I’ve been playing the Champions Online Beta now for a couple of days and I can honestly say that I am probably going to get my money’s worth. Especially since I went ahead and dropped the money for the lifetime subscription.
That is, unless it folds in six months.
Champions hopefully, will not fold in six months. The game is fun, and while it is far from perfect, I like the character customization, the power selection options and the gameplay. They’ve added blocking to the MMO formula, and in a surprise move, it’s not simply a stance you take. It’s an active skill that you hold down before an attack lands.
So in order to be successful, selective use of blocking is required. It took me a while to get used to pressing block and not waiting for the background dice to roll a “miss.” Once I figured that out, I had a great time figuring out the timing and mitigating damage in between my attacks and enemy attacks. It’s a simple mechanic, but one that keeps you actively involved in the combat. So it gives the game more of an action RPG feel. This is in contrast to the typical “click buttons until the cooldowns are over then click them again” mechanic prevalent in most MMOs.
Not that Champions is not an MMO. It has the social aspect of teaming, loot, leveling, and everything that one expects from that genre. Unfortunately, the beta also had the unexplained crashes, lockups, and server hangups that one also expects from that genre.
I feel like I’m in the same car, only there’s been an engine swap and there’s a new coat of paint. Which isn’t surprising considering the other product that Cryptic developed was another Superhero themed MMO called City of Heroes.