Champions Online swoops onto PCs July 14

Atari and Cryptic Studios' superhero-themed MMOG launching for desktops in North America, Europe this summer; Xbox 360 edition remains TBD.

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In early February 2008, Cryptic Studios was dealt a significant blow by Microsoft, after the publisher opted to cancel the City of Heroes developer's massively multiplayer online game based in the Marvel Comics universe. However, Cryptic recovered faster than Wolverine from a paper cut, announcing not a week later that it would proceed with its superhero-themed MMOG under the new moniker Champions Online, a property based on Hero Games' pen-and-paper role-playing series first published in 1981.

Not quite Galactus, but it'll do.

With the game only announced 14 months ago, Cryptic and parent company Atari today confirmed that Champions Online will launch for the PC in North America and Europe on July 14. An Xbox 360 edition of the game, which was announced prior to Champions Online being dropped by Take-Two and picked up by Atari, is also planned for release. However, no mention of that version was made as part of today's announcement, and Cryptic had not responded to requests for comment as of press time.

Designed heavily around player choice, Champions Online features myriad character customization options, ranging from body structure to costumes to superpowers. GameSpot recently sat down with Cryptic for an extensive look at the superhero-themed MMOG, covering topics ranging from players' custom archvillains to the various superpowers.

For more information, check out the rest of GameSpot's previous coverage of Champions Online.

Discussion

86 comments
sircyrus
sircyrus

I thought Champions Online was similar to CoH/CoV, in that there was no equipment to stress over. The carrot-on-a-stick gameplay of WoW or similar games wasn't the same as City of Heroes. There was an element of it for sure, but that is found in every game. Assassin's Creed - more health, better attacks and combos, new weapons etc. Fallout 3 - more skills, stronger attacks, better equipment, better enemies. Super Mario Bros - tougher levels, tougher enemies. Games are always having players working towards a goal and giving them small rewards along the way. If they didn't, no one would play any of them.

IgotEpixx
IgotEpixx

Meh, call me when Nemesis Online comes out, CoV was always more fun.

shade1978x
shade1978x

@evildead Nice try, but no. My "whole review of the beta" is with a perfect degree of merit. My review was my opinion and I stand by it. You may be a big fan of MMOs, that's YOUR opinion, and you're certainly entitled to it, but I certainly don't share the opinion that Champions is a worthwhile gaming endeavor. How do I know? Easy. I PLAYED IT. Didn't like it. MMO gamers have to legitimize spend $60 on a game, then a $15 per month subscription so they rearrange their entire lives around playing a video game and fight angrily to defend that hobby. That's childish and absurd. Put it this way: IF you're an MMO gamer and you derive pleasure out of getting the digital food pellet in the form of "leet gear" or "loot" or whatever they call it, you'll probably love CO. Personally, I always get value out of my games and will play them sporadically weeks and months after completing them. I still play Fallout 3 a few times a week just for fun. I don't HAVE TO to validate paying a subscription for it. I play it because it's fun. So, to summarize: If you're an MMO gamer and you're used to the established leveling structure of spending hours and hours and hours just to get a piece of armor or a trinket or something, then CO is the type of carrot you can tie to your forehead and chasing while running on a treadmill.

evildead7
evildead7

@shade1978x Your whole review of the beta is without merit since time and time again you state your contempt of MMO's. Go ahead and play Batman: Arkham Asylum, spend over $60 to get it, beat the game in a week and then go look for the next game because there is nothing left to the game after you beat it. That sounds like a bigger waste of money then spending $15 dollars a month to play an MMO. I get way more entertainment value out of my dollar with an MMO than a game like Batman.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

and they made this an MMO because..........? Come on, its a damn beat-em up allbeit with customisation, oooOOOoooo, how can they possibly justify the subscription. WoW is one thing, this is another.

Azwethinkweiz89
Azwethinkweiz89

@Duke_51 Believe it or not Cryptic has been working on the game engine that will be use in Champions Online in 2004. Then in 2006 was when they got that Marvel deal until last year when Marvel pulled out and Cryptic bought out the Champions I.P.

