• Publisher: Atari
  • Release Date: Sep 1, 2009
User Score
6.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 245 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 82 out of 245

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  1. Jun 24, 2011
    6
    While I tried to like this game, I couldn't. I played Champions back in the day and was in Beta for a long time and as the game cleaned itself up during beta I just was disappointed. I had been playing City of Heroes since Beta so I was looking for a different take. But though there were a few nice aspects that COH didn't have (certain costume customization options, object destruction) it just couldn't compare to City of Heroes (and I mean in its original state, not the current game which is vastly improved and expanded. The comic book coloring it neat at first (reminding me of XIII), but soon becomes tiresome. Expand
  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.
  3. 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! Expand
  4. Apr 27, 2011
    10
    There is always room for more improvement in this game but as it is I give it at least 10 out of 10. The graphics don't kill your eyes, the missions are fun, getting a group together is fun and the power customization is good. That being said it needs things like player hideouts, earlier introduction of a nemesis, more customization options(You have enough when people complain about there being too much). Expand
  5. Jul 10, 2011
    6
    PvE vs PvP

    First and foremost, I do like to take part in both PvE and PvP elements in any given game. I find that this game is a decent cross between World of Warcraft (vanilla or Burning crusade wow, not wrath or cata) and CoH/CoV. The Bad: There are issues where I am getting killed in two hits on a single map, and it only gets worse the higher you level. Healers are far too overpowered
    and will not die nor will their team die in pvp. Problem is, there is only 1 healer in any given match on 1 team, not any others.

    The teleport power is by far the only power to use if you want to go into pvp as it makes you untargetable for quite a while and allows you to zip around the map and avoid death. A healer with teleport is basically an unstoppable win. You cant get a single kill in the game at that point.

    The zombie game mode is ok but the problem is, it counts towards your win/loss and I have yet to see a win. This is a massive design flaw.

    There is also a bug where if you are the last to die in a PvP match you end up dying in the game world. This causes star loss which cuts your DPS and healing ability down quite a bit.

    The customer service is basically nothing, it makes EA and Blizzard customer service look decent. They will send you a randomly generated response without reading a single thing.

    There are also random lag spikes (yes, it means ping) which causes pings to go above 2k. Problem is at 2k ping when you are already in combat, you die.

    The good: The game can run on almost any computer (mine is not too bad, I can run any game released today) but it is beneficial if you have a friend or family member who has a bad comp. But this also means it gets rated down on the graphics end (1 point off the total score honestly in this review).

    The game play and controls are fluid as well, the missions are repetitive but they throw in lots of unique NPC types to keep you entertained. The adventure packs are also decent, but only if you want to spend money on the game itself.

    Also the character customization is possibly one of the best in any mmo you will find, I think it has slightly more customization options than perfect world and that game is insane for it.

    Bottom line: It is a decent game, tons of character creation options, decent game play which keeps you entertained in many ways, but extremely broken PvP which the dev's refuse to fix. If you like PvE give the game a shot, if you like PvP you will be yanking your hair out at some of the stupid situations the dev's put in the game which are completely unavoidable if you refuse to not play PvP

    Graphics: 4 out of 10
    Sound: 3 out of 10
    Gameplay: 6 out of 10 (due to pvp being BROKEN)
    Longevity: 8 out of 10
    Controls: 9 out of 10
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  6. Jun 20, 2011
    2
    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.
  7. Jul 8, 2011
    2
    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
  8. 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.
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  9. May 19, 2014
    4
    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.
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  10. Sep 4, 2010
    3
    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........
  11. Oct 21, 2010
    10
    I've been playing Champion Online since launch and while it may have started of a bit on the weak side but over the last year its went from strength to strength. During the last year there has been many changes made to champions with to major balance passes carried out on powers one on melee based powers that greatly improved how melee based characters perform and another on pets which again has greatly improved there use and made them into viable power selections. with both these passes the developers have showing a willingness to listen to the player base beyond anything I've seen in any other game even going so far as to delay the pet specific parts of a patch so that they could do further work on the pet powers based on feedback they had received on the public test server.

