City of Villains Review

City of Villains is no more a sequel to City of Heroes than Lex Luthor is a sequel to Superman. It is City of Heroes’ nemesis, its dark companion, the yang to City of Heroes’ yin. City of Villains is a stand alone game and you need never have played City of Heroes to enjoy it. On the other hand, if you’ve played City of Heroes and are looking to experience the dark side of your hero’s soul or walk around in the shoes of his or her greatest enemy, City of Villains makes a perfect addition

City of Villains takes place away from the gleaming spires of City of Heroes’ Paragon City. City of Villains is set in the Rogue Isles, a dark city spread across a cluster of islands. The Rogue Isles are under the control of the criminal organization known as Arachnos, led by the mysterious super-villain Lord Recluse. As a new villain you’ve caught Arachnos’ attention as a villain with potential and the game’s main story arcs bring you closer and closer to Lord Recluse’s inner circle.

Create your own look of evil.
When you sit down to create your villain you’ll find that the game’s character creator is one of the most powerful ones that you’ll find in any MMORPG, if not the most powerful. Just about any costume style you can think of is represented here – medieval, futuristic, ninja, mobster, tights, and more. You can even go for a non-human look – insectoid, robotic, monster, etc.. You can mix and match the styles as you please, designing your villains costume piece by piece from head to toe. You can take the customization even further by specifying major and minor colors for each and every costume piece and even add a logo for good measure. You could spend your first hour or so with the game just tweaking your villain’s look to make it just right. Or you can just let the game randomize your villain and jump right into the game. As a testament to the power of this character creator tool you’ll often find yourself stopping in your tracks as you’re making your way across the Rogue Isles because a really cool costume caught your eye.

The look of your villain is not the only decision you’ll need to make before making your way to the Rogue Isles; you’ll need to select your archetype (character class) as well. There are five archetypes to choose from, some of which will seem familiar to City of Heroes players. This time out the brute force tanker is the appropriately named brute. The ranged damage dealer is the corrupter, analogous to City of Heroes’ blaster. The stalker is the fast-attacking melee archetype while the dominator attacks the will and psyche of his opponents. This brings us to my personal favorite archetype, the mastermind. The mastermind commands minions to do his or her bidding, unleashing robot, ninja, zombie, or soldier attackers to do the dirty work. It is simply really cool to send a bunch of robots after your enemies while you sit back and let the experience roll in. These archetypes support both the solo and team player, although some are definitely better suited to solo play than other. Soloing as a mastermind with a bunch of minions to back you up is certainly easier than going it alone as a dominator who is more adept at confusing enemies than in dealing damage to them.