Champions Online Open Beta Impressions

Champions Online just finished it’s Open Beta testing a few days ago and i was able to get in by preordering the game via Direct2Drive. Champions Online is developed by Cryptic Studios, creators of City of Heroes and Villains, and is a superhero MMORPG.

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Read on for what i liked, what i hated and what needs improvement in Champions Online.

What i liked about Champions Online:

  • Character Customization
    The game’s character creator is such a powerful tool for creating your own superhero or mimicking an existing one.This feature alone literally cost me hours just to perfect that one look or to tweak a desired costume. It’s addictive and will only get better as the devs add more parts to it. I saw other people create awesome power armors, weird creatures, supernatural heroes and even the occasional Marvel/DC/Dragonball/Naruto character of two.
  • Travel powers at level 5
    This is one of those features that really tell you that you’re a SUPERHERO. No walking for you as you can fly, burrow, hover, run fast or lace on a pair of jetboots. It really does empower players to go whenever and wherever they want and just kick some bad guys’ behind.
  • Graphics
    The game is gorgeous; not realistic gorgeous but it looks like straight from a comic book. It really adds to the vibe of being in this comic book world.

What i hated about Champions Online:

  • Performance issues
    I’m hoping Champions gets a radical optimization program running behind the scenes as the OBT client was unstable and laggy. Low FPS on mid to high level rigs just wont do it for us anymore. Lag also needs to be addressed as whether your playing from New Jersey, China or Manila, we occasionally get game stopping pings of 2000ms.
  • Microtransactions
    Asking us to pay for the box and they pay some more for content is just greedy, Cryptic. Ask Bill Roper what happened to the last studio that wanted to mix microtransactions and subscriptions.
  • OBT access program
    Someone should get fired at Crptic for not having all preorders get into the Headstart. everyone else had preorderers getting a headstart. But not Cryptic. Same fiasco with what happened to the lifetime and 6months promo subs. Get your act together, Cryptic. You’re only as good as your last patch.

Final impressions and recommendations: If you’re a fan of the superhero mmorpg genre or simply want to play as your very own superhero then Champions Online is your best ticket to enjoyment. It is still rough around the edges and needs a patch or two to be really awesome but the game has it’s heart in the right place. The subscription fees will scare off most freeloaders but that doesn’t guarantee a nice or non whiny community. Cryptic as a developer needs a few more months, they did some good things but were doused with some boneheaded decisions.

For those still playing other games such as World of Warcraft or other new MMOs like Crimecraft or Aion, you might wanna wait after a month or so before moving as you might get a better version of the game by then.

Dont expect a revolutionary game from Champions Online. But if you’re itching to see how your dual gun toting, force powered assasin fares against regenerating supernatural warriors then better get your suit on and sign up for Champions Online.

Author: Kiven
Kiven originally started this blog back in 2004 to document his forays into Half Life 2 and World of Warcraft. For more Play to Earn gaming news, Add me on Twitter: @Kiven and Like my Page on Facebook:

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