Flexible Character Creation
The character creation on CO is extremely flexible and open-ended. You start off with a basic model, but soon, you can be adjusting the details of your avatar’s face, body mass, musculature, and as always, your breasts. Though the character creation of Champions Online still falls short of City of Heroes, it still offers much more customization than those of competing MMOs. The menu itself is simple to use and understand, and each category has pre-made choices and then a detailed customization screen. You can start with something that the professionals created and then tweak it to your preferences. The costume options are versatile, colorful, and color coordinated for those of us who are not entirely sure which hues are complimentary. My one major complaint is that you start off with an Incredibles-like mask over your eyes, and you have to skip ahead three screens in order to remove it. Masks for superheroes is so 1980s. Hasn’t Cryptic watched any of the new X-men movies?
Anyone who has played Age of Conan is extremely familiar with the tendency to go with browns and dark, dreary colors in some of the male dominated MMOs. (Okay, all MMOs are male dominated considering that the female population for MMOs is an estimated 11%.) While some of the features in CO follow the traditional manly path of using as many browns and blacks as possible, the comic book-style of the art demands some bright colors and vivid hues. The officers are in bright blue shirts, and many of the modern buildings look clean and bright. I felt like I might be in a happy city instead of some gloomy burnt out area. Then I can feel like my hero is helping to keep the city joyful and crime-free.
Okay, this feature is a while in coming, but most women love to be able to personalize the world in which they game. At level 25, you get to design your arch-nemesis and even write a story for him/her. Then this arch-nemesis shows up at random points in the game in order to challenge you, start quest lines, or be a pain in general. I usually jump at the chance to make the world more immersive for myself, and this goes a long way into doing that.
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