Reviews: City Of Heroes

Cape Good...

I, personally, have been playing CoH almost since it came out, and it is the only MMO I have ever enjoyed. The real Crowning Moment Of Awesome for me when I first played, and even (or perhaps especially) now, is the character creation. You have a TREMENDOUS amount of power combinations, and the choices don't stop there: The costume creator! Oh my god! It is the most in-depth, user-friendly Costume Editor in just about any game you'll find, and you don't need to worry about costume choices effecting your powers. Total freedom! And for a Allegedly Free Game, This game treats free players really well, letting you hit the level cap, and most premium content only costing pennies. The VIPs still get all the best stuff, of course, but it's not on on an unfair level. Just one thing I have to add is: Screw No Capes, I'm A Superhero!

City of Heroes: a long-term perspective.

I've been playing almost since launch, and, despite the occasional lull or hiatus, it's a game that keeps bringing me back. There's plenty to do, the community is friendly (surprisingly so), and the dev team is dedicated and open, and obviously enjoy their jobs.

The costume creator is, of course, marvelous, and a little creativity can produce results that you simply wouldn't think possible, even with the staggering array of options (the best one I've seen that I can recall offhand was a clearly recognizable Buddhist monk, despite the fact that there are no costume pieces that should be able to create that look).

It also does a great job of letting you feel 'super'. Many attacks hurl foes around like ragdolls, the sound effects are satisfyingly meaty, and you can wade into a giant crowd of foes to lay waste with your powers of choice, and even if you go down, it will usually be spectacular. Flight and Super Jumping are also worthy of note for general super-ness- simply flying around is often a treat, and Super Jumping has you bounding across the cityscape like the Hulk (or the Tick, heh).

The story can be surprisingly engaging, if you're willing to take a moment or two to read, also. The City of Heroes is packed with betrayal, intrigue, Xanatos Gambits, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, heroism. In fairness, there's also an annoying amount of the older content that's basically Twenty Bear Asses with even less excuse than usual.

And, of course, the enemies. It wouldn't be a superhero game without a dazzling array of colourful foes, and boy does this game deliver. In the first dozen levels or so (a tiny fraction of the levelling time on a character), you've got tiny electric junkbots, drug-dealing death-cultists, demon-worshipping gangers, ancient sorcerors from a lost city under Paragon City, leftover Nazis who are in the middle of an Enemy Civil War with Space Nazis under the control of a leftover Italian Fascist, super-roid-raged Trolls who deal in a cut supersoldier drug, a mutant street gang with elemental powers, Frankensteinian freelance surgeon-types with techno-zombies... and, well... here.

This game continues to improve, and it will probably keep me around for a while yet.