Champions Online Beta: Game at a glance

As some of you may have realized, I’ve been attempting to download and patch Champions Online to play in their “Open Closed” beta since the doors opened early morning August 17th. I was able to get on an create a character, but someone I love and who I just happened to marry has commandeered the game from me and is having what I can only describe as, ‘a ball’ with it so far. He has named his super hero Angry Shawn and is right now, as I finish typing this up playing the game still. What I have played and gotten my hands on is enough to give you a few first impressions:

Champions Online

You are in the comic book.

From the launcher, to the log in, to the options and what screen resolution you’re going to choose–everything reeks classic comic book. Bright eye catching colors that don’t hurt but still catch your attention, that font which screams COMIC littered every where along headers and options.

Blue and deep gold is the UI’s chosen default color.

Blue backgrounds, deep gold for trim and eye catching parts and pieces, with the standard comic book font in readable sizes. I like it. It doesn’t hurt the eye and it screams POW.

Character customization choices are damn near OVERWHELMING.

The choices and color customizations are insane. I literally spent thirty minutes deciding what to make this morning. The choices are endless; head pieces, horns, hair, no hair, normal skin, metallic skin, cats eyes, normal eyes, pupil-less eyes, crests, capes, stances, human, not-human, robot, elves, beasts/bestial features, monster features–I can’t or could not list them all.

Character customizations ARE horrifically cliche, especially on the female side.

The boobs. Oh my god, the boobs. Yes, you can choose to have a super heroine with smaller breasts that do not classify as a weapon of mass cleavage like the DEFAULT size–but it is like they didn’t put half the amount of effort in making the rest of the body or super hero costume scale with the rest of the itty bitty titties. I tried making a character that wouldn’t poke eyes out at fifty yards when cold and it just did NOT work. It looks awful, like her lungs had caved in and were trying to suck the front of her body in through her spine.

If first impressions are correct: EVERYTHING is instanced.

From the get-go you have a long, huge list of ‘shards’ to choose from. If I am guessing correctly (and feel free to correct me if I am wrong), and I believe the largest amount of people in a shard/instance is 30.

Shawn says it’s one of the smoothest running in-game play for a beta yet.

I’ll let you know what I think when I can, y’know, PLAY. ::Stares at Shawn.::

Graphics are an amazing balance.

A balance between the heavy handed black-inked lines of the paper comic books we all know and love, and the amazing textures, effects and realistic graphics to pull you in. I’m not sure how to say it–they’ve balanced fantasy with realism and come up with fantarealisay I guess. (Screen shots forthcoming when I can play. >.>)

Summary of Champions Online at a glance:

Tentatively optimistic. Shawn says it’s a blast, it is definitely something different in the market to tinker with and he’s having fun. Character customization IS huge, and well done. I’m going to go out on a limb and state the game is something you should keep at the back of your mind if you like MMORPG gaming and want something different. This may or may not be subject to change at the end of Open Beta and extensive playing of the game is had. We’ll let you know then.

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