When NC Soft released what was one of the most original and creative ideas for an MMORPG arguably in history, gaming fans were very curious to see if City of Heroes was more substance than flash. The premise of the game is that every player in the game is a super hero with amazing powers and abilities to fight for good and solve mysteries. A graphically rich environment and impressive graphics give City of Heroes one of the most interesting worlds in the MMORPG genre.
Create Your Own Hero
Choose from hundreds of different powers and design your own unique costume.
Confront super villains, aliens, madmen, criminals, and other fearsome foes. Take on personalized missions and rid the city of several different evil organizations and hundreds of individual enemies.
Form Your Own Super-group of Heroes
Band together with other players to fight evil and become the premiere hero group in the city.
Explore the City
Explore the skyscrapers, slums, sewers and streets of Paragon City, a sprawling online metropolis that offers unlimited adventures and countless surprises.
Live the Story
Become an integral part of twenty different ongoing story arcs as the villain groups menace Paragon City and react to player victories and defeats.
There’s no denying that City of Heroes is a graphically rich and impressive environment that rivals any MMORPG on the market today. The super heroes are very impressively made (and boy to I mean impressively made in the case of my top super hero(ine) Ms. Happy Pants) and there is an amazing level of detail that goes in to the creation of each super hero. After playing the game for a little over a month, I have yet to see 2 heroes even remotely look close to each other – a great selling point over most MMORPGs where almost all characters look alike.
The environments are really where the money’s at with the graphics. The various sections of the city each have their own tone and feel. Liberty City (starter area) is a very nice, clean, cool neighborhood with various crime elements such as gang members stealing purses. The environments of some of the “darker” areas definitely bring a whole different tone the game and further immerse players within the world.
The bad guys in the game aren’t as varied as we would have liked going through the game. Most gang members (there are different game) look very much alike, but the good news is that the detail given to these characters is really amazing. My favorites include the cultists who use dark magic to torture people … they’re especially creepy. All in all, City of Heroes has very impressive graphics that can go toe-to-toe with any current MMORPG on the market today.
Sound isn’t really a huge thing in this title, as none of the characters have voice overs, and the sound effects aren’t completely varied. The sound effects of the various weapons and fighting is pretty solid, but overall, this is not a major component to the game.
If there’s one thing detracting from City of Heroes is the fact that it gets a bit repetitive and because somewhat of a level laddering game. Moving around and controlling your hero is a very simple exercise that most gamers will have no problem getting the hang of. The missions are all basically the same – kill ‘X’ number of ‘TYPE’ bad buys in ‘AREA’. This gets somewhat repetitive and sometimes the main reason you’ll log in is to simply level up to see what’s the cool new super power your hero qualifies for.
The missions though are ridiculously addicting and for reasons beyond logic you’ll find yourself desperately looking for a group to run around and kick some butt with just to finish up some levels to gain experience to see a new part of the city, to get a new super power. Does this mean the game is very repetitive? A little I would say … but if you have half a brain you realize you can simply make a few different heroes to play the game with and things are diverse enough to keep playing over and over again.
Longevity & Originality
There’s no doubt that City of Heroes is one of the most unique and ambitious MMORPGs in history. The fact that you are a living comic book hero running around and helping people is appealing to us all who dreamed of doing this as a kid. The villains are great to kill, and the entire premise of the story is something that really seems to be catching fire with gamers.
The longevity of City of Heroes is really up to NC Soft, who recently announced the first expansion pack for high-level players via download once you log into the game. Further expansions are to be announced, and for the most part, you could play 12 hours a day for the next year and still not get through everything there is to get through in this game.
This game is one of the neatest, attention grabbing, and fun “ideas” I’ve seen in the gaming industry in a long time. Whoever thought up the title and the game deserves some sort of genius award for finally thinking outside of the “Dungeon … Sword … Kill” mode that most adventure/RPG titles over-exploit. The heroes that you get to create is perhaps the highlight of the title as everyone seems to open their eyes a little wider and have a smile on their face during the entire hero-creation process.
The gameplay is pretty solid but sees a little too much repetition in the form of the missions that you play through. One way to combat this is to create a few different types of heroes (there are many, many different combinations you can go through for hero types) and play through during various sessions by mixing it all up.
The graphics and environment of the game is absolutely amazing and definitely something that people with impressive tech specs will love to exploit and show off to their friends. Playing the game on a P4 2.6Ghz with a Sapphire X800Pro video card produced excellent results and frame rates as a reference.
Overall, City of Heroes is an ingenious, creative, and fun title to play through that offers some killer graphics and fun moments that all gamers should definitely enjoy.
OVERALL SCORE: 88%