Issue 4 also adds new options to the critically-acclaimed costume customization tool with the addition of a wide-variety of anime-influenced costume choices. Additionally, players now have greater control over the look and feel of their characters with the introduction of body and face scaling features. The costume customization interface now enables players to shape parts of their characters’ bodies including heads, shoulders, legs and chests. The updated customization options will be available to all new characters. Pre-existing characters can visit any of the tailor shops in Paragon City™ to update their look.
“We took a costume customization tool that offered an almost unlimited number of costume options and added to it by geometric proportions,” said Jack Emmert, City of Heroes lead designer and creative director for Cryptic Studios. “One of the achievements we are most proud of is that players know that they can play City of Heroes and may never see another player with the same costume. The updating of custom options also expands our ability to reach more players who are fans of Anime or Manga.”
The main event for Issue 4, however, is the three new PVP arenas in Paragon City. For the first time, heroes can test their skills against each other in hand-to-hand combat. The arenas, which opened in Galaxy City, Talos Island and Peregrine Island, resemble some of today’s newest domed stadiums, but also reflect the classic architecture of coliseums throughout history. These arenas provide players with access to instanced PVP zones in which solo, team or super group battles can take place.
“PVP has been a highly requested option, but until now City of Heroes has been only player-versus-environment style, so this opens up a whole new opportunity for our community,” Emmert said. “I believe PVP will supplement the game while not detracting from City of Heroes’ missions or story arcs. I see the PVP arenas as a way for players to hone their skills and as a change of pace from arresting villains.”
The arenas are open to all player levels and include a ranking system where players can see their skills ranked against all other heroes in Paragon City. Winners in the arena matches gain recognition and those defeated still gain valuable battle experience without earning character debt. Matches will also have a wide variety of battle criteria to select from, so players may customize their battles to their preference.
City of Heroes, which was named “MMORPG Game of the Year” (2004) from Computer Gaming World and “2004 PC or Console Game of the Year” by Billboard Magazine, is available at most North American computer game retail outlets at an expected retail price of US$29.99 that includes the first month of online game play free. After the first month, players will be charged a monthly subscription fee of US$14.95. Sixty-day game time cards are also available at many North American retailers for an expected retail price of US$29.99. The game is rated Teen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.
To purchase the game or other City of Heroes merchandise go to the NCsoft store at: https://store.plaync.com . For more information about City of Heroes, Issue 4: Colosseum, go to: www.cityofheroes.com.