Creating your super villain is just as fun as creating your hero. Though it's hard to make character creation better than the system in City of Heroes (CoH), Cryptic one-upped all expectations and further customized characters for the villains. Along with the options available in CoH, CoV has new options such as animal parts, skeletal figures, and scars.
The City of Villains world opens up 7 PvE zones for villain play and 4 PvP zones for villains and superheroes to clash. Just like in City of Heroes, villains will be able to enter instanced areas within these zones. In City of Villains, though, you take jobs instead of missions - it's all about personal gain. Another difference is that, while in City of Heroes you are rescuing hostages and protecting Paragon, you will be kidnapping, hijacking, infiltrating, and performing other such evil deeds. Instead of fighting gang leaders, villains will get to engage in comic book-esque battles with superheroes (such as Mynx) who stand in your way.
When a day of crime-causing is over, villains will get to return to their secret hideout (base building). Just as Emmert intended, these bases are just as customizable as costumes … your base can consist of over 10 rooms and you can customize details down to the height of one block of ceiling. You can add platforms or columns, tables and chairs, or special defensive items such as turrets and shields to be used during raids. You can also create special rooms such as hospitals or labs which allow access to special items.
During the game, players from both CoV and CoH will be able to fight over certain items of power that will be kept in the bases. When your group has possession of an item of power, everyone in the group will get special buffs and boosts. Because of this, items of power are much sought after … and this is where base raids come in.
Your base can only be raided if you have an item of power. Raids will be announced in advance so your group has time to get ready and plan, and of course the aforementioned turrets and shields should be strategically placed to help you fight off the raiders. Heroes can raid other heroes, villains can raid other villains, or you can raid each other to try to grab these powerful relics.
Graphics, too, get a kick up in this pseudo-sequal. Metal armor now shines with reflection, and when you're swimming, the newly refractive water distorts your image. While some of these updates will be free for CoH players, some of them will require that you buy the new game.
City of Villains is definitely one of the strongest presentations that NCSoft has made yet. With interesting jobs, base and character design, new graphics, and the chance to play the enemy, the game shows true innovation and inspires high hopes in gamers. With any luck, CoV will finally break the mould of current MMORPGs and come out with a real, original feel to it.
I am now a full time college student with a part time job. I kayak and ride horses 3-5 times a week but I always find time for my games. My current favorite is Lineage II, though I am always open to trying something new!