City of Villains

April 26, 2006 · Print This Article

City of VillainsCity of Heroes delivered a pretty solid experience. It allowed gamers the rare opportunity to play as comic book heroes in an enticing new MMORPG game. However, it did suffer from repetitive mission concepts and some clunky features. Now, City of Villains has arrived. Although brethren to City of Heroes, it contains many of its own new features and, thankfully, is actually a pretty decent game.

From the launch of City of Heroes, gamers everywhere were wondering why the villains got no lovin’. The game really did felt empty with having thousands and thousands of characters running around and using their superpowers to do what’s right. Well, sometimes gamers just want to do what’s wrong, and that’s exactly what City of Villains intends to address by adding in these darker characters and entirely new environments in which to perfect the character’s villainous abilities in.

In City of Villains, players can customize their made characters by first choosing a basic character type and then from the physical aspects hair to their chests to their arms to their feet, etc., all the way to outfitting their new characters with a wide variety of cool outfits and snazzy accessories. Of course, all of this first begins by selecting the Archetype and there are five selections available: the brute, the stalker, the corrupter, the dominator, and the mastermind. Each comes with their own unique abilities that can be usefully exploited.

Finding a good group to play with is very important to enjoying the City of Villains experience. As with most MMO games, being in a group is extremely beneficial for defeating missions and advancing faster all while sharing the experience with others. The Archetype’s unique and fun abilities, while powerful and engaging, can simply be not enough for tackling certain missions when they are used alone. However, in a group consisting of other Archetype’s and by combining each one’s unique abilities and powers, the group quickly becomes a powerful adversary and beating a mission, whether it be the basic “destroy this” style of mission or a more complicated and difficult boss battle, become much easier and more enjoyable.

While most missions are basic and straight-forward in their nature, later missions do become more rewarding and fun in two ways. Obviously, more experience is at stake and better items and accessories can be found, but also the plots to the missions begin to be longer and involve more intricate twists and turns, better engaging the player into the game and making the victory of completing the mission that much more pleasant and rewarding in the end.

City of Villains offers some pretty basic combat. It rides the middle ground of being engaging enough to keep the game fun and interesting while not trying to overload the player. Luckily, the combat system is designed efficiently enough so that during the recharge of attacks it is easy to preload the next actions to properly suit the situation whether it be summoning a new minion, healing a character, or using a special power.

Thankfully, City of Villains also offers a PvP mode. While it isn’t overly innovative and really could have involved more (i.e. a heroes vs. villains type that would connect the two games), the PvP mode is engaging and should please many gamers. PvP is enabled in pre-determined areas of the game, each carrying its own level limit that characters must be above in order to be allowed to compete in the combat. However, what should be mentioned is that the PvP combat tends to allow to many characters to engage at once. Sure, in concept this could create a frenzied, fun experience, but in reality it makes it so that even high-end computers will find themselves slowing down severely due to the overload caused by so many players.

It isn’t World of Warcraft by any means, but City of Villains looks decent for an MMO game. The engine is the same as that of City of Heroes with only a few minor additions and improvements. This means that character models aren’t overly detailed or flamboyantly pretty, but the environments tend to be very expansive, well laid out, full of alleyways and places to explore, and overall very well designed and constructed. The special effects are sparkly indeed but definitely nothing that will catch a player’s eye for too long. Overall, the graphics hold their own but won’t draw in any gamers based solely on them alone.

It is sad, but most of City of Villains audio comes directly from City of Heroes. Particularly, attacks and villains’ powers all sound the exact same as those from City of Heroes. Indeed, the music also really doesn’t seem to grasp the evilness that should go along with the game and its villain premise. Really, the game could have used a big pick-up and overhaul in the audio department.

If one enjoys the game, there is indeed much reason to replay it.. Sure, veteran players will find the game repetitive, but newcomers who have never played City of Heroes before will find the experience in City of Villains to be a very enjoyable one. There are plenty of missions to be played that offer hours and hours of gameplay time. As with most MMO’s, if a player enjoys it then that player will find a lot of reason to play the game more and more.

While City of Villains isn’t the most original, innovative, or technologically advanced MMO game ever made, it still gets its job done in terms of being a solid, fun game with plenty to offer gamers. It has a lot of features and a unique concept that at the very least should be appealing to those looking to play as a comic book villain.


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