Op-Ed

Bringing Out the Inner Villainy

| 5 Dec 2005 09:07

I really enjoyed City of Heroes for the first 27 levels. Then my level 27 defender got dull. The repetitive killing and similar missions over and over again got to me and I just couldn't handle it anymore. I deactivated my account and left to play other games.

I reactivated my account about 4 or 5 months later and tried to get into it. Again, I just couldn't do it. I deactivated again and left City of Heroes behind me never to be seen again.

Yeah. Right. Over Thanksgiving, a friend bought City of Villains. I was over at her house and was watching her play. I kept getting drawn in. I kept trying to ignore it, but I just happened to meander over to her PC to watch her play. The scenery is darker and the music took a sinister twist and she could stealth. "No," I kept telling myself. "It's not worth it. You can't go back."

But the call of evil overtook me. That little voice in the back of my head kept screaming, "You know you want to, Whit. Just do it, the first hit is free." I buckled. Last Wednesday, my friend and I headed over to the local mall and hit up the EB store. I purchased the normal CD version of the game, brought it home and sat it on my breakfast bar that serves as a dumping ground for whatever I feel like piling on. There it sat for three days taunting me. The temptation to take it back to EB was there, but I couldn't give in. I wanted to play.

I played. Oh, did I play. I struggled with character creation, trying amazingly hard to create a character that didn't look like my hero. I had no idea what character type I wanted to create so I randomly chose a Magic Mastermind with Necromancy. And then I played. It wasn't hard, the game play is identical to that of City of Heroes. That being said there is no reason why it should be as much fun as it is. "WHY!" I just kept asking myself. "I did this already, for months. I should not be enjoying this so much." I kept playing. Levels 1, 2, 3, 9... I just kept going.

It doesn't make sense to me. It's the same game on the opposite side of the spectrum. Instead of contacts you have brokers, instead of gaining influence you gain infamy. Instead of making friends, you help someone and then kill them in a later mission. You are a villain, you are reckless. You are enemy to the enemies and enemy to the heroes. It still doesn't explain why this game is so much fun. The gameplay hasn't changed from that of its predecessor, it's still the same-old instance based mission after mission (if I see the word 'mish' typed one more time, I'm going to scream) kill everything in sight. But, it's fun. Maybe it will last, maybe it won't.

I wish I could answer my own question. The same game with a twist on evil is the most fun I've had in awhile. I probably won't ever be able to explain it, but maybe giving in to that little voice in the back of my head was a good thing. For now I have an army of zombies that run around saying "Wa..nt..Bra....insssss!"

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