Being appalled by the whiners, I decided to write a review myself to give the full and detailed story.

User Rating: 8 | Champions Online PC
I've been playing Champions Online for awhile now, and I've really enjoyed my time thus far. Alot of people are rating the game poorly, and giving the day one nerf as the reason. These people are blowing the truth out of proportion and whining about it, so I want to explain what happened first. As things were, players used to be unbeatable if they chose certain passive skills. Particularly, the Invulnerability and Personal Force Field powers were very hard to beat. It got to a point where PvE players could take on 15 enemies assorted with villains, or 'elites' if you prefer, and still come out on top. In the case of PvP (as well as PvE to some extent), it wasn't uncommon to hear something like, "lol!!! yous didn take invuln an heal bots? lols!!! you suck!!!". There was a major imbalance with not just the mentioned powers, but many other ones. The devs have explained that players were simply able to take on too many enemies at once, and I can personally attest that some characters were absolutly unkillable in PvP. Quite honestly, if you're new to Champions Online and started playing it now, you wouldn't have any clue to what all the fuss is about. So that's why I ask anyone interested in the game to please judge it by what it is, and not by what all the whiners want it to be. In any MMO, there will always be people who say the game sucks just because their own character can't absolutely dominate every aspect of the game in a superior manner to anyone elses character.

Now as for the review...

When you first start up Champions Online, you'll immediately be given a few control options (I'd suggest altering the keybindings to suit you manually, whatever you choose), followed by Character Creation. Character Creation is extensive, though there are a few additions that are strangely absent. Overall though, you should be able to make whatever character you like to a reasonable degree of visual detail, being able to select from a variety of costume pieces, textures, and colors, as well as adjusting variosu sliders to alter your characters anatomy into something that could never be described as human, though there are also a fair number of body and head presets for those who just want to dive in. When creating your character, one thing new players should note is that the "Detail" options will not display unless you have the lighting effects set to "High". On low end system, high lighting effects will greatly decrease framerate, but you should be able to create your character with them on and then turn it off once you get in game, just so you can get your costume just the way you want it.

After creating your character, you'll be dropped in the middle of an alien invasion, which is a bit less spectacular than it sounds. If you've played many other MMOs, you'll be in familiar territory with Champions Online. This area is the Tutorial area, and once you complete it you'll be given the option of heading out to Canada to fight frozen Demons and the undead, or to the Dessert to take on hordes of malformed Irradiates. Most importantly, once you complete the tutorial, you'll be able to enter the Powerhouse to upgrade your character. While in the Powerhouse you can try out any powers you have access to for free, swapping them out until you find one you like, but once you leave, your powers will lock into place, and it can be expensive to respec them afterwards. At levels 5 and 13, you gain access to your Superstats. These are important, as these stats determine the effectiveness of all your powers, and so you should be careful to choose wisely, and note that these two stats will get significantly higher as you level up, due to their superstat bonus.

You're able to select powers from any power set you like, though specialized heroes will gain their higher ranking powers sooner than non-specialized heroes. Eventually, you'll be able to work with every power in the game to pick and choose the ones that suite your character, allowing you to be the hero you want to be.

The game only has one server, and non-unique names. What this means is that you can give your hero the superheroic name you want, without any fear of it already be taken. Communication is instead done via account names, listed after character names in chat. Having one server means that you will always be able to play with anyone else playing in the game, but finding them is no easy feat unless they're in your SG or in your Friends list. You can easilly change to the different channels at will, allowing you to find a heavilly populated channel if you want to be surrounded by people, or a nearly empty one if you just want to be alone.

Questing in Champions Online is nothing unique. You essentially fight a certain number of enemies like you will in any other game, and then return to your quest giver. The game does get points for throwing in a number of the Champions Universe's leading Villains at you from the get go, but consequently, many of these battles can feel anti-climactic. On the other hand, Foxbat, while humorous, isn't really the type of villain that requires an entire team to be taken down.

Combat in the game is entertaining, requiring that you pay attention, evade the aim of major enemies by ducking behind cover, and blocking the hits that you can't. You gain energy from an attack called an energy builder, which is effectively an auto attack. Melee energy builders typically build energy faster, but range energy builders give you greater manueverability. During combat you'll frequently build and lose energy, making it a somewhat different system than the standard in which you're pretty effectively done for if you run out of energy.

Ultimately, the game does a very good job of making you feel like a superhero. You get the cool costume, the powers that suite you, and even an arch-nemesis later on. It stumbles a bit due to the common pitfalls of the MMORPG genre, but if you've played other MMOs before and enjoyed them, you'll probably find something to like in Champions Online. If you've never played an MMO before but like superheroes, give it a try. There's decidedly a higher chance you'll like what you find more than you won't. And of course, if you've never liked MMOs to begin with, it's very unlikely that Champions Online will deliver anything to change your mind. There's alot to love in this package, but it doesn't always avoid the common pitfalls of many other MMOs.

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