City of Heroes Game Poster Image

City of Heroes



Play the hero in this comic book style MMOG.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Hundreds of available quests have various themes, but most involve helping someone achieve some desired positive objective, e.g. defeating an evil character or cleaning up an organized crime syndicate. And good always triumphs over evil.


Fantasy violence only. No blood or gore. Use of weapons and superpowers to defeat opponents.


Characters wear skimpy and revealing costumes, but no more so than the average comic book.


Varies due to online interaction. The game provides a profanity filter, but players may circumvent this by using alternate spellings.


Cost of games vary, plus there is a subscription fee of $14.99 per month required to play this game. Fake advertisements on billboards and sides of buildings enhance game's urban look. NCsoft has recently started offering these spaces for sale to real-world advertisers.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some missions revolve around organized crime trafficking in Superadine, an addictive drug.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) where combat is an integral part of gameplay. Players will attack and kill computer and human-controlled opponents with their superpowers. Hero costumes can be mildly racy, although no more so than a typical comic book. While the game does have a profanity filter, online interactions can vary widely and there are very few restrictions on what people can communicate. In addition to the initial cost, a monthly subscription fee of $14.99 is required to play this game.

What's it about?

In CITY OF HEROES, players take on the role of a person gifted -- or perhaps cursed -- with supernatural abilities. Players create their own hero using the game's sophisticated character creation system, which gives them control over everything from their character's origins, i.e. where their superpowers come from, to the color of their shoes.

Players begin their career as a hero by beating up on lowly thugs and riff-raff, but with experience and well-honed skills, they will eventually take on mad scientists, criminal masterminds, and power-mad arch-villains. Players may also battle against players from City of Heroes' sister game City of Villains, although player-versus-player (PvP) engagements are optional.

Is it any good?


City of Heroes is unusual among massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) for its character-creation capabilities. The skill system provides ample choices for developing superpowers that fit the character's origin and archetype. There are so many costuming choices that it's rare to see any two characters that are similar in design. However, the game adheres to the traditional character classes used by other MMOGs, such as tankers and healers, so that players who have played in other worlds, should find actual game play here fairly familiar.

Another strength of City of Heroes is that it encourages players to form teams to tackle more challenging quest objectives. While the game is not difficult to play solo, it's much more enjoyable playing alongside other costumed heroes. Large numbers of players can create supergroups, permanent associations of like-minded heroes who enjoy beating up on baddies in good company.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about online safety and etiquette with their teenage children. Why shouldn't you give out personal details online? Is everyone always who they claim to be? What effect does online anonymity have on people's behavior? Families can also discuss the differences between fantasy superheroes and real-life heroes. What behavior truly makes a hero? Are heroes always virtuous, or can they be flawed?

Game details

Available online?Available online
Release date:April 28, 2004
Genre:Massively Multi-player Online Game (MMOG)
ESRB rating:T for Violence, Suggestive Themes

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Adult Written byClaymix February 28, 2012

A family friendly MMO

The content of this game is mild and presented in a comic book style. As such, the violence is tame (though certain animations can look graphic - i.e., a dramatic swing of an axe) and is stylized like a comic. Additionally, the game refers to enemies and players as "defeated" rather than killed (and often times after defeating a bad guy, it is implied you merely incapacitated him to be arrested later). The writing and gameplay are definitely geared towards being more family friendly than your average game. There is very little language as well and certainly never any serious profanity. While players can create characters with (very) revealing costumes, that is the extent of any sensuality in the game (and, again, it is like a comic book). This is, however, an /online/ game in which you interact with many other players. By and large, the community in City of Heroes is fantastic. The people are generally fairly nice and usually very helpful to new players, but as in any online game, there are less than stellar people in the community. There will be times when people will circumvent the profanity filter, or make crude jokes, or just be a jerk. This is pretty much the only reason someone would be cautious about letting their child play this game. A very important thing to note is the strong RolePlaying community this game supports - mostly in the servers Virtue and Freedom. Mature content from the players themselves is very likely in either of those servers. The game itself is fantastic, by the way! A great MMO. And the main review is very outdated. The game no longer requires a subscription to play!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Kid, 10 years old January 15, 2012

City of heroes

Its a fun game were you can be a super hero or super villian.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing


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