The Best Character Creator Ever!

As an RPG fan, I love character creators. Some make your characters look a little weird (Mass Effect 3, ugh), but others are pretty amazing. Dragon Age: Origins has an excellent one, in my opinion, thanks to lots of customization options that make characters look realistic and unique… Plus, the portrait in the character creator is accurate. Few things are as scary as creating a good-looking character, then launching the game and finding a monster in his place.

Star Wars: The Old Republic has a fairly limited character creator, but at least your character is guaranteed to look fantastic, thanks to perfect facial proportions no matter how you customize. And the most fun character creator I’ve tried is Saints Row: The Third, which you can access as a “demo” from Xbox LIVE, even if you don’t purchase the game.

But this weekend I found a character creator that surpasses all others, and it’s from a most unlikely source: EVE Online. As far as I know, EVE is not a game that has avatars walking around looking at each other; it’s a serious space MMO, after all, known for its sprawling universe and the sort of complexity that makes newcomers like me a tad terrified.

But so far, I haven’t gotten past the character creation screens, because they are so detailed. As in most character creators, you can choose your character’s skin color, eye color (which for some reason is never the right color in this case), makeup, scars, tattoos, body build, and clothing — but that’s just the start. The cool thing about this creator is that you don’t use sliders to adjust details like “cheekbone width” or “chin depth.” Instead, you click and drag those features all over the place, on the spot, to customize your character’s face with ease. It’s incredibly intuitive and makes each character look totally unique. I’ll admit, I’ve created about five characters for no real reason except that EVE’s character creator is so much fun… and clearly I had time to kill this afternoon.

And when you’re done with a character, you go to a portrait screen that lets you adjust the character’s expression. Make him smile, open his mouth so he looks shocked, have him raise one eyebrow, make him cock his head to the side or look up and to the left like some space-faring adventurer with true ideals… I mean, the expressions can be frightening sometimes, but you get to take four portraits (and re-take all you like).

Maybe it’s just me, but if you’re into character creators, definitely check out this one. EVE Online has a 14-day free trial, which is worth it for the character creator alone, in my opinion. (And if you’re a writer, you can bring your book’s characters to life!) The results are nuanced and realistic, which as you can tell I absolutely love. Whether I will complete the daunting task of learning to play EVE Online in the next 14 days is another matter…


25 thoughts on “The Best Character Creator Ever!”

  1. Did you expect anything less from Eve Online. Try it if you haven’t already!!! Of course, I’m someone who thinks his Heavy Neutron Blaster II’s are too big for his pants, so probably best not to listen to me.

        1. Thanks! I might take you up on that if things get confusing. I’ve been watching some tutorials to set myself up halfway decently (I hope)… but I’m always up for bad advice. =)

  2. I’ve always been partial to the character creators in wrestling games. They were some of the most advanced before the likes of Saints Row The Third came around. I’ll have to give EVE a try now.

    1. Yeah, I’m surprised as the detailed customization options in a lot of sports games. I’m not very experienced with sports games at all, but I have noticed that some of them give you loads of options in the character creation… even more than a lot of RPGs!

  3. I love game customizations for your character. If I wasn’t so eager to start playing the game, I may end up spending hours on creating the “perfect” character. Based on the screenshots for EVE, the character creation engine is phenomenal. If I wasn’t so busy with other things, I would definitely give the character customization a whirl on EVE.

    1. I agree, I could spend hours on customizing characters too! Already I often give characters two or three tries before I commit and really start playing the game, just because things will bug me in-game that looked fine minutes earlier in the character creator… so I have to start over, because I’m a perfectionist. And it’s a lot of fun. =)

  4. This is awesome. As a fairly inexperienced gamer MMO’s have always seemed a bit too intimidating or intense for me (I think I tried playing DC Universe Online for like a day..). But I love customizing characters, and I totally agree with the Mass Effect statement. After spending considerable amounts of time altering facial features, there are always random camera angles that make my characters look bizarre :(.

