The light MMORPG
City of Heroes, despite being over three years old, continues to evolve and thrive, adding new zones, missions, and powers every few months in free updates. The large and stable subscription base of devoted players also defies CoH's age. Fans of MMORPGs in general may not find as much enjoyment in Paragon City given newer MMO options, but anyone who's ever dreamed of becoming a super-powered hero and beating the heck out of bad guys should still consider giving City of Heroes a trial run.
CoH's incredibly robust character editor continues to outpace most MMORPGs by far. The amount of possible customization has only grown larger, and recently customizable weapons were implemented, allowing heroes with certain powersets to really polish off their appearance. Although some costume categories are still a bit lacking in options, players who care about their character's appearance can expect to spend hours tweaking in the character editor (especially with up to five different costumes per character). With the exception of certain cliche looks, it's unlikely you'll find more than one or two people in the world who look like your hero, if that many.
While the gameplay in City of Heroes isn't terrible by any extent, it remains rather generic and repetitive, staying true to the grinding dark side of MMOs. Street hunting is available, and instanced missions are readily available in unlimited amounts, a pleasant change from the days when level capped heroes would run out of content. Sadly, almost all missions boil down to either going in a building and punching everything that tries to fight back, or street hunting a certain amount of an enemy faction. The exceptions that do exist are usually annoying or poorly implemented. City of Heroes also has loot in the form of inventions, although players can survive and remain competitive against enemies without utilizing them. Those who do grind out the large amounts of money for inventions will find themselves much more powerful, however, and can often pull off insane feats within the game with a properly slotted build.
Although City of Heroes doesn't pull off anything remarkable with its gameplay, there's still a lot of fun in punching enemies senseless, and the storylines, convoluted as they are, can be interesting reads for insight into the world of Paragon City. People already against MMORPGs won't be swayed by CoH's action, but anyone with a desire to play dress-up and fight crime with others might find joy within this crazy universe.