City of Heroes Freedom
- Release Date: 2011
- Publisher: NCsoft
- Developer: NCsoft + Paragon Studios
- Genre: MMO
City of Heroes Freedom is a new name for City of Heroes published by NCsoft behind WildStar Online, and the free to play version was announced in 21 Jun 2011. After three month’s preparation, NCsoft officially opened the server without IP blocks (In September 27, 2011). With a a hybrid payment model – “Freedom” and “VIP Membership”, the Free to Play version of City of Heroes that works similarly to The Lord of the Rings Online, Champions Online, Age of Conan unrated and many other PC subscription-based MMOs.
According to NCsoft and Paragon Studios, City of Heroes Freedom allows all heroes and villains to explore areas, without subscription fees, yet with a cap of level 50. Players who would continue to pay a monthly subscription will enjoy all the benefits of new subscribers and will also receive exclusive VIP services, content and services.
To encourage current subscribers and former subscribers to remain active in the MMO City of Heroes, NCsoft offers a giveaway of 400 Paragon Points per month as of July 1, 2011. The patch brings a cooperative zone with dynamic events, new Costume Sets, and an updated character design.
To learn more about MMORPG relaunched as free to play
At the beginning of the game, you are forced to choose between good and evil. In City of Heroes Freedom, you can become an admired hero or a detested villain. When this fundamental issue is settled, you can begin a detailed process to embrace the genesis of your character. This part offers an extremely wide range of design options. First of all, you can select one of the five main categories, including science, mutation, magic, technology and nature. The decision will determine your character’s origin as well as his or her special abilities. Then you choose your favorite super powers from various options, such as melee damage, ranged damage, crowd control, support etc. Depending on your choice, you will assume the role as either a destroyer or a protector in the following quests.
Generally speaking, the coarse structure of the game is like that, but you are definitely wrong if you think that your character creation is finished. In fact, the real customization of your hero or villain has just begun. Now you can select an appropriate combo of its primary and secondary skills with which you can equip and strengthen your character. Then, most importantly, you should personify your avatar with fabulous costumes and accessories so as to distinguish your role from the rest. Of course, you will be given a considerable number of options like different colors. Though your character’s look can be subsequently revised, you are still advised to spend some time at this point, because the creation of a unique costume will brings a surprising amount of fun.
To my mind, the highlight of the Avatar Creation, namely, the color-matching of skills, comes at the end. This allows you to customize the visual effects of various abilities and create a cool package of brilliant skills which are unique and individual in all aspects.
After everything is worked out, it is time to take the first step in the Paragon City and start off incomparable adventures after a short tutorial. The preliminary quests guide you step by step to the core of the game which asks you to liberate some hostages. The city is enveloped in impenetrable darkness, and unknown enemies are lurking stealthily ahead. Are you courageous enough to plunge into the fantasy world and become an indelible legend of all times?
Graphics and Sound
Given the fact that City of Heroes Freedom is adapted from the famous paid game City of Heroes, its visual effect really leaves nothing to be desired. Even in the extensive character customization phase, we are already charmed by its visually appealing graphics. When you set foot on Paragon City, you will be further surprised by its modern graphical environment that captivates you to start exploration right away. In a nutshell, both the avatar and the game world leave a solid impression and give little cause for complaint. All kinds of buildings, roads and NPCs are combined to provide Paragon City a dignified and confident new appearance. In addition to spacious and attractive settings, the interiors of buildings are also rich in detail and full of appeal.
If there were voice for quests and lively dialogues, the game would have been much nicer. But there is also a chance that the frame of the game would have been blown up by their presence. And since quests of most MMORPGs rely on texts, the absence of voice in this game should not be a point of criticism. After all, City of Heroes Freedom incorporates straightforward yet appropriate ambient sound effects, providing the overall setting a sense of liveliness. In the theatric atmosphere, super heroes and super villains can feel free to pursue their respective goal.
The core aspects of the game, such as movement and combat, are easy to handle, because you can choose to control your role with a mouse or keyboard alternatives. In other word, it’s all up to you to opt for hot keys or mouse click to explore the virtual world. After hours of play, you may have gained a complete overview of the menu, and then everything will be crystal clear.
Personally, I like jumping around in a fight because it deepens the tension of combat. To gain the flexibility, you may have to resort to the manual camera guidance. You can also rotate the camera using the keyboard, but of course, you will lose a bit of reaction time in this way.
During our testing, the streets of Paragon City were unfortunately very spacious and empty, but you can imagine how magnificent it will be when thousands of heroes and villains populate the city. The graphic setting and the background music successfully present an attractive world that awaits your discovery. Both newcomers and veterans will feel immediately comfortable in the game and have all sorts of pastimes in their own home town.
City of Heroes Freedom is undoubtedly a worthy MMORPG. You can have access to virtually all aspects of the game for free, but if you are willing to invest a little money, the game also has a shop where you can purchase a variety of items. During my test of the game, I invested 400 VIP points and bought an exclusive costume for my super villain. It’s really awesome!
Anyway, you can still have fun in City of Heroes Freedom with a low cost and even play this tried and true classic MMORPG without spending a dime. Thanks to a plethora of design possibilities and the polished game world, we firmly believe that this game will provide a long-lasting role-playing fun.
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