Cryptic codifies Champions Online

Former City of Heroes studio officially confirms MMOG based on Hero Games' classic pen-and-paper RPG; taking to the streets spring 2009.

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Last week, the not-so-puzzling news arrived by way of March's Game Informer cover that Cryptic Studios would be returning the superhero-themed massively multiplayer online gaming scene with Champions Online. The news came not a week after Microsoft officially canned the City of Heroes/Villains developer's MMOG based in the Marvel Comics universe, after that project had mostly gone dark since being announced in 2006.

The one in black is invariably evil.

Today, Cryptic Studios officially announced Champions Online, saying the game is currently slated to perform superhuman acts in spring 2009. Cryptic did not further clarify which platforms the game would appear on, leaving the game still associated with PCs and unnamed consoles, as noted by GI.

Confirming speculation, the Champions Online MMOG will be an offshoot of Hero Games' pen-and-paper role-playing series first published in 1981. Cryptic said today that it had purchased the rights to the Champions role-playing game from Hero Games as part of its deal to develop the MMOG, and Hero Games will be licensing the property back for the game's next text installment, which is due out in 2009.

Flaming metal robots could go either way.

As with the pen-and-paper RPG, Cryptic plans to play heavily to player choice with Champions Online. "Gamers have literally billions of options to create their own fully customized hero," boasts Cryptic Studios chief creative officer Jack Emmert. "Couple that with the unique character generation system and tons of beautiful, expansive environments in which to roam, and Champions Online is going to be unlike anything MMO fans have seen before."

Customization options Cryptic has thus far noted include the ability to create a character's name, backstory, costume, powers, and abilities, as well as define and detail the character's own archenemy. For more on the game, check out the Champions Online Web site, which went live today.

Discussion

23 comments
WitteKraai
WitteKraai

I can't decide whether to get this or Hyborian Adventures for my 360.

Gribb85
Gribb85

Does this mark the end for City of Heroes and Villians?

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

This game sounds good. It contains all the features I wanted the most in City of____ that I specifically requested on the forums. Even the art style's more comic-booky and more to my liking. I really hope Jack even adds Voice Acting and consistent atmospheric and combat music to this game too. The lack of that stuff really confounded me in City of ____. Especially the lack of atmosphere/mood music and combat music. It's ODD to fight spawn after spawn of monsters in -total- silence for a couple hours in City of ____.

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

@Swampthing Nope - this game seems to be taking up from where the canceled Marvel Universe Online left off. I've heard there's always been a disire for a Champions game even from back during the 80's, but this game is pretty new. Hell, they didn't even have MMO's back then - maybe MUD's at most.

wilcoxon
wilcoxon

Bleh. Champions Online will *not* use the HERO system rules?!?! What's the point?

icym
icym

I totally agree with you Swampthing. Considering how long it will probably take, Champions will come out with, or after, a DC Online, Marvel Online, and a established City of Heroes/Villian (with a dozen expansions/issues) Yes, Marvel Online isn't being developed, but seriously, do you really think Marvel's IP is going to stay canned? Like, I said, Marvel Online will come to be. And if all that out there releases before Champions, Cryptic will have a uphill fight to win its share of the comics inspired MMOs. I'm not wishing ill will on them, but thats just common sense.

Swampthing
Swampthing

Um guys... you DO know this game has been in development LONGER than Duke Nukem Forever, right? It was originally slated as a release for the Amiga computer but never made it out the door. Back in the day, it almost became a joke about how many more delays it was going to face. If I recall correctly, development time on this one is approaching FIFTEEN YEARS. If the same folks are behind this project, I have SERIOUS doubts about it ever seeing the light of day.

Anofalye
Anofalye

As usual, a company which make a game I enjoy, change style and become more action-oriented. I wish for once, an action games maker would make the move the other way around.

sidious
sidious

The X-Box 360 needs this in a bad way. As I've said before, outside of Final Fantasy XI, they have had trouble getting an MMORPG up on an X-Box system... with Sony running The Agency this year, not to mention the other MMO's it has in the pipeline, while Microsoft is losing future MMO's, Champions Online could be a life saver in a way for those with a 360 hoping for some MMO over X-Box Live...

jnvwv
jnvwv

I really enjoyed what little I played of COH/COV. I must admit, it had the most robust character creation systems that I've seen. Champions is something that I will be looking forward to playing.

Santhin
Santhin

Could be interesting, but I'm always wary of titles like this before they're released. Still, City of Heroes was an entertaining, if somewhat flawed game. Taking hints from it and improving on the formula could prove to produce a very good game, likely a very solid 'second' choice MMO (One that people play behind their primary MMO, which CoH seemed to serve as for a lot of people.) I'm going to keep tabs on it myself.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

If this is coming to consoles, then I can't wait!

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

I'm pretty excited about this, and I just got my Committed badge with City of Heroes (30 months playing).

JackfnBurton
JackfnBurton

Sweet. Finally an MMO I might actually want to play.

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

obviously, the powers are gonna be limited to whats on offer. too bad.

hmaxpain
hmaxpain

this game is coming to 360 its in my gameinformer magazine why did gamespot mention they were informed by game informers magazine which clearly states its for 360 but then they post unnamed consoles.

GIF
GIF

Marvel Online is canned (in case you've been living under a rock or somehow missed the official statement) according to an official comment by Microsofts Shane Kim so if Microsoft dropped it, then theres a pretty good chance its dead in the water unless someone like SOE decides to fight for the Marvel rights with Microsoft or somehow acquire the rights from Marvel. Plus this new superhero MMOG doesn't sound any different than City of Heros. No interactive environments, the list goes on. City of Heros is a bore because it has not evolved. What happened to supposed Detective skills and optional ways of completing missions?-Scrapped. What about vehicles or even aliases?-Nowhere to be seen. Truth is, you can't make a cool superhero game as an MMOG until you have incredibly detailed, highly interactive environments and characters with aliases and stories that affect the overall worlds direction. No MMOG i have played has ever let one player dent a massive population of players whatsoever. The only way for a good superhero game to exist is to have it be a single player affair running off the Unreal Engine 3 and with some type of coop component. Something that plays like Grand Theft Auto or Crackdown but has the level of detail of Gears of War with interactive environments but this doesn't mean we need to copy the style of the world design nor the characters nor even copy the color pallette.

icym
icym

With DC Online Unirverse, Marvel Online (it will come), and an strongly established City of Heroes/Villians... another comic booked based MMO might not be the wisest choice.

Adam_the_Nerd
Adam_the_Nerd

SUPER HERO MMO FTW! HELL YEAH. Geez, who needs lisenced heroes when you can use your imagination?

dn3datomiced
dn3datomiced

I'm a big CoX fan, and so, by extension, a big Cryptic fan, but I'm also a regular Champions/Dark Champions/New Millennium player with my gaming group, and we've had SO many memorable tales in this setting that I'm so jazzed up about this setting, I can't sit still today. This has rocketed to the top of my Must-Have list.

Winsauce
Winsauce

Could be good. They DID do CoX, after all...

mephisto009
mephisto009

"Champions Online is going to be unlike anything MMO fans have seen before." i think I've heard that somewhere before...

ivanfred
ivanfred

I want this game to be released for PS3.