City Of Heroes Getting Morally Ambiguous

For a few months, a while back, “City Of Heroes” was a bit of an obsession for me. An MMORPG with super-heroes and super-villains? The ability to earn upgrades and develop powers with experience points? Flying? Fighting? Leaping? Teleporting?

I’m there…!

(It’s pertinent to point out at this point that I didn’t have a girlfriend back then, and as such had loads of time to play a game like COH.)

There were only a couple of problems with the game, and in some ways they were problems with this whole area of gaming: The majority of missions that you fought started to get pretty repetitious, and as such, you didn’t feel like battles you were fighting or stories you were playing through really made a persistent difference in the world of the game.
There wasn’t really any character progression, and by extension any real continuous role-playing, in the game.

NCSOFT went some way to fixing the former problem with a previous expansion – “Issue 14 – Architect” – giving players a chance to write their own missions and storylines themselves. Now, with the first major expansion for the game since 2005’s “City Of Villains”, “Going Rogue”, they may be addressing some of the more shallow elements of the role-playing.

Introducing a new, parallel universe version of the “City Of Heroes” universe, Praetoria, where heroes are villains are heroes, bad equals good, cats chase dogs. So basically DC’s Earth 2, but for the City Of Heroes universe…

Alongside the introduction of this alignment-bending mirror-universe version of the game’s world, “Going Rogue” will unveil a new alignment system, which allows players to “explore the shades of gray that lie between good and evil. For the first time, hero characters can become villains and vice versa”.

What this means, according to Brian Clayton, general manager and executive producer at Paragon Studios, who develop the game, “For years, players could choose between playing as a hero or a villain. Now we will present a third, malleable path where players can be affected by the results of their actions, enabling them to further develop, unveil new perspectives, and overcome new challenges.”

Now, it’s going to be a while before this comes out, and normally I agree with Yahtzee when it comes to good/evil alignment in games, but in a continuous role-playing setting, like City Of Heroes, it might just work.

And it just might be awesome.

GS Reporter: Nick!

Source: NCSoft

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