Superheros have made a come back in the past decade, which saw more super hero movies than any other in history, and it was just a matter of time before someone thought it would be a good idea to make a multiplayer game about it. The first one I can recall was called City of Heroes back in 2004. I have never played it but from it's description, the concept is simple: create and customize your hero and play with it in a world populated by tons of other heroes, or, with the introduction of City of Villains in 2005, you can be a super villain and play for "the other side".
|Custom hero running at speed|
The character creating screen is very well done and there are limitless possibilities when it comes to creating your hero's costume, his most defining characteristic. Because of this you will see all kinds of people running around with their own custom made suits, some awesome, some terrible, others very funny.
|It's not Batman, I swear.|
There are items to "wear" as in any other online RPG, but they can get really, really confusing. Everything has percentages, numbers everywhere, it's hard to tell which items are better for you right away. Since it was confusing to me, a veteran of 10 years of online games, I can only guess how it would make a total newbie feel like.
The missions you're presented with at first are challenging and fun, and as I understand there are some "adventure packs" you can purchase to further experience comic-like plots and stories.
More info, registration and download at their website.
Lord of the Rings Online
This game isn't new by any means, it's just one of those which is finding hard to attract new players so they went free to play. It is set, as the name gives away, in J.R.R Tolkien's universe, Middle Earth, from his famous books.
|The party tree.|
It is a pity then to report that the graphics are very sub par, even for 2007 when it was launched. However, when running around the huge map, I can understand how upgrading the textures alone would be a huge task, so it's not to be expected any time soon if this game is in financial trouble, which going free2play is a sign of.
You can play of course as several of the universe's races, however, only on the side of "good". I guess developers didn't want people playing as orcs or goblins, because they don't really have a mind of their own in the LOTR universe, instead, they serve a master like Saruman or Sauron. There is some PvP however, where someone takes hold of a monster and plays against players. I have not done so yet, so I can't tell you how that plays out.
For fans of the series though, you must give it a go. It's quite immersive and seeing some of the scenery is just a good feeling of awesome.
More info on the official website.