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City of Heroes Gets Visual Upgrade

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 17 comments
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The super-hero MMORPG is getting a face-lift in the next update.

A few years ago when I worked at Billy Wilson's non-VE gaming site, NCSoft offered me a six month press pass to City of Heroes. That had to be one of the best games I've played in a long time. Who wouldn't like to play a super hero? with that said, there's no question as to why the MMORPG is still around.

Now it seems that NCSoft is revamping the visuals (aka Ultra Mode) in the next update called Issue 17, "Dark Mirror." Slated for this April, the company is not only throwing in a revamped graphics rendering process, but other goodies such as improvements to the Mission Architect, enhancements to UI and game systems, new badges, new missions, new emotes, and more.

For more info, head here. Haven't checked out the super-powered MMORPG? Go have a trial run.

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  • 17 Hide
    Anonymous , February 10, 2010 12:18 AM
    So, good thing they put an "Ultra Mode" stamp on the enhanced pic so we could tell which one is supposed to have the better graphics.
Other Comments
  • 2 Hide
    brett1042002 , February 9, 2010 11:37 PM
    Played this game for like a month... was over it. Character creation is excellent. Questing was terribad. Maybe it is better now... maybe not. I didn't stick around to find out.
  • 17 Hide
    Anonymous , February 10, 2010 12:18 AM
    So, good thing they put an "Ultra Mode" stamp on the enhanced pic so we could tell which one is supposed to have the better graphics.
  • 7 Hide
    TheDuke , February 10, 2010 12:48 AM
    you can barely make out any difference in that picture besides the water and I think shadows
  • 1 Hide
    mickey21 , February 10, 2010 1:10 AM
    Other than some better shading and more reflections, particularly in the water reflecting the monument building, there isnt much to write home about. Loved the game for the time I played it back in the day when it released, but end game was next to nonexistent at the time. I am surprised it is still around.
  • -2 Hide
    darkknight22 , February 10, 2010 1:28 AM
    Is this a joke? I don't get it. I don't see the difference in 'ULTRA MODE'.
  • 0 Hide
    invlem , February 10, 2010 2:41 AM
    Doesn't make the game better... After character creation the game itself is pretty boring
  • 0 Hide
    eklipz330 , February 10, 2010 2:44 AM
    this game is terribly optimized, i couldn't max it out on my hd 4850 and dual core... mind you, it's a very old game

    i played it for 2 1/2 years, then i quit because of school. a year or so later, i joined it back because of a free weekend... what was i thinking playing this game for so long? I guess my interests were different when i was younger..
  • 0 Hide
    nukemaster , February 10, 2010 3:41 AM
    Funny, the water reflections have been in the game for a while. it was kind of a glitch I noticed(with certain settings it was there). It was not right(the reflection did not move with your perspective so it was a glitch), but was there for a while.

    Last off as said above, The game engine that powers this is about the worst optimized EVER(it uses like under 50% of almost all video cards[Even during the most intense parts] and does not even max out a dual core cpu most of the time, use it all and make it run better.). When they brought out the dual core optimization they pretty much leveled single core users to half the performance(so they actually lost performance[for single core] not just giving dual core more).
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , February 10, 2010 4:04 AM
    I've been playing 51 months. Just when I feel it is getting a little stale they throw in a new twist. Don't know if I'll stay forever, but I haven't seen anything I like better. With Mission Architect your own creativity is the only real limitation.
  • 2 Hide
    Gin Fushicho , February 10, 2010 8:12 AM
    Certainly looks better, but not by much , they should have focused on more then just water reflections and shading. How about maybe some new textures that take advantage of stronger cards?
  • 0 Hide
    pswenne , February 10, 2010 11:52 AM
    Here take a look at the live feed they did back in October regarding the upgrade. It's way better than the still image ;)
  • 0 Hide
    Platypus , February 10, 2010 12:01 PM
    That's not a bad approach if they feel they have a strong enough subscriber base. Why spend the money to invest in a new MMORPG if all they really need to do is upgrade their current one? Players aren't forced to start over and all of their so-called accomplishments are still applicable.

    Still, I can't really tell too much of a difference in the images above.
  • 0 Hide
    Parrdacc , February 10, 2010 12:29 PM
    When I played it, about three years ago, I thought it was alright, definitely not the best, but alright. I have a hard time calling it a MMO though, it felt more like a online dungeon crawler than anything else. No real overall story to it that pulled you into the universe it was set in. Character creation was top notch with all the variety in which to make your character and who does not like to play a super hero any way.
  • 0 Hide
    nukemaster , February 10, 2010 12:54 PM
    Here take a look at the live feed they did back in October regarding the upgrade. It's way better than the still image ;)

    But here is a 2 year old still image that shows the effects in the water have been there. they just tossed it in before it was ready.

    And for those who liked AE(Mission Architect), it was good and all, but it turned about 90% of the games players into farmers. So next thing you knew the only teams running are 54 boss farms. Goodbye fun.

    That's not a bad approach if they feel they have a strong enough subscriber base
    That subscriber base seems to get smaller every year. At release it was great.

    I am also saying this as a person who has played the game since release(well on and off)
  • 1 Hide
    maestintaolius , February 10, 2010 5:12 PM
    *shrug* I dunno, CoX is the only MMO I actually enjoy. Lots of customization options available with builds, everyone doesn't look related, proper slotting of IOs can make some insanely powerful characters, and MA opened up a lot of creativity options (boss farms don't work anymore).

    Honestly however, the thing I like most about it is you don't need the "holy trinity" (tank, dps, healz) to do anything so it's very much just log on and play, without worrying about having to wait 40 minutes for the shaman or enchanter or cleric or whatever to log on. I also like the fact I can set the game down for 3 months and come back and my toons aren't out of date and so far behind my guildies I can't play with them anymore. This MMO is just very friendly to those of us who don't want to spend more than an hour or two every third day in front of the computer.

    I realize this isn't the majority opinion of MMO players, but that's fine there's plenty of other MMOs out there to satisfy those players. CoX works well for me.
  • 1 Hide
    cobra5000 , February 10, 2010 6:39 PM
    City of Heroes/Villains is a very fun MMO but its been around awhile and this update is just what it needs to freshen things up! It is the best superhero MMO (srry Champions Online)and of coarse, the character creation is superb. Anyone who cant tell the difference in those pictures must be half blind and i suggest they watch the video links in the previous posts.
  • 0 Hide
    caamsa , February 10, 2010 11:30 PM
    I have been playing for 56 months and I still enjoy it. My wife and I play and she and I have a lot of online friends we team up with. There is a lot more to the game than when it first came out. I look forward to the graphics improvement. It is an easy game to play. The community is very friendly. We have some of the people we play with on our facebook page. One year a couple of the guys went to Hero-Con and sent us tee shirts so we sent them girl scout cookies. It's not for everyone, but I do enjoy it.