In comic books it seems that super-heroes tend to congregate in large urban areas. This is not much of a surprise, crime statistics being what they are, but I have often wondered why every comic book city looks like New York. Or aspects of New York.
Again, the answer isn’t too hard to suss out. The whole super-hero thing pretty much originated in the big apple so it follows that they’d be drawing what was outside their window. But something happened along the way, the texture of the super-hero city became ingrained. It became almost necessary to have the tall buildings, dark alleys, and crowded streets to birth or house a hero. Which may explain why there aren’t many famous Los Angeles based super-heroes (yes, yes, Green Lantern, Coast City, yadda, yadda…GL’s mobility and interstellar duties made him “Earth-based”).
So it’s no surprise that the MMO City of Heroes has a tall building esthetic. But it also has swaths of park and shoreline that mix it up a bit. However, the genius of the game isn’t it’s environment, or even it’s gameplay. The real draw of City of Heroes is the character creation. The ability to customize your own super-hero is a rush for all comic fans and the level of detail offered is intoxicating.
The developers did a fine job of breaking down standard comic book powers into a few categories and then allowing for variations within those categories. And then the costumes! The colors, the styles! You could be a disco avenger or a speedo-sporting aquatic prince. Fantastic stuff.
City of Heroes did right by the creation system, without a doubt, and gave fans of both video games and comic books something to be proud of, super-heroes of their very own.