Uh-oh, someone must have fallen asleep at the watchtower down in Paragon City, because right behind their backs NCsoft has gone and joined the side of evil. On November 9, City of Villains will be making its North American debut as the highly anticipated anti-sequel to the acclaimed MMO release, City of Heroes. Players, leave your sense of justice and morality at the door; this game is about causing more chaos, mayhem, and destruction than the world can handle, as you crush it into submission with a merciless fist or claw, or plasma ray, or...
The story behind City of Villains begins with a simple prison break. Players will start out as one of several criminals biding their time in lock up, when suddenly a squad of armed goons working for a villainous organization called Arachnos busts in and sets everyone loose. Lord Recluse, the evil mastermind behind the organization, is looking for a few hard core recruits to join his armies of doom, and he's scoping every dark corner of Paragon City to get them. As part of proving their worthiness to him, players will have to fight their out of the prison's walls by taking on any guards, traps, and fellow convicts that get in the way (and quiet a few will), but getting out of prison won't earn the powerful supervillain's favor alone. Players must make a name for themselves in the annals of lawlessness and infamy by engineering their own rampant crime spree the likes of which Paragon City has never seen. Heists, kidnappings, and base infiltrations are just a few of the many villainous missions that can be taken on to move up the ranks from low-level thug to legendary arch-criminal.
But wait, we're getting a little ahead of ourselves. Before the action can even begin, potential supervillains must first be created, and for that City of Villains offers players a highly involved character creation process that allows for choices to be made on everything from physical appearance to metahuman abilities. In City of Heroes the costume design was precise down to the specific helments, gloves, boots, capes, and suits that the hero or heroine would wear; in City of Villains players can expect their villains to be decked out in much the same way, albeit more menacingly. Horns, spikes, chains, skulls, and monster heads are just a few of the fashion statements available for giving supervillains or villainesses that special fear-inspiring look, and as a one up on the heroes of Paragon City, the height limit has also been extended an extra foot just for the villains.
In another flipside approach to its predecessor, City of Villains also sports its own set of villainous archetypes that players can use to mold their character's personas. There are five in all.
Brutes: Involve melee fighters. Physical strength is their primary asset, and they have the potential to develop into unstoppable berserkers.
Stalkers: Are the masters of stealth. Think sneak attacks, burglaries, camoflouge, assassinations, etc.
Masterminds: Can call on familiars and henchmen to come to their aid. The game offers a variety of different creatures and NPC's for this archetype to manipulate, each with its own look and capabilities.
Dominators: Control freaks, mind-benders. They like to subjugate the will of their enemies and make them vulnerable to phyiscal and energy attacks.
Corrupter: The flashiest of the five. Their modus operandi includes: ranged energy attacks, protective shielding for both themselves and their allies, and a special ability called Scourge that makes them stronger as their enemies grow weaker.
Perhaps the most exciting attribute of all in City of Villains is that the game will share the same servers as City of Heroes. NCsoft thought this only logical sense both games take place in the same universe. In fact certain features and zones will only be accessible through the interaction of both games. For instance, base construction is a new game feature that will be making its debut only in City of Villains; players will be able to build custom designed lairs for themselves and their allies to recuperate in and store valuable items. While this feature comes only with City of Villains, a player who has the game, as well as City of Heroes, will be able to build bases for both heroes and villains. Shared servers will also allow for an even greater choice of PvP action. Villains can battle heroes, as well as other villains; and base raids can be instigated to gain valuable items and bragging rights against rival teams.
One last bonus to owning both games is that their shared presence on the servers will open up a new interface that will allow players a maximum of twelve character slots instead of eight. No villain to hero ratio will be enforced, regarding these character slots. If a player wants, they can fill all twelve slots with either villains or heroes.
For those gamers who are already eager to secure their own copy of City of Villains before the crowd rush, preorders are now available. As an added incentive, NCsoft is offering all preorders a two-day head start on the game's servers before it hits retail. Owners of the game's predecessor can rejoice in the fact that no additional server fee will be charged to play both games.