City of Heroes: Good Versus Evil Combined Edition PC Review

After releasing a basic and collectors editions of both City of Heroes and City of Villains, NCsoft has now decided to release ANOTHER special edition of the two games, but now in one ultra combined force! City of Heroes and City of Villains comes together in a Good vs. Evil combined edition! Basically both games, one disc!

When this game was released back in 04’/05′ it was a fresh new MMORPG that got everyone hyped. What is cooler than creating your perfect super hero, heroine, or villain, eh? Everyone has dreamed of it, making someone who can fly at super speed, but also can go invisible. Even an evil mastermind kidnapping and accumulating all the money in the world and hiring people to do their evil biddings! I think you get the idea. Anyway, this game did just that, but with one drawback: at a fee of 8.99 a month, and most of your social life disappearing you could create your perfect hero or villain. Now as much fun as it sounds (and back when it was released it was a blast), as with any online only game there is competition and that competition is World of Warcraft!! With the release of this special edition you can really tell it is NCsoft’s last attempt at getting players interested.

As with a majority of online games, the graphics have taken a hit so that the gameplay is fast and frantic. In this, the graphics are really polished and detailed – well the heroes and enemies anyway; the scenery is bland and very repetitive. The character creation on this game is the best I have ever experienced in any online RPG. You can edit what color your suit, skin, and hair are. In the creation of your suit there are so many combinations and if you like looking individual, this is perfect. It will take a long time, I can guarantee that. A problem with a lot of MMORPG’s is that the character creation is basic and once you hit the level cap (the highest level in the game) you begin to look like everyone else. With this you wont, unless you accidentally match someone else’s style which is extremely hard to do since there’s so many combinations. During combat, the graphics are really colourful, and lots of over the top explosions and effects, as with anything to do with superheroes!

The gameplay in this is just like any other MMORPG. Run around, get quests/missions, do said task, report back, repeat. While doing those you can ask people for help, directions and so on. If there is a particular task you’re having trouble with, you can ask someone to help and if you’re lucky, you will get the help! While doing these various quests/missions, you will be asked nearly every time to eliminate a certain enemy or a number of enemies. This is where the combat system comes into play. The combat in the game is very similar if not exact from Matrix Online. You run up to your enemies, highlight them, click with left mouse button usually and watch the battle commence. With CoH/CoV you run up to the enemy, highlight, click and then instead of sitting back maybe occasionally clicking a health regeneration item you press what attack you want! You have to keep your eye on what attacks you can do, so with this being a big plus point with taking part in the combat instead of sitting back twiddling your thumbs like World of Warcraft. A big problem with this is that there aren’t as many players as there was when it was first released.

I spoke to a few players of the game and they were explaining that around about 70% of the players have left to play World of Warcraft. Some are playing both. So when it comes to getting a low level party on this game, it is very hard unless users that have been playing for months create a new character and start again which a lot of them do and play the game and build a different kind of hero/villain. Also a reason why it is hard for a new player is the Player vs. Player (PvP for short) aspect of the game because the higher level players want to play this area of the game instead of helping lower level players. This is where the game comes into its own with Heroes vs. Villains hence the release of both titles.

The heroes go around the area Paragon City doing various tasks while the villains go around the area Rogue Isles. The tasks done in both areas are basically mirrored and not much thought has gone into the task differences. With the heroes you stop muggers and stop underground illegal activates. With the villains, you stop the heroes doing this but instead of being in Paragon City you’re in a completely different area so you can get on with the game. The PvP area of the game is called Sirens Call. This is where the villains and heroes have a never ending battle for control of that area! This area is recommended for higher levels ONLY! You can try and get there at a low level you will get killed without doubt.

The sound in the game is very basic: thuds, blasts, zaps, and clunks of all different varieties. There isn’t much in terms of music – just the title screen, character creation, and when you log into the game for a minute or two, so don’t be expecting an epic soundtrack or some groundbreaking orchestral music like World of Warcraft. It is extremely basic and nothing to be impressed about.

Overall this game will go on for years just like any other online role playing game, but will stay as a small community due to a lot of users migrating to other MMORPG’s. Sadly the communities that are usually left are the really helpful players that have nothing better to do which is kind of sad in the way that no MMORPG will stay strong now with the ever changing World of Warcraft. If you have a friend who has this game, have a play on his first before you go out and buy it. If not then take the risk. As with a lot of current games being released there is a high amount of risk whether it will be good, bad, or just plain awful. This is one of those in-betweens if you’re willing to put in the hours to get to the top and compete with all the rest of the payers.

This is one superhero that needs to retire. . .

7.2 out of 10

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