Champions Online – hands-on

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s…  some character you created in a videogame. And that’s all you need to do to get started in the upcoming massively multiplayer, cel-shaded superhero RPG Champions Online, which we played last week during a visit to developer Cryptic Studios. Based on the pen-and-paper game Champions, Champions Online takes place in the established Champions universe, including the game’s iconic Millennium City, with classic Champions heroes and villains appearing as NPCs in its main story (written by Marvel writer John Layman). 


The centerpiece of any superhero MMO is character creation, and Champions offers up enough options to keep us tweaking our heroes for hours. You can pick a powerset built around a theme, like fire, lightning or martial arts. You’ll also have a lot of control over your hero’s look, of course, and will be able to tweak body size, height, weight, and facial features, choose from hundreds of costume options and even go as far as to tweak individual pieces of armor.

Rather than tie players down to any particular “class,” Champions will enable you to mold your character however you like. For instance, if you want to create a tank-type character, you don’t have to limit yourself to only heavy attacks. The game also never forces a “look” on a player unless it’s part of the story, like having to use a disguise for a specific mission or use a certain weapon to defeat a boss. If you decide you want your character to have a broadsword for your visual look, but want the stats from a katana, those stats can be transferred to your broadsword.

When it’s finished, Champions will boast more than 900 missions and five different main zones, which will be huge and have their own unique characteristics. For example, we were shown a desert zone that had its own wasteland, a prison and an abandoned amusement park. Another zone, Lemuria, is 98 percent underwater, where some of your travel powers don’t work and you now have to worry about combat above and below you.


  • Revanofsith - May 13, 2009 11:36 p.m.

    Looks pretty good, but my computer would never be able to handle it.
  • erreip199 - May 14, 2009 12:12 a.m.

    i my spider sense tells me a lot of spiderman/ wolverine clones are coming to save the city
  • Joe_F_Ugly - May 14, 2009 2:35 a.m.

    nah....people wouldn't do that.
  • JohnnyMaverik - May 14, 2009 10:08 a.m.

    clone* There again I doubt ill actually get this game anyway =/ mmorpg's r blah and probably will be for a few years to come, when the gameplay is fun, quests inventive and interesting, and bkack-story's/storylines better, mmorpgs will be amazing, but for now clickandkill gameplay, crappy "go fetch xitem+xnumber, go kill xcreature-xtimes" quests and absolutely no storyline and hardly any backstory until level *enter relativly high level i cant be bothered to reach cuz it would involved weeks of crappy gameplay and hundreds of crapp quests here* plus having to pay a montly fee for just thatturns me off... in fact more than that, it makes me feel like killing ten cats, ripping their tails off, and sticking it up the dev's arses... but i love cats too much so i wont -_- When the gameplay is fun, quests interesting and blackstory and storyline actually done, then ill pay ur 15 bucks a month. Having said that if this game has all those things (the things i want not the things i hate), then im getting it no questions asked 15 bucks a month gladly given.
  • NelosAngelos - May 15, 2009 12:44 a.m.

    Never played city of heroes or villains. But this looks pretty cool. And you can actually swap stats from one item to the one you currently have to maintain your look, that's pretty awesome now that I think about it. I wonder if you're able to choose between villains and heroes, or if it's just one of those games where you just go off and do whatever you want, and people view you a certain way.
  • cdell - May 15, 2009 6:22 p.m.

    My PC wuld be killed by it but im definately looking towards the 360 version
  • Hurricrane - May 15, 2009 11:23 p.m.

    god i wanna play this. cryptic is the best MMO dev out there (no i dont like WoW)
  • vitoruss - May 16, 2009 4:13 p.m.

    We already had City of Heroes and City of Villains. They were great. They got boring after a while. Do we really need to do the dance again?
  • Captain-Gorbster - May 18, 2009 6:29 a.m.

    I think i might look into this when it comes out for 360, but the "no official release date" doesn't sound extremely promising. If it does make it, i'll definitely give it a chance. ReCAPTCHA: moods Syracuse ?
  • IslanderSwagg - May 28, 2009 1:54 p.m.

    This is gonna be pay per month just like Final Fantasy Online, also on Xbox 360. I still cant wait for this tho, Im gonna own all of you even if I have to pay!
  • iHideAndSeek - July 5, 2009 9:40 p.m.

    This will easily chop hours out of my day.... It looks pretty good not a fan of the character appearences but then again i havn't found great character customization in a long time this should at least be fun to play can't wait!
  • JohnnyMaverik - May 14, 2009 7:18 a.m.

    Nah... but im hell bent on making an asthetic Gambit glone is i vere get my hands on this, maybe a little more emo with dark magical powers... sexy :D
  • JohnnyMaverik - May 14, 2009 10:10 a.m.

    "but im hell bent on making an asthetic Gambit glone is i vere get my hands on this" Wait what O.o Ignore that... makes no sense and I cant remember what it was i was actually trying to say. Damn insomnia -_- leaves me spouting twice as much crap as usual.
  • kaiben - May 14, 2009 5:09 p.m.

    i'm really looking forward to playing this, especially because of the customizability of the characters
  • iluvmyDS - May 14, 2009 6:27 p.m.

    It seems interesting enough, I never really played anything like it, unless all mmos are the same. Is this the one that was supposed to go to consoles and then the idea got canned? captcha: wadding smoke-filled
  • GoldenMe - May 15, 2009 3:05 a.m.

    I really hope I can make my character based on wind.... What? It's just something I hope for.
  • monojono - May 15, 2009 5:08 p.m.

    @iluvmyds: Apparently its still coming to xbox 360.
  • TheRedAtlasProject - May 18, 2009 7:02 p.m.

    sorry to be a downer guys, but i think i remember Gamespot saying in one of there previews (or talks with the creators i dont remember" that Champions Online might be one of those "Pay Per Month" games like WoW. Even the people on Xbox will have to pay the monthly fee. Dont quote me on this but i do recall some hints of it being a ppm. If its not, then i must have it...
  • skiller - July 12, 2009 9:51 p.m.

    its the same thing as city of heroes!!!!!!!!!!!!

Showing 1-19 of 19 comments

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