The good guys have had their day - now it's evil's turn. But as the dark shadow to the popular massively multiplayer online superhero RPG City of Heroes, NC Soft's City of Villains feels very familiar but only slightly sinister.
Like its less evil twin, City of Villains drops players into Paragon City, a metropolis ravaged by crime. Street gangs, giant snakes, and mutated corpses roam the streets, looking for their next victims. The good guys are here too - spandex-clad Longbow operatives patrol the streets, trying to thwart evil. And then there's you, a bad person with a good idea, eager to rise up the local rogue's gallery. Pull off a bank heist here, a kidnapping there, and let the other bad guys know who's really bad, and yours will be a name that both heroes and villains fear.
The gameplay remains the same: running (or flying or leaping or teleporting) around an expansive city, ducking into offices and caves and sewers for a very action-heavy RPG experience against computer-controlled enemies as well as other players. There's no "item crafting" as found in most fantasy MMOs, but as you fight, you'll earn enhancements to your superpowers, which you can choose and upgrade as you see fit. The same goes for your supervillain - if you want to merge a zombie's torso with cybernetic legs and crown it all with a top hat, the game's expansive character creator indulges your every whim.