At one point in our life or another, each of us has wanted to be a superhero. Whether you were running around the house with a blanket securely fastened around your neck with a safety pin, or were answering the question ďIf you could have any power...Ē for one of those internet quizzes, the thought has crossed your mind. City of Heroes
allows players to don a cape and rescue Paragon City from the clutches of villains.
You begin your adventure as a rookie superhero. The character creation process may seem limited at first glance, but allows for a wide variety of combinations -- allowing you to build your super-powered alter ego nearly any way you want. Heroes all fit within a set grouping of character types. Scrappers are your fighters while Tankers can take massive amounts of damage. Other types include Controllers, Blasters, and Defenders. The types are pretty self-explanatory and serve as the basis of your hero.
After selecting a type, you have to choose your origin. Were you born with your powers or are they the result of an experiment gone wrong? Are you a tech head or just a normal guy with an amazing I.Q.? Once your type and origins are set in place, you get to choose your powers and abilities. Which powers you can choose are determined by your style and origins, and they are limited in the beginning. As you progress through the game, youíll be able to learn new skills or upgrade your existing ones.
When youíve finalized your hero, itís time to move out into the world. Your adventure begins in a tutorial area that will get you acquainted with the game. After completing these quests, you can move on to the gameís newbie areas and start making a name for yourself.
Contacts are your main source of quests. Starting missions are small, but as you gain their trust, youíll be charged with harder missions. Each contact specializes in different criminal organizations. Some will have information on the Skulls or Hellions, two of the biggest gangs in Paragon City, while others will know about the Circle of Thorns, a cult. Missions are mostly set up to aid in both solo and team play. Taking a mission by yourself results in fewer enemies, while large groups generate larger groups. Missions are randomly generated, allowing for players to game with their friends without worrying about other players spoiling their fun.
Thereís no real loot or money system in the game, at least not in a traditional sense. Youíll sometimes loot objects that give you power enhancements or short boosts, but thatís the extent of things. Instead, youíll gain influence points that help to establish your heroís reputation.
City of Heroes sucks you in immediately. Thereís always something to do and very little downtime between adventures. The game doesnít quite facilitate limited play time like World of Warcraft, but at the same time, you never feel like youíre wasting your time, even during short play times. One of the more impressive things about the game is the dedication the developers have to keeping the game fresh. Updates seem to come in at a regular basis and always offer something just a little different to do, creating one of the most dynamic setups Iíve ever seen in an MMO.
City of Heroes also allows for life beyond maxing out your character. After hitting the level cap, you can unlock special character classes, offering more powerful abilities. These not only allow older players the opportunity to experience content they may not have been able to at lower levels, but they also add playtime. Players can also accept other players as sidekicks, which is a great way to help lower-level friends or meet new people.
Special in-game goodies, like a cape, are available to players who get the Special DVD Edition, as well as some out-of-game goodies like a Limited Edition HeroClix figure of Statesman and a comic book.