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Massively Hands-on: Creating superheroes in Champions Online Part 2

Kyle Horner

Finally we come to the face tab, which as you may guess is full of crazy options for making your face look like a monkey with antlers and a goatee!

Seriously though, it's rather insane.

The face tab, like the body tab, has more than just sliders. Moods are like the face version of stances, only they alter your character's default expression. Options are: normal, courageous, determined, grim, angry and pleasant. I am happy to report that there are the same moods for both sexes, in case anyone was wondering.

The sliders for your face are easily the most detailed, and do change quite a bit. You can adjust your brow, jaw length/width, mouth width, head size/height/width/depth, eye size/height/position, cheeks size/height, ear size, pointy ears, nose width/length/height/position and finally the all-important chin size/width. Whew, just typing that was exhausting.

I've managed to make a lot of varied faces, but what ends up effecting your mug more than anything else seems to be your mood and hair/hat options. Not that these sliders are useless, just that if you couldn't be bothered with them you really needn't worry about it beyond picking a mood.

"-which is actually really nice when you're making a guy with bare feet, or a crime-fighting hobo."

I have no doubt though, that many people will start by skipping to the final tab -- the costume.

Champions Online takes what I like to call an insanely thorough approach to costume creation. There are four primary sections to your outfit: head, upper body, hands and lower body. Every piece of your costume has material options with the most common being cloth, leather and metal. Although sometimes you also get additional drop-down menus like pattern, detail and the ever-utilitarian "option" option. That last one is generally where you'll find the choice to make something dirty, which is actually really nice when you're making a guy with bare feet, or a crime-fighting hobo.

I'd do a costume options rundown, but that would literally take up pages and pages of space. So instead, key points I noticed:

  • Many things overlap, so you can have lots of layers.
  • Power Suit options are vast, vast, vast.
  • Bestial options are also huge.
  • Tails are wonderfully animated and there are a ton -- there are two different dinosaur tails.
  • You can make very convincing robots, but cyborgs are my personal choice.
  • Upper body has a lot of individual pieces like belt, shoulders, back, collar, bracers, arm accessories and chest that goes on top of your standard tights stuff.
  • With hands separate, you can put oodles of stuff on your arms. Like, a lot of stuff.
  • The head section is equally insane and even has an option for different eyebrows.

Colors can be separately linked, so let's say you slot your shared colors in this order, "Red, white, blue, black" and you'd like to keep your awesome robot helmet mostly the same, but get rid of the white -- you can do that. You can also pick a color palette and shuffle the location of each one, allowing you to get a feel for that palette on your entire outfit.

When you click on a box to pick your color, you're presented with a vast array of colors. If you've made a hero in CoH, you'll be familiar with the options. However, one thing different here is that the window remembers what colors are your shared and which ones you've recently picked for other items. This makes coordinating colors much easier. No more switching back and forth between items to see which shade of blue you selected -- now the game remembers for you!

Of course, you can now wear one of everything. Want to wear just one left glove? Go for it. Maybe you want to wear two different gloves, shoulders, boots and bracers? That can be done too, if you want.

That's about it for character creation. I've already made more characters than I can count, and still there are ideas floating around in my head. If my time with Champions Online this weekend has taught me anything, it's that Cryptic doesn't mess around when it comes to customization. I don't even want to attempt to understand where this thing will be after six to twelve months.

Want to learn more about the Champions Online beta? You're in luck, as today marks the Press NDA lift and Massively is here to tell you all about it! Stay tuned for more beta coverage of the game, with plenty of tasty-good information for you to chew on gleefully!

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