a few weeks ago, Sony today officially announced Champions: Return to Arms. The sequel to Champions of Norrath, Return to Arms will follow the events that occurred in the first game. Players now must stop the followers of Innoruuk from reviving the deity, and thus nullifying the actions undertook in the first title.

With two new playable races, players will be able to import their characters from Norrath or opt to create a new character. By utilizing an auto-adjusting difficulty level, imported characters will begin fighting stronger enemies and retrieving more valuable items. The level cap has been raised to level 80, so even those that mastered Norrath will still have a lot of leveling up to do.

Featuring over 50 distinct areas, Return to Arms will also incorporate a branching storyline. As is standard RPG far, a wide variety of side-quests will be available. Completing the more difficult side-quests will reward courageous players with rare and valuable items. Medals will also be given to players that achieve certain goals in game, which will unlock hidden levels and alternate modes of play.

As for online play, Sony promises four-player cooperative multiplayer with voice and keyboard support. There is no word yet as to what, if any, improvements are being undertaken in the online department, the most criticized aspects of the original.

Champions: Return to Arms is currently slated for an early 2005 release. Check back with us next week for more details from the E3 show floor.

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