• Publisher: Atari
  • Release Date: Sep 1, 2009
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 244 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 81 out of 244

Review this game

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Jun 20, 2011
    Poor graphics, poor playability, irritating combat gameplay even for an rpg, the initial tutorial was enough for me to delete the game from my Steam library, worst rpg I have played in while.
  2. Jul 8, 2011
    I do not like this game, I don't know what it is that I mostly dislike, The visuals are terrible, and the story just gets boring very very quickly. Derp. Expand
  3. May 4, 2012
    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.
  4. May 19, 2014
    This game is in every way shape and form a step back from a game that already came out 10 years ago - City of Heroes. Why they decided to continue Champions Online and completely shut down CoH completely baffles me, I guess the microtransaction model was already in place for Champions so it seemed more profitable. Regardless, I've lost all respect for the company for selling out like that.

    Basically the game is your standard free to play microtransaction bullcrap that plagues the market today. Some of the ploys they use to get money are laughable. For instance, when you build your first character, there will be items included in things such as a Halloween pack and a dryad pack that allow you to select them without having an indicator by their name that you have to purchase them (even though there are other items that are selectable such as Ancient Armor cosmetics, which clearly state they must be purchased) - so basically it tricks you into thinking those items are selectable and available for your character, then once you are done finishing your character it pops up a dialogue saying you have items that must be purchased otherwise they will not show in game, because it turns out (shock) that you have to pay for things like the halloween pack and dryad pack... what an absolutely scummy way of trying to trick users into paying. On top of that the character creation is just a huge step down from CoH, half the items when you put in certain combos and certain scalings (common ones I might add) have awful looking graphical glitches like a shoulder pad having your shoulder pop right through it and show visibly from the outside. On top of that, when you get into the actual game, it's cell shaded (even though the character creation screen WAS NOT) and you basically get a character that doesn't even look like what you created.

    In general the cel shaded graphics look like ass, and it is also a huge step backward from the already gorgeous game with 10 year old graphics - CoH.

    There are also less than half the choices for unique and cool skill sets that CoH had, which is ridiculous. The only melee classes are weapon classes, so forget the cool things such as claws and spikes.

    Combat is awful, and leveling up is dumbed down, basically they made this game for people that don't want to worry about building a character rpg style, and just want to play some mindless arcade-like game.

    The game has half the character and passion the original game had, it's really sad to see this is what is left of the once glorious CoH.

    If you want to play a free-to-play mmo with superheros (or any mmo with superheros for that matter) the DC Online game is the only way to go. It's not perfect, but it's better in every way shape and form than this lackluster game "Champions Online" is.

    Don't waste your time with this game, it's trash.
  5. Sep 4, 2010
    What pisses me off is what your paying for.
    19$ for the game + 16$ a month.....THEN more money for the C store for more items/costumes.... the c store should be currency you earn from in-game.... not real money... its just a cheap way to gouge players even more...

    with a monthly fee everything else should be free........
  6. Jul 13, 2012
    Hard to tell any good thing about this game, maybe the graphics witch looks like than a comic strip style. The sounds are horrible and the quests are very booring. Not really have players. The Non-playable characters movement are abnormal. The cars are scripted and just driving round and round in the city. I found an invisible wall in the city and i couldn't move to the another place of it. I think not really need invisible wall any MMORPG games. And this game have an absulutely horrible controlling. If you like the super heroes i think you try the DC Universe Online that game much better and skip the Chapions Online. Expand
  7. Jul 31, 2011
    Not the best MMO i have played but it was average and needs alot of improvements. My main concern is the camera angles they just didn't work especially the MMO camera setting, the only one with a half descent camera setting was the Fantasy one, but even with that setting it was still hard to control. It does have MMO/RPG elements but was not as good as other Cryptic games like Star Trek Online even with its repetitiveness. Another problem was that it took long amounts of time to load and I have high quality internet and very good PC yet it still took long to load. If the game had better camera angle settings and quicker loading times it may be a better game. Expand
  8. Oct 17, 2012
    17OCT2012 - I've played this game since it first came out. When the game was purchased by Perfect World Entertainment, it really started to go down hill. They didn't really make anything new. They mostly locked off everything and tried to sell us back what we originally already had. Forced character deletions, repurchasing powers and costumes we already owned, and an ever restricting character creation for new accounts. New accounts are left with barely 10% of the costume options they once used to have and its still shrinking. I understand the model behind Free-2-Play, but this is just overkill and the customers suffer. I hate to say it, but let this turd die to teach them a lesson. Expand
  9. Oct 18, 2014
    Gripe 1) Some of choices are so damn squishy you almost have spend just for them to survive 2) While not technically a p2w it might as well be considering the lack of drops, which does put a soloer at great disadvantage. This game is not for someone who prefers to solo, If you like these types of games then look at Marvel Heroes 2015. 3) Maps are hideous they don't even show NPC sellers.

Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
  1. Apr 14, 2011
    Free-to-play limits player choice and hurts the game's longevity, but Champions remains a pretty, if passable MMO.
  2. Feb 25, 2011
    Champions Online : Free For All is a fantastic F2P option if you've never tried the basic Champions Online.
  3. 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.