PC REVIEW: CITY OF VILLAINS

Choosing your character's archetype (class) is probably the most important decision you can make. There are five different types including the Brute, Dominator, Mind Stalker, Corrupter and Mastermind. The Mastermind is able to summon various zombies, ninjas and robots to do his bidding. All of the skills are fairly well balanced but if you want my opinion, go for the class with ranged abilities as opposed to melee.

There are a large variety of single and team-based missions, each with its own rewards. You can find out about single player missions by talking to NPCs or reading the headlines in the newspaper.

Each group of villains is responsible for creating and establishing a base where members can respawn, regain health, turn salvage into useable items and plot the next mission. Money is earned through Infamy while Prestige can only be acquired when missions are successfully completed in Super Group Mode. You'll earn far less experience points in this mode but the money can be used to outfit your evil headquarters with furnishings, armor, weapons and power generators. These bases serve to give you a sense of community as you and your team work towards various goals. Creating a lair for your Super Group is one of the most fundamental differences between CoV and CoH. Lone wolf players of this evil online world would be well advised to get some friends together and investigate the gameplay enhancements of creating a lair for your group. Ignore this advice at your peril, as CoV becomes far more entertaining with the existence of a Super Group.

Since everyone in the game is evil, expect raids upon your lair (and the opposite is true). Much like other online multiplayer games where you must defend your base, these attacks will require teamwork and sometimes blind obedience to the leader (if you choose to listen to him or her). Nothing feels as good as successfully defending your base from attack by actually coming together and working as a team. Nothing. The reverse is also true. That all depends on the kind of people you have playing with you though. The younger players on the team I have found are genuinely rogue agents and are just out to goof off. Figures.

Player-verses-player combat is consensual. You don't just run into fights randomly. PVP combat takes place in specific arenas (currently 4 of them) where you can battle superheroes from CoH as well as other villains. There are rewards for the winner and the losers will lose some experience points as part of a debt penalty. If battling it out with your goody two shoes counterparts is what gets your juices flowing you're bound to love this part of the game. If you're battling it out with heroes and villains and everyone has the ability to voicechat, all the better. It makes for some great over the top exchanges as long as people are into the role. A few times I found kids saying things just to see if they'd get a rise out of me because I'm a female. They don't know me too well. Had I opened my mouth and retaliated, I would have made them cry and/or commit suicide....not necessarily in that order. A well placed biting remark from a female at their delicate ages could shatter their self esteem as easily as the Hulk shatters glass. Such is the power of Daemia.

Many of the backgrounds and sound effects are stolen from City of Heroes. I can't really say this is a bad thing since both games should share the same style. There is some slowdown during the huge team PVP matches but for the most part you will experience smooth sailing. You might want to invest ina fist full of RAM to slam into your PC. If you think 512 MB is enough....think again. A gig won't even make a dent if you've got a slow processor to boot.

NCSoft has definitely created a niche market for themselves with the City Of series, except where to do they go from here? City of Mutants? City of Monsters? City of Accountants? In any event, don't hedge your bets on CoV playing completely different from what you've experience in CoH, since it was originally set to be an expansion. It's a fun game that will sometimes have you rollercoastering between "this is awesome!" and "this sucks!" but generally if you love all things comic booky, you're going to love spending time with these bad boys of science fiction.

Features:

  • Massively multiplayer gaming where players take on the role of a super-powered villain.
  • Play and live in a visually stunning 3-D world.
  • Cryptic's costume creation system allows for literally billions of different costume combinations including costume colors, patterns, textures, hair and facial features.
  • Leap tall buildings, fly over entire cityscapes, run at super speeds, execute twisted schemes and more!
  • Form your own Squad of Villains. Band together with your friends and become the menace that plagues Paragon City.
  • Go on personalized missions for revenge or conquest.
  • Build hidden lairs and forge new weapons for your evil adventures.
  • Wage epic battles against Hero and rival Villain Groups in huge base invasions.
  • Become infamous. Watch as the masses tremble at the mention of your name. Your might grows with each successful mission and every defeated foe.