Duke_51
Duke_51

Isn't this a little too close for release having just been announced last year?

insanitycheck3
insanitycheck3

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insanitycheck3
insanitycheck3

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insanitycheck3
insanitycheck3

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

insanitycheck3
insanitycheck3

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

insanitycheck3
insanitycheck3

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ThaDirtySouth
ThaDirtySouth

jknight: The "beta" of this game was for people to test their server load and to find the little bugs that aren't exactly game breaking but bugs none the less. That's the point of beta-ing MMO games, if they close tested the game it would take forever and you would have to pay people if it was in house by trained testers. Betas for games like this are FREE BUG CHECKS for the producers of the game and a chance for them to get their game out there so the public can see it. They tell people FREE BETA and people automatically think "Wow I'm getting to play this PAY TO PLAY MMO for free AND I get to help test it out!?! Sign me up!" It's done for pretty much every game that plans to have a large player base. I'm not defending shade, but as he did say, there's not much you can change 2 months away from the game going live. If it's as bad as Shade makes it out to be this game will flop. Realistically MMOs (WoW) are sort of forever in Beta because they always have to change things around and add more content to pacify those players suckling at the "first to finish all the latest content" teat. But you can't change the core gameplay(or lack there of if that's the case) in this game with a small monthly patch. This game looks like trash in all honesty and there's already City of Heroes out which this looks like a copy or a knock off or vice versa.

DonTonyDeluca
DonTonyDeluca

hmm will have to wait for closer to launch, kinda sketchy right now for me...

shade1978x
shade1978x

I think the people who don't seem to be able to grasp the core of my point about Champions Online is this: The game is two months from release. I played the beta. It was a terrible experience and I can't, for the life of me, understand why ANYONE plays these types of time-sinks. There's nothing deeper to understand about CO as some have suggested. I played the game. It was the opposite of fun. I understand the game isn't "finished" but it's only a few months from release and has probably been in development for years. I tried the game because I was curious to see if it'd be more of a superhero/action game experience rather than the same old, played out, digital treadmill that all MMOs are. I was wrong and realized so very quickly, so I quit the game, uninstalled it and deleted the .exe file from my hard drive simple. I understand there are millions of labrat gamers out there who derive pleasure from the food tablets MMOs shovel out in the form of "leet gear" or whatever, but that kind of reward simply isn't enough for me. I prefer a better overall experience: graphics, sound, story, an immersive experience. Champions Online delivered none. No, I'm not "shooting from the hip with inaccurate information". I'm not regurgitating second-hand information. I played the beta first-hand and offered my first-hand testimony. The final game may differ VERY SLIGHTLY from the beta, but this far into the development cycle, there's no way it will differ enough to satisfy gamers that don't want to play a game as a second job. I'll be investing my money into games like Batman: Arkham Asylum and Prototype, superhero games where you play until the end, enjoy the experience and move on with your life. AND I won't be paying $15 a month for the pleasure of getting micro-rewards every few days.

batmanknights
batmanknights

those considering buying city of hereso....DON'T....had it a week now and still cant create an account due to some issues they are having, and contacting them is useless.Very frustrating.

irishscott99
irishscott99

Personally I don't think Shade did the beta... seriously. you felt insulted after playing the beta. OKAY DUDE!

thekodaman
thekodaman

This wont end well, even big franchises like Warhammer aren't doing well in the MMO market when set up against WoW. Kind of sad really.

rann89
rann89

How do retards like Shade get into betas when they don't even understand the point of it? It's like God laughing at the rest of us.

jknight5422
jknight5422

@shade1978x I think the bottom line is that some people who finalize their opinion on a game based on the beta version, should not be allowed to play the beta. They fully state to you that you violate their NDA, the non-disclosure agreement, by going out & ranting against it. Plus, it's not the game that is going to be released. You're shooting from the hip with inaccurate information. I think it's probably best if you avoid betas moving forward since you don't have any comprehension as to what the beta is or how you should be perceiving it & reacting to it. You're supposed to be putting in your feedback to the company to help make it a better game. Not trashing the whole game & the company on a public forum. Do us a favor: don't.

insanitycheck3
insanitycheck3

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shade1978x
shade1978x

Based on the beta, it's both dumbed down AND needlessly complex, if that makes any sense. And, bottom line, it's just not fun. It's cumbersome, the movement animations are stilted and jerky and the experience is just dull. I personally felt insulted after playing the beta. I spent more time designing my character than playing the beta. Cryptic should just sell a "hero creator" program. That aspect always seems like the most fun aspect of their games.

