Metascore
72

Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
  1. Champions Online is hands down a breath of fresh air for the MMORPG genre. The game concept is slightly different from the one we are used to seeing in the genre, although only in some details that genre newcomers might not even notice.
  2. Champions Online might not rise to supreme MMO-excellency, but it's a damn good game nonetheless. If you're waiting for DC Universe to come around, the least you can do is go and kill some time with Champions Online.
  3. Champions Online may pose no threat to WoW, but it still is a solid MMORPG. We were quite happy with the action-oriented control system, the mission pack and the overall gameplay structure. The graphics is good too, but you’ll need high specs to really enjoy it.
  4. It's a solid MMO that will serve as a good diversion from WoW, but only time will tell if it has the depth of content necessary to keep people around.
  5. Champions Online currently has some pretty ugly bugs, but hopefully as it goes forward, the rough edges will get smoothed, and it will become the great game it has the potential to be.
  6. Feb 25, 2011
    81
    Champions Online : Free For All is a fantastic F2P option if you've never tried the basic Champions Online.
  7. Entertaining, if somewhat unfinished superhero MMO. Feels a bit like the unholy marriage of City of Heroes and World of Warcraft, liberally borrowing features and gameplay from both and mixes them with a couple of original ideas. Thin on content and in need of a balancing patch or three, but depending on further development, could turn out to be okay in the long run.
  8. If you are the kind of person who enjoys traditional MMO design you will find Champions one of the best to appear on the scene since Azeroth got connected. [Nov 2009, p.62]
  9. Overall Champions Online truly is the next generation hero MMOG. Cyrptic studios took everything they learned from City of Heroes and their obvious love of comic books and superheroes and have delivered a game that allows players to realize their own unique superhero dream.
  10. Champions Online gives the appearance of a vast open-world full of rampaging villains and heroic adventure, and it lives up to this promise on many levels. You'll find much of the fun and mayhem one might expect to encounter in such a place. Yet there are moments when it's hard to shake the linear feeling that gradually creeps into the experience from time to time.
  11. 80
    Champions Online is a fun and accessible MMO that doesn't quite do anything really new, but keeps things enjoyable and dynamic.
  12. Cryptic Studios develops this fast-paced action computer MMO that allow us to create our wannabe hero. The game includes an extremely powerful characters editor which is one of the best experiences in the genre. Champions Online succeeds in creating an impressive heroes MMO.
  13. Champions Online has a fast paced and fun gameplay but lacks in contents, showing the need of a more complex end-game.
  14. 76
    If Cryptic can adjust the balance of the crafting system, find a more meaningful format for PVP and introduce new content and zones that makes story elements more apparent, the prospects for a player to enjoy the game over the long term will be high. Whether you'll really enjoy the game in the meantime depends on how much you like the character creation and combat systems.
  15. Champions Online have potential to be a great MMO, but it should polish and improve its merely likable proposal.
  16. Champions Online is unfortunately not able to give the impression of depth to 360 degrees, and to enthuse those users looking for a real alternative to addiction to games as World of Warcraft or Lineage II. Unlike the novice player who could find in this title a good way to start, knowing that after a few months with their super hero, they could feel the need to try something more complex and satisfying.
  17. Champions Online has something for everyone, so when we get to the bottom line, I'd recommend giving it a try. The problem with having something for everyone is that when you try to make everybody happy, no one really is.
  18. With the customary spit and polish the engine will receive over the next year, Champions Online certainly has the potential to turn into the best superhero MMO out there. For now, that mantle still belongs to City of Heroes, but having played both games throughout beta and release, this is certainly a more daring title in the initial stages.
  19. If you are into playing a purely action based MMORPG then this is one you should look at. But if you are into more traditional MMORPG games, such as World of Warcraft, Everquest 2, Age of Conan, etc. then you should look elsewhere. This feels more like a console action hero game than a standard MMO which is not a bad thing but I cannot say go out and buy it without putting down this one caveat.
  20. Champions Online doesn't inspire the drive to explore or build a community, but it thrives on the spontaneity of twitch-based combat and the thrill of experimenting with new powers.
  21. 75
    At the moment, Champs is a good MMO with the potential to become a great one.
  22. It's quite broken in many ways, but it quickly grows on you, and becomes surprisingly endearing. [Nov 2009, p.82]
  23. Before you take the plunge, ask yourself whether you're looking for a new virtual world to call your second home or whether you just need to cleanse your palate with a bit of streamlined superhero action. If you're in the former group, Champions Online isn't broad or deep enough yet to make it your game of choice. If you're in the latter, you'll get more than your money's worth for the initial retail price, and the month or so that it takes to fully explore its vibrant nooks and crannies.
  24. 72
