Another big gap in posting…. I have been busy though; doing my garden, painting woodwork, sealing windows etc. All that work means that my man room (otherwise known as the spare bedroom) is now pretty much done and ready to use. Which for me means somewhere to star gaming again!
I’ve spent a while playing free games like UFA: Alien Invasion which is pretty good if you were into the original XCOM games. Think the next version (currently in beta) will add a fair few improvements as well. So whilst waiting for that update I looked around for any other free games I could jump into and was reminded that Champions Online is now free to play. 4.8GB worth of downloads later and I’m up and running.
For those that don’t know, I was a long time player of City of Heroes – playing pretty much solidly for 4 years from EU launch in 2007. City of Heroes was originally created by Cryptic Studios who then sold the franchise to NCSoft (with part of the company being rebranded Paragon Studios to continue game development). Cryptic then went on to create Champions and you can certainly feel the CoH influence there. It doesn’t feel so much like a sequel or clone of CoH but more like a cousin to the game. Sometimes this isn’t a bad thing as it feels like slipping on a well worn pair of trousers. Sometimes – if you are a loyal CoH player like myself – you feel a bit cross that it isn’t being more original. But then I’ve only ever really played one MMORPG so maybe they all steal ideas from each other?
I’ve not been playing long enough to give any real feedback yet but first impressions:
1. I like the tutorial. CoH starts with a minor virus outbreak in Outbreak. It eases you in slowly. Champions kicks you straight into an alien invasion and it did feel good having dropships flying overhead and laser bolts landing around you whilst you learn the controls.
2. It’s busy! Reminds me of the days I first started playing CoH with dozens/hundreds of player running around the zones. I believe CoH is trying to fix this by merging the quiet EU and busy US server lists though.
3. Seems a bit easy. Level 7 already and only died twice. And that was only because I’d got so used to just mashing the attack buttons with little regard to tactics or watching my health (as nothing much seemed to be a danger) that I was taken a little by surprise a couple of times. I’m not even playing one of the ‘tough’ archetypes.
4. Don’t much like the character creation section.
6. Find some things a little hard to get. Maybe if I had a retail box set with instruction manual so I know what certain things were for etc…?
Will I keep playing. Yup. Will I eventually start paying for content? Doubtful but we’ll see.