City of Villains

Common Sense Media says

Join up with other villains for a bad-guy romp .





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Hundreds of available quests have various themes, but many involve stealing and defeating the good guys. Role models include organized crime leaders and over-the-top evil characters.


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


Skimpy and revealing character 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.


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 combat is an integral part of this massively multiplayer online game (MMOG), and players will attack and kill computer and human-controlled opponents with their superpowers. While the game uses a profanity filter, players are good at getting around it by typing creative spellings of curse words, so online interactions can vary widely. Villain costumes can be mildly racy, although no more so than a typical comic book. In addition to the $19.99 cost, this game has ongoing costs of $14.99 per month. It is the companion title to City of Heroes.

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What's it about?

In CITY OF VILLAINS, players take on the role of a villain with super powers, bent on destruction of all who stand in their way of domination and personal glory. Players will go up against their villainous rivals, the authorities, and those namby-pamby do-gooders with savior complexes in brightly colored tights from the companion game City of Heroes.

Players begin by creating a villain using the game's sophisticated character creation system, which gives them control over everything about the way they look. There are so many costuming choices that it's rare to see any two characters that are similar in design. But being a villain goes way beyond having bad-ass duds. The core of City of Villains character creation system is its unique class system. Players choose a core character archetype and origin that reflects their character's villainous personality. For example, a brilliant leader with a gift for invention would be a Mastermind archetype with a Technology origin. Each combination determines what sort of skills they'll develop as they increase their superpowers

Is it any good?


Starting as nothing more than a lowly thug, players guide their character through the game world to defeat do-gooders, complete quests, and become a master criminal supervillain. Players may also battle against players from City of Villains' sister game City of Heroes, although player-versus-player (PvP) engagements are optional.

One strength of City of Villains is that it strongly encourages players to form teams to tackle more challenging quest objectives. While the game is not difficult to play solo, it's considerably more enjoyable creating mayhem alongside other costumed villains. Large numbers of players can create more permanent associations of like-minded villains who enjoy menacing society together.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the differences between fantasy supervillains and real-life villains. What behavior truly makes a person bad? Are villains always bad, or can they have redeeming qualities? Families can also discuss the social ramifications of drug trafficking and organized crime.

Game details

Available online?Not available online
Release date:October 28, 2005
Genre:Massively Multi-player Online Game (MMOG)
ESRB rating:T for Suggestive Themes, Violence (Windows)

This review of City of Villains was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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