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City of Heroes Review (8 out of 10)
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By Cdr Juno

Overview
Ok, in the wide world of MMO's, the Everquest series stands out alot.  Thus, almost every other MMO out there is similar.  Dragons, Elves, Wizards, Knights.....
 
But then, Cryptic Studios and PlayNC released City of Heroes in 2004.  Suddenly, an MMO didn't mean the same thing it used to.  Rather than endless fields, dragons, wizards, and Knights, you know had superheroes, villains, street thugs, and even more superheroes.
 
In the game, instead of creating a medievel hero, you create a modern day superhero in a metropolis with hundreds of other heroes.  From your origin to your archetype, you create your hero from scratch.  Using the who knows how many different options at your disposal to customize your hero from height to hair and belt to boots, your hero is your own creation.
 
 
Graphics  8 out of 10
In terms of graphics, this game is solid.  Every detail of your hero, the city around him or her, and the other heroes are all done very well.  However,  they aren't perfect, and even on the highest graphic settings, the game isnt going to be as mind blowing (eye candywise) like other games like Doom 3.
 
Gameplay 9 out of 10
Simple and fun.  You pick it up fast thanks to the easy to follow tutorial that takes maybe five minutes and gets you your first experience level.
 
Sound 4 out of 10
Ok yeah...
This is where the shine starts to dim.  Unless you are traveling between districts or neighborhoods, there is no music but the ambient sound.  The sounds are good, but the lack of music leaves something to be desired.
 
Difficulty 4 out of 10
Another shine dimmer.  Depending on where you go, the game can be easy or hard as hell.  Some missions later on, (in game lingo called a "mish") can be disastrous, even with a full team.  You can be level 16 and you get a mission full of level 20's or so.  Or you can get a mish full of level 13's, leaving you with no experience gain.
 
Playtime 1 out of 10
Ok, when you first buy the game, you get a 30-day free trial to play online, after the first 30 days, you have to buy time cards or charge it to a credit card to continue online play.  This can kill someone's online experience.  When you can afford $15 a month, its great, when you can't, the game sucks.
 
Replay Value 1 out of 10
Like I said before, without money to refresh your account time, you can be left unable to play on.  Finishing the game, er, taking one of your in game characters to the level 50 max will enable you to make a new character of from two new archetypes (Character class).
 
Story Concept 10 out of 10
This is a shine re-shiner.  Each criminal group in the city (at least 15) has it's own story.  With the continual patches and issues, that story can change.  One such group affected was the 5th Column, who were destroyed in a coup by "The Council of War" in the second issue.  New groups have come around, and new are sure to be affected.
 
Story Presentation 10 out of 10
Word of mouth.  You get the story straight from members of the criminal group.  You overhear them on a mish talking about their plans and failures.  You even hear them say things like "I hear (insert your character's name here) is looking for this place".  To make you feel more like it's the story of your own hero.  Which is a very nice touch.
 
Acting 1 out of 10
For $15 bucks a month, you'd expect voiceovers, but you dont get any.  Yep, no voiceovers.
 
Ending ---
Since it's an MMO, there is no definitive "end" of the game.  Ergo, I waive this grade.
 
Overall 8 out of 10
If you got the money a month, and a PC that can handle the game, go for it.  If not, don't try to.  Seriously.

"Welcome to Paragon City, where you are a hero."
- City of Heroes trailer