Strangely Familiar

Is she a push-button woman, or a machine in search of a soul?

Behold my Robo-Bug.

She is X-53, daughter of X-52, who is in turn, The Son Of X-51.

My husband spent all weekend attempting to download the RIFT beta without success.  Our connection is slow and intermittent.  The download client doesn’t save progress as you go.  I’m sure you can do the math.

So instead he downloaded Champions Online.  The next morning he woke me up and told me about the game.

Him: I told myself I wouldn’t make a hero in spandex.
Me: Oh?
Him: I made a character in spandex.
I laughed
Him: And then I saw a monkey throwing fireballs. (Said with a certain fiendish glee in his eye. He’s got a thing for monkeys (and squirrels) and he was obviously excited, even talking about buying a subscription.)

So, of course, I had to go see what all the hubbub was about.  He instructed me to try out the character creator while he was gone (I had kicked him out of the house to go find some dinner for us).  Instead I made my own account so that I could actually play the game.

He walked to the store and I was only halfway through character creation when he got back!

I didn’t have anything particularly in mind when I started.  I went with the Blademaster archetype (I wanted something psychic, but I didn’t like the idea of being support… AGAIN).  After that it was just me futzing around with generic hero spandex…. until I found the parts.

I think it was the wings that threw me over the top.  I found the angel ones first and thought “Hey those are cool, but way larger than I want to deal with right now”. Then I found the dragonflies.  I love dragonflies.  I had picked the android head with other appropriately robot-ish features (don’t judge me for my pigtails, yo!) but once I found the dragonfly wings I knew I had to construct some kind of bio-mechanical insect.

Robo-Bug, my husband called her, and quirked an eyebrow at the size I chose to make her knockers.  I told him to shut up and that it was completely appropriate in this kind of environment.

So Robo-Bug was born and she was thrown immediately onto a battlefield.  I ran through some kill-10-X quests, learned how to block (It’s a skill button you hold down…) and then just before being released into the wild found myself in a group activity during which I didn’t actually have to group directly with other players….

Hmmmm, this feels veeeeeery familiar.

When I wasn’t busy being distracted (in a good way) by the bright and happy UI and very comic-book evoking chat bubbles that popped up, I was gripped by a very real sense of jamais vu.  I knew this game.  The NPCs were running in terror, I could hear their screams.  I lifted some rubble off of a failed super-villain after finding my way to his mangled body by following the sound of his voice. (no lie!)  I had to watch that enemy I was fighting for him to power up an attack, at which point I held down my block button… I could block /and/ move.  Later I acquired a skill that would catapult me across the intervening space (even while flying!) to land a blow with my sword and close to melee distance.

Oh yes, I’ve most definitely heard about this before.

It wasn’t all sun and daisies though.  The tutorial area presents a lot of information in a short time and I still haven’t found my character screen (do I even have one?).  One look at crafting made me want to paint the sidewalk with my colorful splatted self, and there were Boring Quests everywhere.

Champions Online feels like a clumsily-executed superhero version of Guild Wars 2.  I’m not sure how long I’ll keep playing, but tonight I’m definitely going to make another character and pretend it’s a charr.


I think I can, I think I can, I think I can join the Iron Legion!

For now I’m having fun, and for the price (nothing unless I insist on more robo-parts, which might happen), it makes a fantastic stop-gap for someone who would really rather be playing Guild Wars 2 instead of Guild Wars: Awesome.

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  • Comments (4)
    • Andrea
    • February 11th, 2011

    The graphics and quest lines bugged me too much. I loved the character I made, though I should have picked cooler skills. In the end it made me want guild wars 2 more and go cold turkey on anything less.

      • Tigerfeet
      • February 11th, 2011

      Now that I’m out of the tutorial area, I’m finding my interest waning. I’ll probably give it the good old college try and soldier on some more, but I can’t imagine myself playing this game seriously.

  1. I’m with Andrea – I played Champions a few months after launch and liked it for a time, but when I tried to return this month I couldn’t get back into it, and the graphics actually hurt my eyes after about a half hour of playing. Not sure what went wrong there, as it was totally my intention of using CO as a pacifier to tide me over for GW2, along with Rift.

  2. Ew….Rift.

    I’m pretty interested in CO… sounds better than what I’m playing right now, and GW1 is a little tiresome. hahaha

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