    This same willingness to listen and delay releases also extends to content where they delayed the latest adventure pack daemon flame so that they could further polish it based on feedback they had received from the previous adventure pack serpents lantern.

    Of course where Champions really shines is the character creation and open power selection which allows a great deal of freedom in your characters creation. Best of all costume unlocks are now global so if you get a costume part on a character that would doesn't soot them but would look really great on one of your other characters its no problem to load that character up head to the tailor and select that cool new costume part .

    All in all champions Online is well worth picking up and giving it a try best of all the box can now be picked up for a low price and you get a full month of play time included.
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  12. Nov 18, 2014
    0
    I played Champions RPG in high school and was really looking forward to this game. The PnP version was one of my favorite RPG's ever so when I got a chance to join in I was ready to sell every thing I owned just to get involved in the development of the game.

    I happened to get in on the Alpha and thought things were looking really awesome for the game. I had played City of Heroes from
    beta to close also and thought things were going to be different. When the beta was done I convinced seven of my friends from CoH to join CO, which we all bought the lifetime membership.

    We played it for a few months and as nerf after nerf came about we all started to fade from playing. They had completely ruined a good game and it never came to be as good as CoH. In fact, it wasn't even half as good as CoH, even with all the problems CoH had until the end.

    CO became a kiddie game. It was a game where people worried about getting a special set of wings or a special aura and maybe a rare vanity pet (which did nothing to help you in battle).

    The monetary system never worked and was actually better in the beginning but now was absolutely worthless. Crafting was ridiculous and ended up being worse the WoW leaving you to kill thousands of one mob just to get enough of one drop to make an item which was actually worthless.

    The game play itself went down hill and powers became weaker, convoluted and misplaced. It no longer felt like being a hero but more like a store mannequin, with how good did you look today? They threw in vehicles and other crap which just brought the game down more.

    The worst MMORPG I've ever played.
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  13. Jul 13, 2012
    2
    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
  14. Jul 21, 2011
    7
    The graphics are fun and look comic-like as they should, There's lots of powers and they're quite fun to play with too. All the classes seem pretty balanced. There is a tonne of character customization, so you can usually get your hero to look exactly how you want them to look, so it's got the best character customization I've seen in a game before.But the game can't stand up on just character customization alone, because that's just visual, I haven't gotten to a very high level, but I've been told that later on, most missions require a team to do, which makes it harder for players who mostly solo like myself. Since it's free on Steam I'd recommend you give it a try, maybe you'll like it, maybe you won't, but you haven't lost anything in trying it for yourself. For a game that's free it,s good, it might even be great, but it's not the kind of game I'd be glad I payed for. Expand
  15. Jul 26, 2011
    6
    Champions online was in the beginning great, but from time to time I became a little bored. The character customization is great, I loved it that you had so many options to choose from, aswell as the archetypes and freeform. However, the quests in it are mostly the same, plus the leveling takes a lot of time. I'm normally not a fan of fast leveling, but I really urged to get to the next level, and it felt like I was spending an eternity. All of those bad things aside, I think Champions Online to be a great game, but it just needs to work on its gameplay. I admit however, that the pvp and the pve are great. It's just the quests that bother me. Conclusion: Champions online is a good game, but it has a few issues. I, however, still recommend it to people who like to play a hero based MMO. Expand
  16. Jul 31, 2011
    4
    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
  17. Aug 6, 2011
    6
    This game is one of the best MMORPGs i have played with a great character creator but it lacks a story and i help but notice all missions are very simular
  18. Sep 20, 2011
    8
    Straight 8 ! The best Steam Free RPG !
    Fails in the community system since MMORPG must have community systems like nice friend lists, party's, groups, clans, factions and stuff like that, and Champions Online is missing that, but what can we as for ? It's free !
  19. Oct 17, 2012
    2
    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
  20. Apr 22, 2012
    6
    Always wanted to be a superhero and fight the villains ?
    Want to feel the power or fly around ?
    Then this is the game for you, there's not much to say about it, only thing to say is try it.
  21. Oct 11, 2013
    8
    My very first MMORPG, the first sight was neutral. But I see the developer work intensivly for the game, and the game is 4 years old.
    I like the mass of outfits and cloth so you can have a hero you ever dream for.
    The game is very good for me. I play it every week for some hours.
    The only negativ fact is the sound. The sound and music seems to me very strange. Okay 8now
  22. Apr 24, 2013
    7
    Its a fun game for people whit friends it really gives you the feeling to be a super hero but it has alot of grind but Criptic is adding alot of stuff so you can try it out if you want its pretty fun.
  23. Sep 25, 2013
    7
    This game is pretty fun. It does grab a hold of you, but if you have some time to kill, and have grown tired of what your playing now, its worth a go.
  24. Oct 18, 2014
    0
    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.
  25. Jun 24, 2014
    7
    The main advantage of this game is that you are a super hero. The very cartoony style of this game is what makes it special, and considering it's free to play, let's not be picky.

