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Champions Online Impressions

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This past weekend, Champions Online offered a free trial of the game. Who am I to turn down free stuff? Besides, I LOVE comic books.

A few months ago, I tried out City of Heroes. It was fun, but didn't really capture my attention. Too grindy and repetitive. Champions Online is the next evolution of the City of Heroes formula.

It was really fun!

Character creation was amazing, as expected. You can see my creation above, but check out that dude behind me! That's all default options, there. There is no in-game store yet.

Unlike, CoH, Champions has no classes. You can build your character however you want, with no restrictions. Of course, without clearly-defined roles, this basically makes everybody DPS. You actually have to TRY to make a tank or healer. We'll see how this works out as the game goes on.

City of Heroes has expanded its power set over the years, so Champions can't match it in quantity. You can select from many pre-made power sets, or customize one of your own. Basically, you just choose a primary and secondary power from any of the pre-made sets. Some work well together, others don't. I chose the pre-made Arcane Sorcery set. I could have taken a combination of any two Sorcery trees and done well. However, I can see some potential difficulty if you choose from two wildly different power sets, as higher-level skills are unlocked depending on how many you've selected previously in that tree.

My Arcane build was a blast. Your primary attack is a "building" attack, increasing your Energy (mana). Your secondary attack uses this Energy. Mine was a ranged attack that "charged up." The longer I held the button, the more damage it did, and more Energy it consumed. I later gained an absolutely BRUTAL skill that set up little land mines around me and a channeled healing skill.

All, in all, very fun to play.

And the travel powers! Ice slides, web-slinging, rocket boots, you name it, it's here. I chose Teleportation, as it fit the Dr Strange-type character I was working around.

I found gameplay to be fun, varied and balanced. You actually FEEL like a superhero. You can rescue civilians, take down thugs and even return lost pets. You feel suitably powerful. Minions go down quick, while Villains and Super-Villains feel like a challenge. There's a solid risk-vs-reward balance. Additionally, the addition of a block button gives battle another fun layer of complexity.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you like. This is a game for comic fans. The art style and scripting really feel right. However, that style can be a turn-off to non-fans. Well, to each his own. Some people out there don't like the fantasy-style games.

I would suggest to anybody out there interested to definitely give this game a shot. It is a great game. The core gameplay is solid, and it's just FUN.

Kimberly said...
November 5, 2009 at 3:58 PM  

I loved City of Heroes when I played pre-WoW, but burned out on it after 6 months because I was tired of the repetition. (I had a dark brawler, I think...she was so fun)

*THIS* is the game that can possibly yank me out of WoW.

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