Tuesday, April 13, 2004

City of Heroes - My Impressions

Well, I have been in the City of Heroes beta since last Friday, and now that the NDA has been lifted, I felt I had to express my opinions on it.

The game is FUN. It has the best newbie experience I've had in probably any MMOG. So far I've played 3 characters, got 2 of them to level 6 and had a BLAST doing it.

Rather than give an outline of the major gameplay features (Which you can find on most gaming websites) I decided to outline my favourite parts of the game that add that much extra to it:

  • The scale of the city. The buildings and statues are MASSIVE, and climbing up fire escapes/flying up to the top and then jumping from rooftop to rooftop is SO much like a superhero its great!
  • The variety of powers and their effects. There are so many choices you can make with your characters and each power effect stands on its own and looks GREAT - even the newbie powers aren't wimpy/crap effects - they look like real super-hero powers and they level up in power as you go.
  • The missions. The missions just seem right - you get a chain of missions from your first contact - each leads on from the other, and the mission plots are very well written. My first plotline was to investigate a street gang who had been acquiring Mystical artifacts and find out what the deal was with that. Each origin has a separate contact which has their own agendas for missions.
  • Jumping - this may seem trivial to some but just being able to JUMP is an awesome feature. Not even a wimpy jump like EQ/DAoC - a 'jump over cars/walls' kinda jump. Very nice - and you can buy powers to make you be able to leap much higher also!
  • Feeling like a hero - Even at level 1 on all of my heroes so far, I feel as if I can wade into a small gang of street thugs trying to mug people and take them ALL on - don't even need to pull them one by one, just wade in! Very much like a comic book hero would do!
  • The sidekick system - whilst I haven't tried it personally yet all that I have read about this makes it seem like a great advancement in MMOGs - the ability to 'level up' your friend to almost your level so they can participate in your adventures sorts out one of my biggest pet peeves with MMOGs - that of trying to grind to keep up with my friends who have more time than me.
  • The character customization - I have yet to see two similar/same costumes on characters - it beats everything that has came before, even SWG. And its only going to get better as they add more post-launch - including capes sooner or later!

I'm still going to be playing right up to Beta ends so if I come up with more thoughts I'll add them. My philosophy with this Beta is I'm going to try as many of the basic character types as possible to see which one I like best - I'm NOT planning on levelling any character too high as i know I'm going to have to do it all over again in 10 days time - and I want to have a bunch of new content to experience when I level up after launch :)

I'll definitely be buying this - going to reserve my copy soon :)

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

EverQuest 2 Preview

All I can say is - wow. Full-size the video-interview - a little grainy but looks VERY nice. We shall see how it turns out :)

'M' Rated MMOGs

Just posted a forum topic about this on Grimwell.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Decision time.....


Well - I went ahead on Friday and bought Lost Dungeons of Norrath as everyone in EQ was raving about it. I bought it at Best Buy and brought it home, opened it up and it had a neat looking free keychain as well as a nice in-game backpack to claim when I got in-game. A good start I thought!
So I went to ButcherBlock, which is where one of the 'Adventure Camps' to get an LDoN adventure is situated. After a good 45 minutes, I got into a group, and we ran a couple of adventures. They went pretty good - we completed them both within time - though they were easy ones. I ran a difficult one with a different group the next morning - we failed it by not much but took a longer time overall to get it all sorted out in the end...

OK - I basically logged out of my Bard then and havent logged him back in since - heres my quandary - I'm not sure if I want to spend my EQ leveling time in LDoN. I came to the same conclusion (I think) that I came to with SWG's zones - I HATE generic. Unfortunately, this seems to be the way EQ has gone with this - and I don't like it - it goes against most of the things I liked about EQ in the first place - thoughtful, creative zones that were neat to explore. The LDoN zones I tried so far seemed incredibly generic and pretty much sucked, as random mobs of around our level were thrown at us. It also seems that most of the zones I used to spend my time in back in the old days are ghost towns now - basically most of the population are running instanced content. AO was the same when I played it - instanced missions got OLD real quick.

Not sure what I'm going to do.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Random thoughts on game demos

Well I had some time to kill a couple of nights ago so I started off some demos downloaded from fileplanet - One for Sacred, which is the latest attempt to advance the Diablo-style Action RPG, and the demo for Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow - a highly anticipated (and just released) sequel to a pretty big hit.

Sacred was OK - it had a few neat features on top of the hack n slash of Diablo 2, in that you could create combos of attacks to bind to your left/right mouse button, and the characters seemed pretty original too. It has a largely freeform world which you can wander around and do quests until you feel like advancing the plot further. I doubt I will buy it though - I'm pretty much done with Diablo etc - they're just not my idea of fun anymore!

Pandora Tomorrow
This demo was pretty good FUN! I tried the original Splinter Cell demo but it didnt seem to work right on my system so I gave up on it. The demo level is set on a train where you have to rescue another agent-type from some goons - lots of stealth-em-up involved as if you get spotted by the bad guys the mission is over! The graphics and visuals were absolutely excellent - at one point I was hanging onto the outside rail of the train when another train came rushing past going the other direction - was very impressive! I still haven't finished the demo as it is a little tough but I'll get back to it! Don't think I'll buy this either but then I hardly buy games anymore anyway!