The game allows you to go it hero solo but if you really want to get the most out of it you can team with other super heroes to combat evil. The trick to effective team play is to make sure you have the right mix of archetypes. You’ll want representatives of each class to ensure you’re team’s survival. You’ll need Tankers and Scrappers to get in and mix it up point blank while Blasters stand off and pick off bad guys from a distance. The team Defender is there to help keep the team alive by healing and resurrecting team members and helping to weaken the enemies. Controllers also stand off strengthening teammates and weakening enemies. You can have up to eight people on one team so you’ll have more than one archetype per team. Like most online experiences you’ll have good and bad situations but I seemed to luck out and was on some good teams for the most part. It seems like the higher the level of the players the lower the douche factor tended to be. The only real negative experience I had was people stealing kills which is a bit frustrating but not too big of a deal (this just reduces the amount of experience you get for defeating a group of minions). Personally, I liked doing the drive by healing of people involved in fights. It just seems like the super-hero thing to do. City of Heroes
is very easy on the eyes and the folks at Cryptic have done a nice job creating a comic book world to explore. Communication is done via comic book style speech balloons and the game even supports comic-style thought balloons. Each of the areas has a distinct look and feel and even sub-areas of the map will vary from location to location. This is further enhanced by changes in the music to indicate that you’ve entered a new part of town. Action occurs above and below ground, as you’ll take on villains in the caves and sewers beneath the city. Villains also tend to hide out in buildings and warehouses and while these aren’t the most interesting of settings they get the job done. There is some repetition in some of the areas but it is not too bad (certainly not any worse than Diablo players are used to).
The best part about fighting in groups is that you get a chance to check out all of the cool powers available in the game. The designers have done a great job of creating some very creative powers. You’ve got everything from flying skulls to laser bolts and all the stuff in between. I was involved in a fight and I actually saw a pool table appear out of mid-air and flung at a group of enemies. Bad guys also have some impressive powers (you know you might be in trouble when a bad guy starts throwing giants rocks at you). Half the fun of getting a new power is seeing the cool effect it has when you use it on an enemy.
The user interface is almost perfect. Everything is laid out in a clean fashion and almost everything can be accessed with a click of the button on screen or a hotkey. There is a lot of information to display at times but you can toggle things on and off easily. City of Heroes
has a decent macro system as well so you can create your own custom bindings.
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