Anti-Aliased: I'm a champion, and so can you pt. 2


Moving past the people cap issue (I've been told that later zones include a 100 player cap, but I haven't gotten there yet, so please don't quote me there) we have the system at large. Now, I've been playing on a controller, which I've enjoyed for the most part. There are some quirks to the controller system, such as using left bumper or L1 for switching between the two hotbars of 3 powers a piece, and using right bumper or R1 to tab target enemies, but the game feels like a brawler.

Defeating enemies means using the powers at your disposal, or using your strength to throw things in the environment or cunning to lead enemies into traps. Grabbing rubble from the street, road blockades, and other props is all possible and only gets more insane as you level your strength to allow you to lift bigger and better things. Environmental traps are possible as well, as I once killed two aliens standing next to a car by simply targeting and blowing up the car, sending those two aliens flying through the air.

As enemies die, they drop power-up orbs upon death. These orbs are pretty much the inspirations from City of Heroes, and involve increasing accuracy, damage, health recovery, and energy recovery. Running close to them picks them up and triggers them immediately, meaning no more hording inspirations until just the right moment.

The only issues I've had with the actual gameplay is the targeting system. On the controller, it's really a pain in the rear. Sometimes the auto target works, as it chooses the closest and most lethal person, but other times I've gotten my target locked on dead bodies or ended up targeting enemies that weren't even close to me. Mouse and keyboard users will obviously not have these problems, as they can just click the target they want to attack.

Of course, not everything is super happy funtime

Mostly, I've been enjoying my initial journey through Champions. However, I do have some things I'd like to point out as being off.

"Champions doesn't give you a nice little bar that has all of your menu options in little tabs, it instead hides them all in the upper right with the map.'"

First of all -- the UI. I'm honestly just not a fan. The double hotbars are great, and I really love the "power setup" icons in the lower right, but it's navigating through windows that I have a hard time with. Champions doesn't give you a nice little bar that has all of your menu options in little tabs, it instead hides them all in the upper right with the map.

Pulling up menus and having multiple windows open at once doesn't feel natural. It's hard to do with the mouse and keyboard, which means it's impossible to do with the controller. Also as a side note, you can't scroll text with the controller. That drives me nuts when I want to read the rest of the quest text without jumping over to my keyboard and mouse.

Also, buffs are hard to read and sometimes just don't function as intended. Sometimes they're right, sometimes they're wrong, and sometimes they are working but they're not showing. I can't say if this is a product of beta or not, so I wish to give Cryptic the doubt on this one and say it will most likely be fixed.

Lastly comes the items. It's not the items I have a problem with, it's how the game pops up a "comparison window" to the stuff you're currently wearing. However, if you're not wearing anything, it pops up 3 windows that all display the item your hovering over. Also, even if you are wearing items, the game can't seem to pull up the two that you're wearing and properly compare it to the one your mousing over. The comparison windows take up valuable screen resource space if you're running in 1024x768 like me, so I wasn't digging that at all.

More to see, and still more to relate

This is only what I've gotten to experience up to the first map choice, Crisis in Canada. I certainly look forward to continuing my adventures in the universe of Champions Online, and I'll keep you guys at my side every step of the way!


Colin Seraphina Brennan is the weekly writer of Anti-Aliased who finally made that awesome angel character she's been dying to make. When she's not writing here for Massively, she's rambling on her personal blog, The Experience Curve. If you want to message her, send her an e-mail at colin.brennan AT weblogsinc DOT com. You can also follow her on Twitter through Massively, or through her personal feed, @sera_brennan.