Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Played Lately: Champions Online

  • Over the weekend, thanks to urging from Blue Kae, I finally overcame my hesitation and jumped back into Champions Online. The Apocalypse waits for no man or pixeliated superheroine. So off we went to save the world. Again. I've saved the world in CO before, right? I'm pretty sure I have. Anyway, each time is like your first.

  • The Vibora Bay crisis zone is, without a doubt, the best in the game currently. The design is much closer to the crisis zones for the Southwestern Desert and Canadian Wilderness than Monster Island and Lemuria, but taking the best of both approaches. If you're reading this but never delved into CO's leveling game, the MI and Lemuria crises both play like extended public quests while the earlier are miniature questing zones. Vibora Bay is also a focused questing zone, but with a stronger storyline that carries you through.

  • The storyline was strong enough to carry me through the zone in only two gaming sessions. That is quite the feat considering that, as a level 40, I'm no longer gaining any experience points. My sole reason to continue playing is to see what happens next. If Cryptic doesn't get that right, they don't have the crutch of advancement to fall back on. I secretly hope that the upcoming Adventure Packs play just like crisis zones without following explorable zones.

  • And it all looks incredible, too. That screenshot above is Arcfire flying in front of Therakiel's stronghold. I've always enjoyed the graphics in CO, but Cryptic outdid themselves with Vibora Bay. Again, if this is the kind of work they are planning for the Adventure Packs, they are going to be amazing experiences.

  • Once you finish the final mission, you end up in Vibora Bay proper. This is part where I have to take back what I said about Adventure Packs above. The Vibora Bay explorable zone is an awesome sight to behold. Even though that didn't go the direction I was hoping for with their first expansion, Cryptic definitely made the right decision by adding a second urban zone to the game. The contrast with Millennium City is perfect. I've only spend a little time in the zone, but I'm looking forward to exploring every corner.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.


  1. That top screenshot is really impressive. I don't thing CO get's enough credit for the stunning graphics.

  2. @ Blue Kae - Thanks for talking me in to going back. This definitely sets the bar high for future expansions.

  3. @ Yeebo - I know! People got so hung up on the black outlines that they couldn't see the bigger picture.

  4. Looks like the comment weirdness is fixed.

    @Anjin - I totally agree, the crisis really raised the bar for missions. I can't comment so much on the regular Vibora zone since I really haven't spent much time there, yet, but I'm very much looking forward to seeing how the adventure packs stack up.