Champions Online Review
Champions Online box art
System: X360, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Cryptic Studios 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Atari 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sep. 1, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: MMO 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

There are some other larger bosses to tackle, but the bulk of your adversaries come in the form of swarms of well-designed but largely forgettable henchmen and slightly stronger goons. Get bored of that, and you can eventually battle other players in the unlockable PvP arenas. Additionally, teaming-up with groups of other heroes to complete special missions and defeat tougher opponents can be fun. However, Champions Online in its present form doesn't seem to do much to encourage and reward players for lasting teamwork. A robust set of networking options are there, though it's just as easy to overlook them and plow through on your own.

Champions Online screenshot

Experience and items gained from slaughtering regular opponents is limited, which is why you'll want to take on as many quests as you can handle. While they're varied in terms of thematic scope, most missions fall under the pretty standard categories of killing something, fetching something, or talking to someone. Despite this, there's a ton of them to tackle, and every experience level you gain and new power you're able to buy as a result of frequent and relatively enjoyable grinding feels rewarding. Continuing to build you hero, growing stronger, and amassing wilder powers throughout the game is a big draw.

In keeping with the genre's comic book roots, Champions' cel-shaded cartoonish visuals are considerably impressive. The chaos that greets you in Millennium City at the start of the game sets a grand tone that carries through each of the areas you'll explore. Moving onward into the desert and beyond, you'll find some solid variety in the environments. As sexy as the different areas you'll encounter are, it's the complexity and expansive character design options available that really bring the game to life. Other heroes of all shapes and sizes are continually running around going about their business around you, and the bizarre spandex parade provides some highly entertaining sights to behold.


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. From our time immersed in this comic book realm, we can heartily recommend giving it a shot. There's no doubt MMO enthusiasts and superhero fans alike will enjoy their time here. It will be interesting to see what Cryptic Studios rolls out in the months ahead to expand the fantasy and hold players' interest.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Staff Contributor

It's like diving into a comic book universe. Marvelous cel-shaded artwork.
There are a lot of powers, attacks, items, and other things to juggle, but it's not overly challenging.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Heroic voice work enhances the overall sound and environment.
Play Value
There's room for improvement, but there's much fun to be had adventuring and thwarting villains throughout the realm.
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Hi-octane excitement: Champions Online delivers furious, fast-paced encounters previously reserved for action and fighting games. No more boring auto attacks and lengthy recharge times. Champions Online's combat is instantaneous and electrifying!
  • Brains required: Every enemy and super-powered threat in Champions Online has its own unique abilities and combat specialties. Use your head or wind up dead!
  • Bring friends, make friends: The Champions Online universe will be jam-packed with thousands of heroes, facing thousands of threats. Join up with other heroes, create your own superteam, and prepare to take on the ultimate threats!
  • Total customization, at your fingertips: Choose from hundreds of different costume pieces, colors, and body types to create your character's one-of-a-kind costume and look. There are billions of possible combinations, and in a universe brimming with the fantastic and the unforgettable, you can still be completely unique!
  • Your powers, on your terms: There are a multitude of astonishing powers to choose from in Champions Online, and its flexible character creation system gives you total control over your hero's abilities. You can even pick the appearance of your powers. Do you want purple force fields? Green fire blasts? Jet-black claws? In Champions Online, you decide!
  • Keep your enemies close: Every hero must have an archenemy. In Champions Online, you design your character's supreme adversary, choosing a name, powers, and costume for a superpowered foe to bedevil your hero throughout his or her career.
  • Endless exploration: The battle against evil in Champions Online rages across the world, into outer space, and alternate dimensions. No other MMOG offers players the chance to explore such diverse realms.
  • Evil most foul: Battle supervillains, aliens, giant monsters, and secret, sinister organizations. Doctor Destroyer is launching new plans to conquer the world. VIPER lurks in the shadows, seeking chances to strike at humanity. The ancient Lemurians are plotting a return to power. And Mechanon won't stop until it has wiped all organic life from the planet. Can you stop these heinous threats to humanity?
  • Make your mark: The story of Champions Online is constantly changing, continually evolving. Villains are defeated. Heroes rise and fall. Cities transform. Your actions may decide the future!

  • Screenshots / Images
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