Rontor
Rontor

Guys I hate to be the bearer of bad news but seriously rethink this one before you buy it. I would wait for a free trial or something. It is significantly worse than City of Heroes/Villains was and is in my opinion going to be a complete flop if they dont make some changes. Im not just saying this from looking at screens, I have played the game.

danopix
danopix

You get what you pay for. If the screeching tight wads that want everything for free get their way and it has no monthly fee, it will probably be very lame. I WANT developers adding content all the time in an effort to keep my money rolling in.

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

I hope the 360 edition is still on track

Flipyap28
Flipyap28

I will only be interested in this if the 360 version's online is free and not worth more money on top of XBL...if thats the case, I might as well buy FFXI, looks better and probably is

Dream01
Dream01

Uh oh might sound like they could be dropping the 360 version :(

Flat_Line_____
Flat_Line_____

K-Grogg Posted Apr 25, 2009 4:10 pm ET Too bad the combat looks just as horribly lame as the combat in WoW, a super-hero game should have super-hero combat, in WoW its supportable because of the games setting, but super-heroes should have a more FPS style of combat that is more real-time and dynamic than what they have shown for this so far. You can't keep making the same old games and expecting them to sell, you need at least a touch of innovation. Sorry guys, this just isn't for me. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ^^ This guy obviously hasn't played the beta lol. The combat is VERY much 'real-time' and it plays very much like a 3rd person action game (especially with a 360 controller) which fits the super hero genre much better than a FPS type style would.

alixkid
alixkid

Looks Good, loved COH.

SIN-dycate
SIN-dycate

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Compilation
Compilation

Cheesy yet quaint and interesting...

K-Grogg
K-Grogg

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K-Grogg
K-Grogg

Too bad the combat looks just as horribly lame as the combat in WoW, a super-hero game should have super-hero combat, in WoW its supportable because of the games setting, but super-heroes should have a more FPS style of combat that is more real-time and dynamic than what they have shown for this so far. You can't keep making the same old games and expecting them to sell, you need at least a touch of innovation. Sorry guys, this just isn't for me.

SouL-Tak3R
SouL-Tak3R

I want to play this. But the thing is, I'm still enjoying W.o.W. I'm not real big into mmos either so the extra money I'm not so sure about. I dont even play wow that often either so I dont want to do two. But the game looks great no doubt.

IXIWhistIXI
IXIWhistIXI

Buzzguy I'm pretty sure everybody with a brain knows this game will have a monthly fee. No doubt 15 dollars a month too because that's been the business model everybody's use too despite it being a huge rip off.

buzzguy
buzzguy

Come on folks, of course this game is going to have a monthly fee! Look at FFXII on the 360...silver members can play it, because you're playing on Square's own servers. And it's those servers you're paying for. This game will be the same way. Live and MMO subs are two completely different things. Still hoping it gets released for the 360, since Sony is "for sure" prepping DCU online for the PS3 and PC.

MAspiderface2
MAspiderface2

One question: Is it going to be F2P? I don't have the money to waste my time.

raptures330
raptures330

@sircyrus hopefully they used assets and everything else that could be salvaged and in good order from MUO and it won't be ultra simplified or bug ridden. here is to hoping :)

insanitycheck3
insanitycheck3

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DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

The controls are all tied to the 360 controller. Buying the PC version is going to feel kind of lame, but I won't ever buy a 360 MMO. Happy to see giant bosses and vastly improved graphics. But I have to wait to see how many powers your toons can have.

JustinSane311
JustinSane311

I really hope the developers don't make you pay another fee to play the game on the 360

Gezquester
Gezquester

YES!!!! Bring on the Superhero MMOs!

sircyrus
sircyrus

Wow, this was a very fast development. I can't help but wonder how bug-ridden or unbalanced it's going to be without sufficient time for beta testing. Cryptic is generally pretty slow to get stuff out there due to polishing it, hopefully they haven't abandoned that. July 14th gives just barely over 2 full months of good solid mass beta testing. That's... well, that's nowhere near enough in my experiences. I can't help but think if it's actually ready for release, how simplified it must be.

JS0123456789
JS0123456789

They need a firm release date for the 360.

Huracan24
Huracan24

im sure the console versions gonna suck.

konradak
konradak

This looks pretty good, I might pick it up.

RockySquirrel
RockySquirrel

I just hope they don't put crafting in it... they put crafting in City of Heroes and I thought that was soooo lame.