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City of Villains

2 Ratings: 4.5
Role-Playing video game by NCsoft for the Computer

Players design their villain using a similar innovative character creation system as in City of Heroes, with billions of different size, color and styling options. Players then work their way up the ladder of a villain organization in order to gain super … see full wiki

Release Date: November, 2004
1 review about City of Villains

For fans of COH this game is a must.

  • Nov 21, 2005
Pros: Great Fun, Graphics, and variety.

Cons: Some may balk at subscription fee and mission nature.

The Bottom Line: A great gaming experience and a must for COH fans.

After a very successful launch, numerous awards, and legions of players, NC Soft is letting gamers deviate from their heroic ways in City of Heroes to take a walk on the other side. In City of Villains, players can now become the ultimate bad guy as you fight not only legions of A.I Opponents, but up against flesh and blood heroes as well. The game is setup as a stand alone product though players who own City of Heroes will be able to access certain new areas and will enjoy only one membership fee to play both games.

After setting up an account, players are given the ability to create and customize their villain from a very impressive selection of classes and abilities. I was very impressed at the amount of details that I could put into my character, as I was easily able to craft a look that was unique. After settling on the right class, look and name for my Villain, I set off to make a name for myself through mayhem, destruction, deceit and all of the anti-virtues I had been fighting to prevent in my City of Heroes persona.

The gameplay options of the game are amazing as the opening training tutorial was very easy to use and understand and the scope of the game even in this early first stage was amazing. Once my villain made it through training and escaped the prison he was contained in, he was able to explore the highly detailed city. Unlike the massive high rises of Paragon City from the first game, players much work their way up the ranks by various missions in the foreboding Rogue Isles, where bad guys are in abundance and plot their various schemes. Players travel to various zones by ferry and flying craft, as the urban monorails of COH are no place for scum like us. Players take on various tasks to gain experience ranging from robberies, busting up rival gangs, and infiltrating lairs to name but a few. The variety of enemies is vast as they range from thugs, super villains, and all manner of creatures in the sewers. As players gather experience, they will be able to gain new abilities, which will allow them to take on greater tasks.

The many players I encountered were very helpful and on more than one occasion a passing player assisted me in combat or helped heal me. It is nice to know that even when we are playing as villains, players still take the time to be helpful and avoid the everyone for themselves mentality. The vast map is easily navigated by a pop up mask that allows players to travel to hotspots or places of interest. Missions are assigned by reading articles of interest in the paper as well as by NPC characters. Combat is easily handled by a user interface that shows what skills are available and which are recharging. The ability to trade enhancements is also a nice addition increasing the community aspect of the game. The controls of the game are easily learned and the enemy A.I. starts out simple but increases as the game goes on much like the original. The in game combat has been greatly enhanced by the inclusion of rag doll physics where knock backs and knock downs unfurl in a far more realistic and detailed manner than before. Players will also get the ability to build their own base and equip it with all manner of defenses. This is a nice touch as assault on or defense of a base is a very nice and much needed feature. The inclusion of Player VS Player combat out of the box is good as aside from the arenas; there are also strategic locales where players battle with and against real and computer controlled opponents.

The graphics of the game are solid showing the incredible potential of the game engine. I was able to have high detail levels that included moving grass and water drops as well as dynamic effects. The game engine is able to render detailed objects far in the distance and gives an amazing sense of scale, as the terrain and layout of the island are very detailed. The lighting effects in combat as well as the inclusion of cut scenes were also a nice touch and ads to the immersion in the game for players.
The audio portion of the game is very strong as the music changes according to zones and gameplay conditions as do the sound effects in game. On my Creative Labs X-FI card, the surround sound effects were crisp and allowed me to hear of dangers all around me, as each sound was portrayed in the range appropriate to the locale of my character.
While some of the concerns about COH remain such as XP Debt, grinding out mission after mission to level, and mission repetition, what is abundantly clear is that the designers have setout to address the issues such as no XP debt until level 10, and the numerous free updates. I am very excited to see what the future holds for the games, as the sky is the limit for the potential of COV as it I is a solid game with outstanding gameplay experiences that
will delight fans of comics and Massive Multiplay Games. Great Job guys this one not only lived up to expectations it leapt over them in a single bound.

5 stars out of 5
Gareth Von Kallenbach
Rating T


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