts of my orc sitting on an elf’s face. While this in itself is pretty entertaining, the constant “huraaa” “Gurgaaa” “Blarghenfargendaaaaa” gets a little out of hand. A fair representation of this game’s sound would be if someone cut all audio from Ocarina of Time and kept the parts where Link madly screams every time he performs the slightest function.
Even the graphics are outdated, at best. These are PSP graphics stuck in an 800×600 resolution that make Everquest look like the next Final Fantasy. The same handful of character models dance around horrendous areas as they pummel the crap out of each other. Out of all the flaws with the title, this one is the worst. This is saying something, as I usually let a game get by on crappy graphics so long as the game is good.
I said it when I was describing the interface: Clan of Champions is a minimal title. I don’t think the people who developed it are bad game designers in any way; I just think they got lazy. They came up with an amazing premise but then didn’t put enough effort into it to make it worth playing. Honestly, if you even have a somewhat decent computer, sidestep this game in favor of Dark Souls, Fable, or Kingdoms of Amular. You’ll have much more fun.