By Daemia
CCC Staff Writer

Rating out of 5
City Of Villains (PC)
4.2
Graphics
You won't mistake CoV for Far Cry, we're certain of that. Heroes and Villains look good and it's always fun to play Bad Guy Dress Up. The cities look much better than the bland looking natural areas though.
4.3
Control
Control is very responsive online and running, jumping and flying is very cool.
3.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Ihe music is good and quite possibly exactly what you'd expect to hear. Voice chat is only good when you aren't subjected to complete morons.
4.5
Online
It's not cheap to play online, but that dough is going towards a server that can handle all of this fiendish activity. Play both CoH and Cov online for the same monthly $15 fee (but you'll need to own both games!)
3.8
Play Value
Comic book lovers could probably play this for months and months without realizing that it lacks some of the depth and vision of other MMORPGs.
4.2
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
2
Preview by Devin D.
City of Villains is the highly anticipated expansion for City of Heroes, the MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) where you can create a superhero and save a superhero world. With City of Villains, yes you guessed it; you can now play as a villain. The E3 2005 demo for City of Villains didn't show much of the actual COV game, but rather displayed the new bases functionality while using the City of Villains interface. The interface for City of Villains is exactly the same as City of Heroes, but instead of being blue it's red. So if you're a fan of the City of Heroes interface you can rejoice, but if you're not then you're screwed.

The bases in City of Villains, which will also be released for City of Heroes in Issue 5, are pretty expansive. The size of your base depends on how much influence you want to spend. Influence is the currency you collect in City of Villains (same as City of Heroes) when you defeat baddies. They can be built with multiple levels and decorated with a huge plethora of objects from seats, to paintings to lighting structures. The cool thing about the lighting is that you can control 3 different levels to light. For example you with a single light source you can choose to illuminate the high level with green, the mid level with blue, and the lower level with purple. What this does is add a green glow to your ceiling, a blue hue to the walls and objects, and a purple glow on the floor. This is helpful to players who want to create a dark and moody atmosphere for their base, or even for those who want to create a groovy dance floor.

With the bases come items called Power Items, which will grant bonuses to your teammates. However, holding a Power Item in your base means that you must defend that power item at least once a week. The winner of the raid takes home the Power Item. The good thing about base raids is that your base cannot be raided at anytime. All raids are scheduled and given the ok by both teams. This may sound a little too "goody two shoes" but when you see how much it will cost to build the base and decorate it, you will want to do anything and everything in your power to defend it. Some other goodies you can buy for your base are traps and defense mechanisms. Defense and decoration isn't all you can buy for your base, hospitals and teleporters are available as well.

City of Villains will also feature a more expansive create-a-character mode. Not only was the original create-a-character mode on display, some new villain only goodies were added. There are new masks available; however the only new mask on the floor was a really cool looking skeleton mask. You can also change your head into a monster head, on the floor only the werewolf was available. Now this is what I thought was the coolest part about the C-A-C, was that you can get those inverted werewolf legs! Yea they were pretty cool as you could choose between werewolf feet or hooves. According to Cryptic Studios dev Jesse, the C-A-C on the floor was only 20% done, which means there will be many, many more customizations available to toy with.

City of Villains is looking very promising so far. One of the first questions that popped into my head when talking to the developer was how City of Villains will fit in with City of Heroes. As it stands, you won't need one game to play the other, each game will stand on its own. However if you are playing City of Villains, and you want to interact with your friends on City of Heroes, you will need an active COH account to be able to access the levels in that game and on their servers.

The time for the MMO Anti-Hero comes August 2005 on the PC.

Preview by Vaughn

Ask any big time Hollywood actor and they'll tell you that playing the bad guy is always more fun than playing the good guy. The bad guys get all the good lines, they get to wiggle their eyebrows mockingly while creating maniacal laughter. What's not to like?

Crytpic Studios massive multiplayer online smash hit, City Of Heroes has spawned an offsrping. An evil little vile demonic rugrat created to gnaw at everything good and pure. Entitled City Of VIllians, this online action RPG will finally give bad dudes everywhere a chance to stick it to the man.

Following in the same footsteps as it's goody two shoes counterpart, COV will feature literally billions of character creation possibilities. Take it from us when we say actually deciding on a look for your bad guy could take weeks, depending on your ability to make a decision. Once this formidable task is completed your megalomaniac sociopath isn't ready to hit the streets of Paragon City just yet. You'll have to work your way up the corporate ladder of crime - almost like working at Enron - until you've proven that your intentions are pure evil and darkness. Then and only then, will insane superpowers be yours for the abusing.

COV will allow players to wage incredible battles of good vs evil. You'll even be able to form evil teams and partnerships and battle other evil organizations. Hell, you're evil! You can do anything! The sky is the limit and considering your character can fly right into it, we mean that literally.

COV won't be ready until 2005 but budding psychopaths hellbent on destruction better start deciding on what to wear now.

 

Review Rating Legend
1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor
2.5 - 2.9 = Average
3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
3.5 - 3.9 = Good
4.0 - 4.4 = Great
4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
5.0 = The Best