    A solid MMORPG which needs another year to get to its full potential. That’s how you could describe Champions Online. It’s definitely worth a shot if you’re looking for a change from the traditional games. The elaborate character creator and the comic setting make it hard not to love the game. Content-wise, especially in the long run, the game isn’t quite there yet. Only fourty levels and five large areas mean that there’s not a whole lot to see. One might want to wait for content updates before diving into the adventure. At the moment it’s merely a snack, waiting to become a huge hit in the long run.
  25. Great atmosphere, a great settings, heroes and villains built by the players - and still it's not enough for a great game. Most of the quests are too easy, usually it's no problem to fight opponents up to four levels above your own characters, so there's no need to group with other players. So why play an online game?
  26. Apr 14, 2011
    70
    Free-to-play limits player choice and hurts the game's longevity, but Champions remains a pretty, if passable MMO.
  27. City of Heroes evolved into a new kind. Comic-book fans who overcome the chaotic preamble will be rewarded by public quest lines, strong PVP potential and truly exotic adventures. [Nov 2009]
  28. It's without question the best superhero simulator so far out there, but it lacks some in presentation and probably won't attract mainstream gamers at all.
  29. Frontloads truly excellent stuff, then has a snooze shortly afterwards, becoming formulaic and lacking quests. [Dec 2009, p.88]
  30. 70
    Champions Online holds a lot of promise and is the type of game that brings a smile to your face as you play despite its flaws, but it does still need some work.
  31. Incidentally, if they bring this game out for the Xbox 360 like they keep saying they want to, it'll probably be amazing. So I'll see you on there… in two years. Good-day!
  32. A nice approach to the MMORPG genre, but the game needs a patch to solve the early problems regarding the growth of the characters.
  33. Overall, Champions is actually pretty good – I don't think I'll be abandoning City of Heroes for it, but it has some qualities worth mentioning. It shines most when you're dealing with your nemesis or when you're in the exemplary character creator; but outside of those shining moments, the overall game is very much just another MMO.
  34. As it stands, Champions Online is not meant for the elitist MMO player, who craves for a lot of sudden changes of situation and coherent universes, but rather for your everyday consumer, who can escape work in the gross quantity of perks (read Achievements), in the mini-series heroes (read Vanity Pets) and in the overall lack of sense. And that, of course, only if their personal computer can handle it. And only if the producers will put a lot of effort into keeping up with the (still) growing community.
  35. Lacks a coherent structure. [Dec 2009, p.68]
  36. Technically rough (it doesn't run smoothly, in terms of graphics or lag) with lumpy character progression, shallow combat, a narrow world and thinly-stretched - albeit entertaining - content, Champions Online is off to a scrappy and threadbare start. As it stands, it's hard to recommend. But it's not hard to like - for the customisation, and for offering a genuinely different flavour in MMOs: a bit of poppy, disposable bubblegum in a world of nutritious gruel.
  37. Champions Online has a unique vibe to it. Everything is customizable so you can make the superhero you always dreamed of being. Unfortunately there are not many options to work together with other players.
  38. Champions Online contains some new elements for the MMO genre such as the massive amount of freedom during the character creation and the game is more action oriented than many other MMO's. But it isn't enough to reach the top of the MMO scene and with irritating bugs, rough graphic and an ordinary structure the game will only gather a small amount of players.
  39. Unfortunately nothing more than an ordinary MMO that quickly fall into oblivion if nothing is done to counter this situation. It is interesting as a novelty.
  40. 40
    Champions Online too often feels like a professionally assembled Second Life module, where character creation is king and the thrill of being superhuman wears thin once you realize that everything else just feels off. Whether or not future patches can set some of the more glaring flaws right is anybody's guess.
User Score
6.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 239 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 91
  2. Negative: 31 out of 91
  1. Sep 2, 2012
    10
    Champions Online is now three years old and the developers have worked tirelessly to improve game play, include new content and resolve the bugs which were abundant on the initial release. Perfect World bought this game and Star Trek Online from Atari for over $50 million dollars and the new content is coming in at least twice a week. Taken at face value with all the included changes, its the most diverse, hero customizable, and tight community you would want to be a part of! It's now free-to-play, they still offer lifetime memberships as well as monthly accounts for extra perks. Graphics are great and support DirectX 11 -- posted tweaks on Steam to make them even better. The game play is fast and action oriented, the new alert system puts you in the action instantly, the characters are customizable with character points in addition to powers, you can create your own nemesis which appears in the world. It's worth travelling back to Millennium City to see the improvements -- for free! Full Review »
  2. Aug 31, 2011
    5
    If you are familiar with the RP version of Champions then you're likely to be seriously disappointed with the character generation in this video game version as none of it has be preserved, sadly. Full Review »
  3. May 4, 2012
    1
    I feel I should qualify this review. I am a lifetime subscriber to CO. Had you asked me to review the game prior to the On Alert update, I couldn't've recommended it enough.