    Hours of fun with friends, lots of missions too, and you can without any problem enjoy yourself without spending money on it. The different ways of travelling are a nice detail (flying, running, jumping..),
    and the customization of your character is well developed.

    It is indeed highly suggested to not invest money in this, as you can't do a lot more once you've bought it. More slots, a nicer cape, and some special quests, that's all. The cap level at 40 is pretty low, you get bored pretty fast after that.

    Conclusion : It's free and fun, have a go !
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  26. Jul 10, 2011
    0
    PvE vs PvP

    First and foremost, I do like to take part in both PvE and PvP elements in any given game. I find that this game is a decent cross between World of Warcraft (vanilla or Burning crusade wow, not wrath or cata) and CoH/CoV. The Bad: There are issues where I am getting killed in two hits on a single map, and it only gets worse the higher you level. Healers are far too overpowered
    and will not die nor will their team die in pvp. Problem is, there is only 1 healer in any given match on 1 team, not any others.

    The teleport power is by far the only power to use if you want to go into pvp as it makes you untargetable for quite a while and allows you to zip around the map and avoid death. A healer with teleport is basically an unstoppable win. You cant get a single kill in the game at that point.

    The zombie game mode is ok but the problem is, it counts towards your win/loss and I have yet to see a win. This is a massive design flaw.

    There is also a bug where if you are the last to die in a PvP match you end up dying in the game world. This causes star loss which cuts your DPS and healing ability down quite a bit.

    The customer service is basically nothing, it makes EA and Blizzard customer service look decent. They will send you a randomly generated response without reading a single thing.

    There are also random lag spikes (yes, it means ping) which causes pings to go above 2k. Problem is at 2k ping when you are already in combat, you die.

    The good: The game can run on almost any computer (mine is not too bad, I can run any game released today) but it is beneficial if you have a friend or family member who has a bad comp. But this also means it gets rated down on the graphics end (1 point off the total score honestly in this review).

    The game play and controls are fluid as well, the missions are repetitive but they throw in lots of unique NPC types to keep you entertained. The adventure packs are also decent, but only if you want to spend money on the game itself.

    Also the character customization is possibly one of the best in any mmo you will find, I think it has slightly more customization options than perfect world and that game is insane for it.

    Bottom line: It is a decent game, tons of character creation options, decent game play which keeps you entertained in many ways, but extremely broken PvP which the dev's refuse to fix. If you like PvE give the game a shot, if you like PvP you will be yanking your hair out at some of the stupid situations the dev's put in the game which are completely unavoidable if you refuse to not play PvP

    Graphics: 4 out of 10
    Sound: 3 out of 10
    Gameplay: 6 out of 10 (due to pvp being BROKEN)
    Longevity: 8 out of 10
    Controls: 9 out of 10
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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. Apr 14, 2011
    70
    Free-to-play limits player choice and hurts the game's longevity, but Champions remains a pretty, if passable MMO.
  2. Feb 25, 2011
    81
    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.