My first few moments were pretty standard for an online game: run the installer, and wait for the latest updates to download and be implemented. Things didn't go completely smoothly, however. I was asked to reboot, did, and then got stuck in a loop, with the game constantly asking me to reboot to finish the install.
That led me to the game's forums, which weren't particularly comforting: While the boards were very active with technical questions, answers were hard to find. Since this is Realtime Worlds' first MMO, they're a little slow to the punch for support, it seems. I did eventually find an answer to my issue (without the help of official support), but even they say they're already overwhelmed. That's not a good sign for a mass market PC MMO, but it appears Realtime is working to right the ship.
Problem solved, I moved on to character creation, and was asked to choose one of the game's two factions, Criminal or Enforcer. In the city of San Paro, players either commit crimes, or take out criminals by whatever means necessary. In terms of gameplay, there's not a lot of difference between the two, but we'll get to that later in the week. I chose Enforcer, and moved on to the Advanced character editor.
While the basic editor offers a few random ages and body types, players who really want to try and recreate themselves will want to skip to Advanced. That mode offers many more options for changing the way a player's body and face looks, along with scars, tattoos, or other identifying marks. I worked for a while to try and make a character that looked just like me, but as you can see below, thanks to the game's aesthetic I ended up with something closer to caricature than real-life replica.
After about 40 minutes of tweaking my brow size and depth, flipping through thirty different face options, and trying to get my hair color just right
, I was satisfied enough to hit Finish and step out onto the mean streets.Tomorrow: Driving, shooting, and culling bounties in San Paro's Financial District.