I remember playing City of Heroes when it first came out. I'm not sure I've ever purchased a game which took me longer to get from "installation" to "playing." That's not because the learning curve was steep or the installation was buggy or there were a gazillion updates and configuration settings to apply. No, it took me forever to get into City of Heroes because the character generation was just that good.
When it comes to superheroes, look is everything. The look is even more important than the powers. There a plenty of heroes who don't even have powers but their look is so overwhelming that it doesn't matter. If there's one thing a superhero game absolutely, positively must have, it's that ability to make your hero look exactly the way you want them to look.
My favorite hero, the one I played the most, was a black man wearing camo pants, combat boots, a white t-shirt with a bomb on the front, gold sunglasses, and a red beret. The Marxist used to spout slightly-altered lines from The Communist Manifesto as he pummelled bad guys into submission. The game had the tools to let you create your vision of your hero and then execute them in a way that surpasses any game I've played to-date.
Unfortunately, the rest of the game wasn't up to snuff and I wound up cancelling my account. Maybe if I'd stuck with it I'd have found some content that interested me, but it had turned into an endless, repetative grind. Despite that, it remains a guilty pleasure in my memory. It delivered one of the best start-of-game experiences I've ever had.
I took DC Universe Online out for a spin, but I just couldn't get into it. Aside from the fact that the game felt as though it'd been developed for a console, it the character generation was just dreadful. It didn't come close to the options available in CoH. Sure, you could set you exact muscle mass and alter your eyebrow angles, but in the end, you all pretty much looked the same. Bah.
I bring this up because the estemeed Mr. Chuck Wendig provides some of the most evil (and evocative) fiction-writing prompts I've ever seen, and this week's prompt has me cackling with delight. I'm not sure exactly where I'm going to go with it, but it's an opportunity to bring The Marxist back to life.
Thank you, Mr. Wendig. And the rest of you? You've been warned...