Thursday, September 29, 2011

Don't Sweat the Spandex

Few MMO's can hold my attention. I love World of Warcraft, not because I actually just love grinding (oh god no) but because it's so damn pretty and I'm one of those pathetic wretches who actually cares about the story. ( please die Garosh) All the grinding and fetch questing and slooooooooooooooooowwwwwwww leveling keeps me from playing more than a month at a time, and since most MMO's are WoW clones I can't say I'm madly lusting for the genre. 

Then there's City of Heroes. I played the free trial years ago, and my pants haven't fit right since. When I heard that it finally went free-to-play, I promptly exploded my crotch and rolled up a new character.

Character creation works like this: The developers hand you a giant box of legos and say "here make whatever". And I mean whatever, midgets giants robot werewolves 20's gangsters, the only limit is your imaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaginaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaation. And, if you're inclined to buy imaginary things, you can buy even more extra special legos. Being a plastic fiend, my disposable moneys are few and far between but those barbarian clothes....hmmmm.

Today I was feeling I little 80's and ALOT Frazetta, and wound up with She-ape, axe-wielding chosen champion of the Yeti-folk! Come to forge an alliance with her small pink hairless cousins! Now when I first played, the tutorial level was a nice leisurely stroll through catch-the-crook-ville that took a good hour and a half to finish. Apparently times have changed, cuz I was dropped head first into burning city full of aliens and meta-humans punching each other in the crotch. The tutorial practically screams "Run, bitch, run!" and you learn how to attack, level up, and whether you're a hero or villian in the most panicky, frantic 3 minutes of any game ever. 

When the bullocks finally ceased hitting the fan, I found myself in atlas square, the starting zone for heroes. This isn't the average "go here and talk to this guy" starting zone, the entire area is chock full of purse thieves to thwart, rogue robots, semi's to leap over and militant mutants to sock the balls out of.  The first quest-giver is a G-man who survived the attack on Galaxy city (the clusterfuck you just stumbled out of) and lost his wife in the process ahhhh... you mean the quest givers are actual people with real stories? No "I am the black smith. I make hammers. You need hammer?" But how am I supposed to skip the text and pretend to know nothing about the world I'm in?! Stupid immersion...

Mister G-man wants me to smack around a cult of demon-worshiping thugs, and stop their head honcho from sacrificing some civilians to bring an eldritch horror into the world of the living. Let me repeat that: The first quest is BADASS. After beating the fear of a non-pagan god into the cultists, you get a phonecall from G-man's wife! She's not dead, she's been kidnapped by Arachnos! DUN DUNDUN!!! You always feel like your doing something important in this game, whether stopping a bank-heist or hunting down warlocks on ghetto rooftops.

And getting around is fun. Whether you're flying or using super-speed or just booking it like a regular person, you feel like a beast leaping over traffic and fences, dodging civilians and picking off a few street punks on the way. One women even said "If it weren't for She-ape, my cousin would be dead!" when I ran by. Awwww they care! If you try talking to civilians they'll spout random facts at you, like how long you've played and how many thugs you've defeated. Why is the entire city stalking me? well I guess it's...flattering...that you know exactly how many steps I've taken mister business man. Just keep your hands where I can see them.

I can't really say much about the multiplayer, being a chronic hermit and all, but I'm sure joining a superteam and getting a nemesis would be amazing. If you're on the fence, just make a character and I guarantee you'll be hooked. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some evil bastards to axe in the face. I HAVE THE YETI POOOOOOWEEEEERRRR!!! DUN DUNDUN DUNDUN DA DA DUN DA DUH DUN!

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