Monday, November 1, 2010

City of Heroes/Villains is awesome!

So how awesome is it you might be wondering. Well... to be blunt it's the only MMO where I got a character to max level. But I didn't do just that! I got a Hero and a Villain to max level! It's easily one of my favorites if not my favorite so far. The game has been going for more then 5 years now with 2 retail expansions as well as a ton of free additions over time. What makes it so great? Well let me explain...

Let's start with the obvious shall we? Character creation. Nobody wants there character to look exactly like someone else and in most MMOs where your looks are determined by your equipment this is a hard thing to avoid when everyone is trying to  keep the best equipment possible. The game doesn't completely lack anything resembling loot but it doesn't effect your appearance. What your character looks like is completely up to you as you modify them in the character creator. The only thing I think it is fair to compare the creation process to is the character creators they tend to have in wrestling games. And to further customize your characters you gain access to capes, auras, and additional costume slots(A total of 5 possible) as you level up.

No whether you're a villain or a hero you have 5 Archetypes(Classes) to choose from. Heroes get Tankers, Scrappers, Blaster, Defenders, and Controllers while Villains get Brutes, Stalkers, Corrupters, Dominators, and Masterminds. Each Archetype has to pick a primary and a secondary power set. What this essentially means is that each Archetype has many different ways that it can play with an insane number of possible power combinations. One Scrapper may be a Wolverine wannabe with Claws and Regeneration while another has Martial Arts and a Shield. One Defender may have heals and psychic blasts while another has Force Fields and Archery. I could go on and on explaining all the possibilities but this review would go on forever if I did that.

See these guys? They're with me!
Another thing that's really fun about the options in this can also be the pets. A lot of MMOs have pet classes, but with all the power options in this CoH gets to have a lot more then most do. Various Power sets from Controllers, Dominators, Defenders, Corrupters, and Blasters can get a pet or two. Examples include a Plant Controller getting a man eating plant creature and a Dark Miasma Defender getting a being made of pure negative energy. But then we get the Masterminds they're main potential lies in their pets.They basically get a mini army in the form of 3 minions, 2 lieutenants, and 1 boss. They can have Ninjas, Demons, and Robots for the more interesting ones.

But enough about all the character options. You wanna know how it plays. Well CoH did combat a little interestingly. They took out the reliance on auto attack while still sticking to a formula similar to other MMOs. Most MMOs have an auto attack that you activate and just use your special attacks when you think you need to. In CoH all your attacks are special attacks. Meaning all your attacks even your weakest ones have a recharge timer. This isn't to say you go long periods of time without being able to attack(unless you get hit with a slow status effect) but what it does is keep you more involved with the action and what's going on around you.

CoH is also one of the few games that can legitimately claim you can solo all the way to max level... to an extent. There are a few certain Archetypes that may have trouble since they have a lot of powers that lean towards a group setting but for the most part everyone can solo all the way to level 50. That's not to say that you should though, because there are benefits to playing in a group. Aside from the fact that it's more fun, you'll also level up faster.

See unlike most MMOs that has quests of go here and kill that many enemies. Most of the missions in CoH are instanced specifically for your team. They all take place on a map that can only be accessed by your team and the number of enemies is determined by the size of your team which by the way can go all the way up to 8 members as opposed to the usual 6 in a lot of other MMOs.

In all honesty this game does a perfect job of actually making you feel like a Super Hero and it's pretty casual friendly, you don't need to always put in a lot of hours to feel like you accomplished something. With that said that does not however mean that I think it's perfect.

They sure give plenty of room to write your bio...
 Some issues people may have with the game include...

Crafting does exist but for the most part... it's pretty unfulfilling. That's not to say that you'll have no desire to do it, you'll probably do it to get your hands on certain enhancements for your powers. But there is no crafting skill to level up. The only thing you can really do is "memorize" certain recipes after enough uses so you don't need to keep getting another copy of the recipe.

PvP is bad and it always will be. This is something I don't think the developers can honestly fix, it's hard to make player vs player combat manageable in a game where people can fly and super jump all over the place. If there were an arena that could disable travel powers and force you to stick to ground combat I could see it working but I don't see that happening.

While you can solo the game, it is the most fun when played with other people. Suffice to say, if you want to keep playing after level 50 you may very well get bored if you don't make friends in the game.

People obsessed with loot might have trouble getting into this game because while there are items called enhancements that make your powers stronger. There is no real equipment in the game. You only have a sword, bow, or guns if you chose that as your attack power. But I see this is more of a pro then a con because you have direct control over what you look like. But I can see how others may view this as a negative.

But there are so many things that I just can't fit into this single review to talk about. The game has had so many improvements and additions over the years. One of the biggest being the Mission Architect which allows you to make your own missions that other players can play through and there were all kinds of new additions with the newest expansion Going Rogue that I'll have to cover another time.

With all that said however, there are few MMOs I would recommend as highly as this one. So until next time everyone...

I would post some combat screens but stills don't do it justice

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