The "BS" is about the shipping charges. That's the official line, and besides, the comic book isn't that great
As for the game world being rendered well, it is. There are some areas that seem dark and drab, but that's for a reason. Take for example, King's Row. King's Row is one of the early starter zones (levels 5-9) that was a former industrial area until a crime group known as the "Kings" virtually took over. Now the "Kings" are gone, but the area is mostly slums. As such, it's dark and gritty.
Then there areas like Boomtown, and Faultline... Faultline you have to see to believe. Boomtown is interesting, but it's just a ruined area of the city. There is visible damage everywhere. Faultline was actually destroyed by an earthquake, and words can't describe it very well. There are large rifts in the ground, very deep down. The buildings and ground are often sunken or twisted or leaning, showing the damage well.
There are loads of instanced indoor missions available only to you and your team in addition to the outdoor areas. There are story arcs where you participate in the game's story and complete arcs several missions long. If you team up with several people, you can even start a "Task Force", which is a connected series of missions that culminates in a battle with an Archvillain.
All this, and free updates every 4 months or so that constitute an entire expansion pack. For instance, right now they're bringing in an Arena where Heroes can fight eachother if they so choose. The same update (called Issue 4, in keeping with the "comic book" theme, it's the 4th major expansion) brings a number of new costume options, power alterations in the interest of balance/interest, and more.
Issue 3 brought in an enormous new zone complete with new contacts, mission types, and task forces, two new hero archetypes for players to play (after you've reached level 50 and unlocked them), new costume options.... it was an awesome update.
Issue 2 provided 3-4 entirely new zones to play in with a very sci-fi feel to them, and lots, lots more. It's all good.
The game starts out a little slow and you really don't start getting a feel for your character until level 10-12. There is now actual "loot" as well, once you can participate in the massive end-game raids. The game is incredibly fun, and takes a long time to get to 50. Nevertheless, your 30-minute-to-60-minute play sessions won't make you feel like you can never complete the game since even in the high levels you can still make good progress.