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City of Heroes

City of Heroes was a 3D superhero themed MMORPG with an in depth character creation process that allowed players to play as heroes or villains.

Publisher: NCSoft
Type: Superhero MMORPG
Release Date: April 27, 2004
Closure Date: November 30, 2012
Pros: +Highly detailed character creation. +Tons of content updates. +Grouping with large level range.
Cons: -No traditional loot or equipment. -Unbalanced, neglected PvP features. -Lacks crafting and other 'side' features.


City of Heroes Overview

City of Heroes was the first major superhero themed MMORPG. The game was originally subscription based let players create a highly customized hero (and later villain) with which to dispense justice.

City of Heroes was praised for its character customization, streamlined gameplay, and continued updates. It was also one of NCSoft's first partnerships with a Western developer. The game saw 24 major updates along with two paid expansions during its lifetime. NCSoft decided to shut the game down in 2012 despite a small but stable playerbase.

Character Origins - Nautural, Magic, Science, Mutation, Technology

Character Archetypes - Blaster (ranged), Controller (crowd control/pets), Defender (Buffs/Debuffs), Scrapper (melee dps), Tanker (well, tank)

City of Heroes Key Features

  • Every Hero Needs a Costume - Play a unique hero or villain using one of the most detailed character creators in MMO history!
  • Every Hero Needs a Sidekick - Team up with players of any level. The Sidekick/Exemplar feature automatically scales groups to similiar strength.
  • Every Hero Needs a Villain - A stand alone expansion (later merged) allowed players to take on the role of the bad guys. PvP and whole new regions and missions were added with City of Villains.
  • More Action, Less Tedium - No trash loot, equipment, or items to sort. CoH keeps the focus on the action!
  • 8 Years of Content - 24 updates and 2 expansions added a bevy of genre pioneering content including two new factions, player made missions, Guild Housing, a new graphics engine, achievements, and more!

Similar Games - Champions Online, DC Universe Online, Marvel Heroes

City of Heroes Screenshots

City of Heroes Featured Video


City of Heroes Videos


City of Heroes Music & Soundtrack

Additional Info

City of Heroes Additional Information

Developer: Cryptic Studios / Paragon Studios
Publisher: NCSoft
Creative Director: Jack Emmert
Senior Programmer: Shannon Posniewski
Game Designer: Matt Miller
Senior Designer: Sean Fish

Composer: Michael Henry, Jason Graves (Going Rogue update)

Release Dates

North America: April 27, 2004
Europe: February 4, 2005
Mac Version: January 9, 2009
Steam: April 22, 2009
Free to Play: September 2011


City of Villains (October 2005) - Released as a standalone title that gave access to new villain archetypes, and new level 1-50 zones, Superbase system (housing), and PvP zones.

Going Rogue (August 2010) - Added Hero/Villain side switching, New Praetorian faction, new level 1-20 zones, and new Power Sets.

Development History / Background:

City of Heroes was revealed at E3 2002 by developer Cryptic Studios as their first title. The studio entered into a publishing agreement with the Korean firm NCSoft which was looking to expand its reach in North America. The was released two years later as a subscription based MMORPG and received several free updates, called Issues, every year. A total of 24 of these Issues were developed though the last one, titled Resurgence, only made it to beta servers before NCSoft halted further development on August 31, 2012.

On November 6, 2007 NCSoft purchased the full rights to City of Heroes from Cryptic and transitioned the development team to a newly formed studio that became known as Paragon Studios on April 14, 2009. The game was made available on Valve's Steam platform soon after, on April 22, 2009. A free to play option was added to the game under the name City of Heroes: Freedom. Sadly, the game lasted only about a year after this free to play conversion. On August 31, 2012 it was announced that development for the game had halted and November 30, 2012 was given as the official shutdown date.

Despite serious efforts by both the players and (former) employees at the shuttled Paragon Studios, NCSoft decided not to sell or transfer the rights to the game so that it could remain open. A number of projects to bring the game back either through official or emulated means quickly formed, but so far none of them has managed to get anywhere.

Private Servers

City of Heroes Private Servers

There are currently no viable private or emulated server projects for City of Heroes.