—Champions Online(TM): Quick Review


I spent the first three days of my 14-day trial trying to figure out why I could log in to the account, but not the game.  Three days without a meaningful response to  a trouble ticket or forum posts.  I—myself—finally figured out that my password was being copied, then pasted, with a stray trailing space.  The account login properly disposed of it, while the game login did not.  Customer service is the basis of successful MMO efforts, guys, not something you add on after you get cool effects and snappy patter installed. 

Anyway,  I finally made it into the tutorial, which seems to be effective in teaching game mechanics, at least.  The game has a very comic-book, flat-shaded feel, which is an artistic decision to be sure.  Whether it compares favorably to other efforts such as City of Heroes is something others will decide in time.  

The gameplay interface is very rough.  It was nearly impossible to control the character from the keyboard—I have to use the right-mouse-button to control facing to get anywhere. 

There is a lot of humor in the game which is, frankly, juvenile at best—accidentally turning your enemies into teddy bears, and so on.   The artifacts one picks up are often silly, and I have yet to see an explanation of what you do with them other than bind and absorb attribute boosts from them.  There is something mentioned about “trading” which hasn’t been explained anywhere I’ve looked.

Some of the humor is, however, pretty good, if a little “self-referential”:The Mechanic and Poster-2

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