13 years ago
Larry Sonntag

Each of us, at some point, has dreamt of being a super hero – donning spandex, capes and masks and displaying our unique powers to protect others. “City of Heroes” captures that emotion while displaying a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and proving incredibly fun to play.

The game takes place in Paragon City. The player first selects an origin for their hero’s powers and an archetype for their hero. Archetypes range from blasters who sit back and fire ranged attacks to scrappers that fight right in the thick of the action. The many variations of power sets are so great that it is difficult to create two heroes exactly alike.

The player has numerous options for a hero’s look as well. Basically, if it can be imagined, it can be created.

Gameplay is where “CofH” makes a big divergence from other MMORPGs. While pounding on a bad guy, powers can be selected sequentially and unleashed quickly, which gives the battles a fast pace. Health recovers quickly between battles as well, keeping downtime to a minimum.

Most of the gameplay involves completing missions for contacts – the people that give you the information about various gangs in the cities. These missions can range from seek-and-destroy to investigative missions. But, most missions boil down to beating on thugs.

Basically, that’s all you do – which would be bad – except it’s incredibly fun. Nothing beats the sensation of fighting some gang members on a rooftop, then furiously kicking one onto a rooftop below.

The graphics illustrate the effort that went into the design of Paragon City. While it would’ve been easy to place one identical building after another, the city has varied look to it.

Many extra touches bring the city to life. Pedestrians walk the streets as cars cruise around. Helpless citizens get mugged all over the place and thugs are always trying to break into cars and buildings.

What “City of Heroes” lacks in content compared to other MMORPGs, it more than makes up for it in raw entertaining gameplay.