Champions Online

I’ve already mentioned my love for the “City of Heroes” game. Well, the studio that created the game, Cryptic Studios, sold the game to its publisher, NCSoft, a while back and started working on the Marvel Universe Online MMO. Unfortunately, that project died a quick and painful death. So Cryptic has now jumped into working on a new game — another superhero MMO called “Champions Online.”

Now if you play pen-and-paper roleplaying games, that name’s probably pretty familiar to you — “Champions” is probably the most successful superhero RPG ever, and attaching its name to an MMO computer game is a pretty smart move. It gets you some recognition from the folks who are fans of superhero gaming, but it’s also obscure enough to give the game designers lots of room to make changes.

On the surface, there look to be a lot of similarities between the “City of” franchise and Champions Online — it’s superheroes and supervillains, character/costume customization is muy bueno, etc. To keep it from being a CoH clone, Cryptic has added several features that have been frequently requested by CoH players but never added, including full power customization; zones for outer space, underwater, and snowy wastes; combat more like fighting games; and a system that lets you design your own archenemy.

I’m sure a lot of people will at least give it a try, but I don’t much think I’ll be among them at this point. I already have one superhero-videogame addiction — why would I want to add a second one?

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