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the massively multiplayer online RPG wave continues to drench us with
titles in the coming years, those that provide truly unique experiences
will become few and far between. Had your fill of high fantasy and
science fiction? City of Heroes is shaping up to grab a hold of that
little kid inside that always wanted to have x-ray vision or jump large
buildings with a single bound. Gamers will be thrust into the role of a
superhero entrusted with the protection of beloved Paragon City and its
citizens. Time to drag that spandex out of the closet.
start by undergoing a unique character creation sequence. First you must
choose your origin. This may range from mutation, to robotic
enhancement, to magical powers. You then choose a character
archetype, or class. This basically determines whether youll be a
ranged, melee or hybrid type of hero. The skills you are able to employ
are tied to the archetype you choose to follow. After all the paperwork
is done prepare to waste at least an hour crafting your heros costume.
Thanks to a truly robust set of character creation options, City of
Heroes pushes the boundaries of uniqueness to new levels.
are the backbone of City of Heroes. Since there isnt much equipment to
speak of, the developers have packed much of the customization players
are looking for in the skill system. Each skill you gain with experience
comes with certain "slots" you can fill with points. Slots may range
from damage, to duration, to range, and beyond. Using these slots heroes
can tweak a skill so it can further fit their needs. So even though two
guys are flinging the same basic fireball, appearance is the only thing
their missiles have in common. Certain skills will be open to all
classes once they reach a certain level. The most notable of these is
the power of flight. Leaping huge buildings in one bound is definitely
going to be quite a status symbol.
City, the backdrop for City of Heroes, is divided up into large zones.
Interestingly, there were load times in between zones, which seems like
something developers are trying to get away from. The load times are
very minimal, though. Heroes will have to test their strength under the
city streets as well. I was able to take a quick tour of one of the
sewers under Paragon City, which housed some pretty tough customers.
underlying story will help pull these elements together for a very
comically convincing experience. Players are asked to help defend
Paragon City as it rebuilds in the wake of a devastating alien invasion.
Heroes will be able to undertake all sorts of missions involving the
protection of innocents. Something very cool that the game employs is a
system of personal enemies for each hero. What this means is that as
your hero progresses and foils the designs of villains he or she will
attract the special hatred of a certain fiend. This villain will become
your heros archenemy. Though they may fight other heroes, your
archenemy will always seek you out in a crowd. This makes for some epic
conflicts through time as you and your nemesis gain power.
enough there will be no player vs. player conflict in City of Heroes. I
was told that the real point of the game is for players to band together
on a more positive note, to become real "protectors." At this point if
you were hoping to become a super villain then youll just have to
settle for saying mean things to your in-game neighbors. At first I was
a bit disappointed to hear this bit of news, but when you think about it
the game will provide a load of villains (including your personal
nemesis) for you to tackle and the level of customization City of Heroes
offers elbows that disappointment right out of the picture.
the slew of online RPGs hitting the market this year and next, finding
your niche can prove problematic. The load of customization City of
Heroes is offering plus the unique comic book angle is sure to garner a
cult following. The guys at the booth were very tightlipped about a
release date, but the comic book based on the game they were handing out
suggested that we can expect this high flying title sometime before the
end of the year.