    1. I’m not really into MMOs either, but I’m giving them a try for the first time this year. I almost always play games alone, so even when I play MMOs, it’s more for the world-building, character creation, story, etc… rather than playing with other people!

  5. Character creators are great, and i’m really surprised to see these screens from Eve. I played the game a long time ago, and I could have sworn there wasn’t a character creator at all, just a choose your avatar icon thing. Maybe i’m mistaken, if not, that is a great update they added.

    1. Yeah, I saw some articles about the character creator from 2010 which made me think it was updated around then, but I could be wrong. There’s not much of a chance to see your avatar, but at least having a customized character aboard your ship makes the game feel even more real!

      1. That’s pretty great of them to add it in. And I saw your comment above stating you’r not usually into MMO’s but give it a try for world,story and character. You may enjoy the overlooked MMO “The Secret World” from Funcom. Its primary focus is on story and atmosphere, with a large focus on the paranormal and even investigation missions where you do real world research to solve long riddle like quests. It has a decent character creator, but its bolstered by an emphasis on customizing your character afterward with clothing you can earn and buy. Just a suggestion, as I too don’t really group or chat much so its a solid single player game. Nice article btw.

        1. I’ve heard great things about The Secret World, but haven’t tried it yet. Thanks for the suggestion! Maybe I can try getting into that one when I have time off over the Christmas holidays. It’s interesting to hear you don’t do a lot of group or chat stuff in MMOs… I’ve heard that from a few other people too, which surprised me, as I thought I was the only one not super into group gaming. I know big MMO players say there’s no point in playing an MMO alone, but personally I think it’s nice having the option to play solo!

          1. They may be meant for large parties, but most are all very accessible for solo players as well. Only content we miss primarily are the Raids, and screw that stuff. If I do group in an MMO its with my brother mostly, as we always try the same ones looking for a game we both enjoy…but we have opposite tastes so the team-up doesn’t last long :P

        2. I’m going to go and agree with Chuck here on The Secret World. It’s a very supernatural and thematic game with easily some of the most difficult (yet rewarding!) quests I’ve ever seen. I only play it off and on myself (usually when they put cool new story stuff in) but the game is fantastic. If you ever decide to hop on and try it out let me know. One of the best parts about the game is that you can pretty much re-do every quest, and you receive the same amount of exp for those quests no matter what level you are. So even high level characters have every reason to go back and help their newly starting friends.

          1. That’s awesome. I actually got the game but haven’t played it yet! I’ll dig into it soon and let you know, it sounds like an amazing game. I know there was a time when it first came out that people were heaping praise on it, so it’s cool to hear people are still into it or ready to jump back in. =)

  6. EVE Online is one of those games I have a love hate relationship with. On the one hand, you’re free to do whatever you want and customize your experience in a way no other game I know of offers. But on the other hand, despite all it’s fantastic visuals, the game could literally be played on a blank screen with nothing but numbers in an excel spread sheet. The recent addition to exploration (which was always my favorite pastime in the game) does have a little mini-game in it though! So that managed to rope me back for a little bit.

    Great game and absolutely fantastic character creator. But personally I’m looking forward to Star Citizen now more than anything EVE has in the works. But that’s a different conversation. :-)

  7. I’m pretty sure my gf spent like a third of her pay time in the character creator window, resculpting and dressing up her characters lol.

    Learning to play Eve in 14 days is impossible. Maybe in 14 years. The key here is to find the kind of experience by interacting with others that will make you realize what makes Eve unique, and then you will be hooked.

    Eve is full of people who have picked up the game just to quit within a month several times over the years. Until one day they run into some amazing experience find their niche and overnight become dedicated players.

    1. Haha yeah, the character creator is addicting! I played some of the tutorials last night, it’s definitely helping me get my bearings this time. That makes sense about finding that one thing that hooks you, which is kinda unique to each player. :)

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