Champions Online – I Feel Heroic Just Patching It

Mantooth Lives!

Mantooth Lives!

So I finally got into Champions Online late Tuesday night after plenty of issues with the patcher. Apparently some do-hickey wasn’t synced up with the flux capacitor and it was causing an overload with the positronic network. Or something like that. Honestly, I wasn’t that fussed and was happy to wait it out. Strange considering I was hyped like a nicotine addicted monkey for both Age of Conan and Warhammer Online last year. Maybe I’m developing more patience. Or maybe I’m just getting old.

I spent a good while last night having a play with Champions Online. I don’t know what all of the negativity surrounding the game is about, I actually came away with quite a strong first impression. The character creator is incredible and certainly offers a lot of choice. In fact, almost too much choice. I’ve spent longer inside the character creator than I have within the game so far :)

I’m absolutely not in a position to rate or review the game because I’ve barely scratched the surface of it yet but it seems quite fun. After reading a lot of articles about it when the NDA dropped, I really wondered what I was going to find. Perhaps the old adage “prepare for the worst and then every surprise will be a pleasant one” comes into effect here. I haven’t cancelled my pre-order and probably won’t. I haven’t had enough time to play it yet and doubt I will be satisfied with it by the time the open beta finishes. I need something to tide me over until Aion comes out anyway :)

Anyhoo, better get back to Champions Online. I’ve got another character to create!

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  1. Brendon says:

    I’ve played it for a few months, and I have two main issues with it.

    First (and most obviously) it feels too much like a slightly tweaked City of Heroes, and not always for the better. The creation is largely the same. Sure, the outdoor instances and freedom of power choice are different, but that brings me to my second point.

    I don’t feel like a superhero. In CoH, quests were largely done in instanced buildings, with clearly laid out plans, a progression, a boss, etc. In CO, it’s an open world like WoW in much of the game. When in comics do you see a hero going to the wilderness and fighting a random mulling group of mutants? And as for the freedom of choice in powers, I feel it also harms the setting. Superheroes USUALLY have a clearly defined “thing.” You’ve either got fire powers, or super strength, or telepathy, or whatever. In CO, you can pretty much grab whatever you want regardless of whether or not it makes sense together.

    I won’t get into the limitation on the action bar and controls due to them wanting to make it accessible for console players, but those are my two biggest gripes with it.

  2. Pitrelli says:

    Woo hoo glad you decided to try it yourself.

    I think the negativity has came from people who knew they wouldnt like it before they tried it. I read through most of the posts listed by syp @ biobreak and none really surprised me except for Hudsons, I gathered he didnt connect with it but I think he should try it again since he left it pretty early in the beta. Keens one made me laugh as it was akin to the famous Darkfall Eurogamer review – although even if he liked it he would have changed his mind a month later……

    I recommend reading Shadow-wars writeup, its well constructed and talks about the bad and the good.

  3. Longasc says:

    Off all the weirdo champions, I like yours the most… he is so manly! :)

  4. Hudson says:

    You haven’t really PLAYED it yet.

    • Gordon says:

      Very true. I’ve just messed around the character creator and played the tutorial so I can’t comment much about it. I just mean that I wasn’t expecting something disastrous after reading a lot of negativity about it and was actually surprised by the initial first impression.

  5. Keen says:

    Making characters is fun. It’s the part of the game after you log in that needs work. ;)

    Seriously though, glad you enjoy it. It’s going to need a lot of support from those who do end up enjoying it and subscribing in order to stay afloat this year against the onslaught of Blizzard’s announcements, SWTOR’s hype, Aion’s steady polished release, Guild Wars 2’s marketing blitz, FFXIV’s following, and the other non-MMO games with MMO qualities that will pull people in every which way.

    Let us know what you think after you beat the crisis areas.

    • Gordon says:

      Yeah, it will be very interesting to see how CO stands up against Aion. I have a suspicion that Aion will out hype it and do better. It’s also got the advantage of being released after CO.

      • aion kinah says:

        Actually, I can’t say anything about CO coz’ I haven’t experienced playing this game. What I am looking forward now is the Aion release. Actually, almost all the reviews about aion says that it has a great gameplay and I think it is going to get more attention than CO now. Added to it, aion was also voted as the best online game at Gamescom.

  6. [...] We Blog Spitfires – “I don’t know what all of the negativity surrounding the game is about, I actually came away with quite a strong first impression.” [...]

  7. Marchosias says:

    I think Brendon really hit it on the head. It’s too close to the CoH experience for me to take it really seriously. Sure there are some cool things they’ve tweaked, but it’s SO similar.

    One could argue that all fantasy MMO’s are also “the same” but WoW, AoC, and WAR all have a very different look and feel that makes them seem like they’re very different, when in reality they’re pretty similar when you get right down to the nuts and bolts. But CO doesn’t really feel like a different game to me from CoH.

    So one might say that it’s because both games came from the same studio, but Mythic’s DAoC and WAR actually feel like different games to me, so that’s also a red herring. I dunno, I don’t *hate* or even dislike CO, but since CoH never really held my interest, and since CO seems like CoH with frosting – I doubt it will hold my interest either. I guess I was just hoping for something *different*

    • Gordon says:

      Well, a lot of the games you mentioned have very strong IP licenses behind them that define the look and feel of the game. Champions Online and CoH are just ‘generic’ superhero games and are thus bound to look very similar because they don’t have anything easily identifiable for the player to latch onto.

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