City of Heroes Freedom offers free-to-play option this year


City of Heroes was the first massively multiplayer online role-playing game starring comic book-styled superheroes to really “get it.” This is evidenced in the game’s continued popularity and support from its maker, Paragon Studios. The MMO scene is changing though, and subscriptions are getting harder to hang onto for games that aren’t World of Warcraft or EVE Online. That’s probably a big part of the reason why Paragon has announced plans to embrace a free-to-play pricing model with City of Heroes Freedom.

Subscriptions will still exist for those who wish to take advantage of the “VIP exclusive benefits, content and services,” the press release notes. Freedom offers a pretty complete experience, however, offering players access to both Hero and Villain zones as well as a level 50 cap. The particulars aren’t detailed, but it sounds like non-subscribing players will be able to purchase various expansions to the game’s story — released as “Issues” — as well specialized power sets and other customization features a la carte.

Additionally, a new Paragon Points program will be introduced. Subscribers will earn 400 of these points every month, which can be spend on “costumes, items, services and consumables available via the in-game Paragon Market.” Freedom players will also be able to earn these points as monthly rewards, though the “how” isn’t specified. You’ll presumably be able to buy these points outright as well, for use in-game.

Speaking personally, I’ve always been curious about City of Heroes but tend to keep away from subscription-based games for various reasons. This new setup is definitely going to get me exploring Paragon City, which is surely what the studio is banking on. It’s going to have some competition too, in the form of Champions Online, the superhero MMO from City of Heroes co-developer Cryptic Studios that went free-to-play earlier this year.


Blizzard’s latest hiring spree is likely for the unannounced ‘Diablo 4’

Activision Blizzard is hiring for more than a dozen positions on unannounced Diablo projects. Some of the roles are likely for the unannounced Diablo 4, the next mainline entry in the series.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.

Everything we know about 'Red Dead Online', including the new mode Gun Rush

Red Dead Online will gradually rolled out to Red Dead Redemption 2 players via a beta. We've got all the details about the beta's suite of competitive and cooperative modes, as well as what to expect going forward.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Fortnite V-Bucks being used by criminals for money laundering on dark web

Criminals are using Fortnite's V-Bucks for money laundering schemes on the dark web. Epic Games, apparently, is not doing enough to prevent the game from being used for the illegal activity.

Relive the 8-bit gaming era with the best NES emulators for Android and PC

For years prior to the release of the NES Classic, emulators have offered a means to every NES game ever created without needing the console. Here are the best NES emulators for Android and PC.

Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector’s Edition comes with a life-size Scorpion mask

The Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector's Edition will come with a human-sized replica of the mask of Scorpion, one of the most iconic fighters of the series. NetherRealm Studios has also announced the game's preorder bonuses.

Xbox app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.

These are the best indie games you can get on PC right now

Though many indie games now come to consoles as well, there's still a much larger selection on PC. With that in mind, we've created a list of the best indie games for PC, with an emphasis on games that are only available on PC.

Goodbye, Machinima: YouTube gaming channel pulls the plug after 13 years

Machinima, a YouTube gaming channel that was launched in 2006, has suddenly shut down, with all of its videos set to private. The #RIPMachinima hashtag is now making the rounds in social media to reminisce about the channel's content.

Overkill’s ‘The Walking Dead’ delayed indefinitely for PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Overkill's The Walking Dead for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have been postponed without a new release date. The co-op zombie shooter suffered massive delays, then received lukewarm reviews once it launched for the PC through Steam.