I’ve been playing Champions Online very hardcore the past few days, and it keeps growing on me the more I play of it.
The Vibora Bay expansion is excellent. It starts out with a crisis situation where you have to stop an incoming apocalypse with the Champions acting at your side, and it is long. Vibora Bay itself is a wonderfully atmospheric New Orleans town wrapped in fog, with riverboat casinoes and arcades. Menacing it are several factions: the demonic Trey Kings, the gunmen werewolf Dogz, and the vampiric Night Shadows. Also the rogue angels of Therakiel still try and bring about the apocalypse from within the shadows.
What impresses me about it, and CO in general, are the little touches. Go into the arcade in VB and you see a whole colection of classic Atari games. The riverboat in VB can be entered and is actually a social area with a live singer. Stand next to some of the doors of VB’s clubs and you hear jazz music. The areas are really good, especially Lemuria: a 3-D underwater zone filled with sharks and divers.
The gameplay is very repetitive. This doesn’t change. But oddly enough I find that a lot more fun that the repetitiveness of EVE or Fallen Earth, because its bite-sized. You don’t grind because you are bored, or need to make a lot of progress just to enjoy a game or level up. It’s great to be able to play at your pace and deal with others as you like.
I think what this has taught me finally is to more or less ignore the popular community opinion. Play a game for yourself to see if you enjoy it: don’t let bloggers or posters influence you.