    But the On Alert update has come and gone since then, and there's no sugarcoating it: it is terrible.

    Where before you had a game in the vein of City of Heroes ( no surprise there, Cryptic developed CoH as well before moving on to the Champions IP ) which was full of flavour, interesting stories and characters, it's all been either clawed back, removed entirely, or rewritten into something bland, samey, and uninteresting.

    So what changed in On Alert?

    Before, when you started the game, you had a lot of story options as to how to progress in the game, because there were two hubs you could participate in: the "Millenium City" missions in its gang-themed "Westside" - sort of a much wackier Batman area - or the more "realistic" stuff in Canada whose beginning game content centers around the occult release of a powerful spirit (and then perplexingly has you fighting terrorists after this crisis arc with no given way that the two arcs tie together)

    Now you can't touch Canada's missions at all until you're level 15 (of 40). You have a good several hours worth of grind in West Side (or the Alerts) at the beginning of the game, and even at that, a lot of the content in West Side has been cut down or otherwise trimmed down.

    Speaking of things that were trimmed down in the On Alert update, the crafting system is no more. Where before you had a system that had a lot of wacky, zany, and generally-interesting items each with a little bit of flavour text usually pertaining to the game world, now every item in the world follows the same template. No, you didn't misread, every item in the world uses the same sterile six templates. It gets very old very fast and both greatly reduces immersion in the game world and the sense of reward you get from these items.

    Where before the grind was passable because it was guised with interesting stories with often interesting bad guys, they have all been watered down lately. The series' front page supervillain Doctor Destroyer, for example, gets sidelined by the games other - usually much less interesting - bad guys. Without spoiling anything - the two main 'end game' confrontations don't even give him a nod.

    The Alerts are the focus of the update of course, it being named On Alert and all ... and they are a mess. Some of them are fine if extremely repetitive - but others are balanced about as well as plate on a stick in the middle of an earthquake in a windstorm, which is to say, not very much. To give one example, some of the alerts have you fighting series whipping-boy "Kevin Poe" - who is now anything but a whipping boy. Even with a high damage team, you're going to struggle to even put a dent in him by the time the two minutes you're given are up, because he has a classic example of the Computer Cheating: he has a power called Personal Force Field, which in the PC iteration is a little annoying but not overpowered, but because of how ridiculously Cryptic amps up the Supervillain stats and such to present a challenge since their AI is so terrible, there is almost no way you're going to take down that superviallins shield in the given time, let alone his health. Don't get me started on Draconis, who combines this shield with powerful crowd control abilities, which are also amped up.

    Even if the game was otherwise perfect, this removing of the game's story and flavour has effectively ruined it for me. But it's also bugged to tomorrow and back with the update. Bad guys constantly clip out of the level geometry during alerts, preventing you from succeeding during them. And also in the old content, such as the Demonflame adventure pack - again preventing you from succeeding in it. The game constantly drops my keybindings. The game will often wait until after you're dead to apply healing items - consuming the item but doing you no good, being dead and all. The voiceovers added by the review, when they added the update are terrible - but only when they work, which isn't often.

    On Alert is a mess. Don't get this game. Don't support it with c-store purchases, which will be made a waste of money by them being made available freely in the game anyways (the 90s superhero set for example was available in the c-store for 320 cryptic points, and is now freely available in game). Don't support it with subscriptions, which they won't respect anyways. Wait until they fix it - but don't hold your breath.
    Full Review »