I have been in closed beta, which has now turned into open beta. I WANT to like this game simply because it is something fresh and new. When I first started out, I was like holy crap this is a COX rip. The fact of the matter is that it is NOT. Even though the character creation and tutioral may be very similar, these two games are VERY different in gameplay.
I will say the graphics and layout are VERY similar between the two and you can easily feel like you are playing either or from screenshots. Even leveling up is very similar, but the game play is completely different!
Champions Online offers A LOT more content from the very beginning and the upgrades are very different. With COX, you get those enhancements that combine together and slot into your powers. You don't have anything like that with Champions. Champions offer "enhancements," but they are in the form of gear instead of sloting into powers from what I have seen so far. It is more point based power ups, instead of sloting powers with upgrades if that makes sense.
There is crafting in the game, but it is a lot different from Cox. It actually has meaning besides sloting at skill.
One thing that I like about Champions is A TON of skills are available right after level 2/3. You can make your first skill upgrade flight/super speed, ect. All that cool stuff. You don't have to wait until later in the game. COX may have changed that since I played back in 2005, but I don't know.
If anyone is previous COX or even current COX player, I highly suggest giving this game a shot. It could truly surprise you. Cryptic has some good stuff to offer.
The 200 dollar lifetime sub is tempting, but I still sticking with Aion. Aion is my next main game for sure. If it doesn't work out, there is a good chance I could pick up Champions.
We will see how things go.