Superhero Showdown! COH vs CO vs DCUO - Page 2

Updated Tue, Jul 19, 2011 by jeffprime


Powers are the heart and soul of the superhero MMOG. What would a hero be without his powers or abilities? If the Hulk didn’t have his super strength, Batman didn’t have his numerous gadgets, or how about Superman without flight or X-ray vision? The powers a hero has define him just as much as his costume does.

This category has a tie. Both COH and CO have excellent power sets from which players can choose from. Since CO went free-to-play, players can follow an archetype (preset powers) or choose the standard free-form option (for subscribers and those willing to pay for this option) of picking what powers you wish. In both games, players can choose powers from various power sets, with some limitations. In COH, you have to be certain levels to grab a power from another set and in CO, you have to have a certain number of powers in your main power set to be able to get new powers from a different set. Both games also allow you to see what powers are available and when. In contrast, DCUO has you locked into a single power set from the beginning without any real information given to you. While each power set has a lot of options to allow you to really define your role as a hero, the systems in COH and CO are more flexible.

Winner: City of Heroes and Champions Online

champions online
Hmmm...a choice of powers and a description.


How fighting and world interaction is handled is paramount. Superheroes need to throw down constantly to beat back the hordes of evildoers. Throwing righteous punches of justice into the faces of black-hearted villains is how us sensitive heroes express ourselves. Superheroes show their mettle through mighty deeds, which usually involve whipping the butts of many a bad guy.

Both COH and CO have similar fighting styles, but CO adds an extra layer with the ability to block and generate energy through a special attack. DCUO takes blocking and layers it with the fighting style commonly found in console games. The result: an easy to get into fighting system that has multiple combos to be used for specific powers and is fun as hell. DCUO wants you to get into the fray right away and start pounding evil into the ground and they succeed in doing this. Battling villainous foes in DCUO is tremendous fun, which is what any game should strive for: fun. It’s quick, easy, and enjoyable.

Winner: DC Universe Online

Smashing bad guys has never been this much fun.


This category is for those small extra things that really enhance your gaming experience. The winner for this category is COH. The little things like in-game events such as the Ghost Ship or the Rikti invasions help bring players together. CO has added their Blood Moon event and hopefully they’ll add more in the future. Also, COH has bases for supergroups! A supergroup can fully customize their base with useful areas such as work stations and teleporters and the design options are almost limitless. You want a base that looks medieval and magical? You can do that. Do you prefer a sleek sci-fi base with technology dripping off the walls? You can do that too. Plus, supergroups can raid other supergroups’ bases and they can duke it out. How cool is that? CO has just added player bases to their game with some ability to customize it. While not on the scale of COH, it is a welcome addition to the game.

I also need to cite COH’s Mission Architect system again. Being able to design your own adventures and play the missions created by others is tremendous. While you can create your own nemesis in CO, you can do that one better in COH by creating whole story arcs around a specific foe if you choose to do so.

Winner: City of Heroes

city of heroes
The base creation process in City of Heroes. Where do I want my mini-bar?


So what game is best? Well, my answer is….none of them and all of them. I’m not copping out on making a decision. I enjoy playing all three games for different reasons. DCUO has a more dynamic fighting system that I enjoy, but I do enjoy fighting in CO and COH too. Missions are more varied in DCUO, but through player-created content, there are tons of cool adventures in COH. Perks like housing in CO and bases in COH appeal to me as well. Plus, each game has really cool bad guys to fight, each with their own unique styles.

If certain specific categories are more important to you than others, then you’ll gravitate towards one game over the others. Personally, I like the whole ball of wax so I can’t really choose. I enjoy my adventures in all three games and hop from one to another on a regular basis. The choice is really up to you…

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