Champions Online Beta Impressions

Having played City of Heroes/City of Villains for several years, I was curious how Champions Online would be different. It’s common knowledge that Cryptic Studios had a certain amount of involvement in the “City of” games. I came out of the Champions Online Beta pleasantly surprised.

Character creation is robust, even for a beta. It had a slew of available options for just about every body part, allowing someone to create anything from Michael Buffer to a human-sized Gundam. My character for this beta was Mecha Brownie a 4’ tall Gundam-esque super hero.

Upon entering the tutorial zone, the first thing one notices is the tutorial booth. Here you get missions which help you orient yourself with the different controls and menus. Basically you spend the first 3-5 levels figuring the game’s controls, menus and power nuances out.

Graphically, Champions Online feels very much like a comic book, with a cell-shaded look. The game is not very processor intensive, so it’s great for people with older PCs. The game looks somewhat like Crackdown graphically.
As far as controls go, Champions Online felt like the type of MMO that could translate to a console controller. Cryptic managed to minimize the amount of required button presses to launch attacks and travel powers.

Missions are many and varied. Some quests are simple solo quests of the gathering (pick up four of these) or killing (take out four of these type of guys) type. Map goals are marked with a green circle on the HUD map, making them relatively simple to locate. Some of the other missions are tough enough to require you to recruit a few teammates.

Some quests are group walk-on quests, such as defending the base from the alien invaders while the soldiers build a weapon, then defending the weapon for a certain period. You can basically enter these missions mid-way, although the reward system would stack against you for being a latecomer. These quests require a certain amount of teamwork, with some Champions getting kills while others gather the required materials for the weapon. These walk-ons also have a recharge to them, so they are repeatable. These walk-on quests remind me of Warhammer Online’s walk-on quests.

Ultimately, Champions Online feels like a fun button-mashing, action game, like a large-scale Marvel Ultimate Alliance. It was a ton of fun, looked pretty good, and the community was helpful.

*Post Provided by DualShockers community member – PJ (Thanks for the write-up) Stay tuned as more of the DualShockers team jump on this title and a couple other MMO titles to get more hands on time.

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Al Zamora

Al has been gaming as long as he can remember and will continue to game until his fingers break off or video games cease to exist. A New York native born and raised he crashed into the gaming journalism scene in 2006. Since then he has become the on air personality for DSTV and loves every second of cursing while interviewing developers about serious topics. Aside from being a gamer he also has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering that does not help in the gaming world but does provide for fun stories when people say "what?".Favorite games: Contra (NES), Mega Man II (NES) and Final Fantasy III (SNES)

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