The Real Villains: Doctor Creed

"What I really delivered was a City of Heroes experience with a slightly evil twist."

So spake Jack Emmert
on City of Villains, as he perceived it with the benefit of hindsight and (one may add) the perspective of not being involved with it any more. It's not an uncommon complaint, either. CoV players can have trouble finding content that gladdens their black hearts with the joy of sheer, arbitrary evil.

It doesn't help that some content is blatantly hero content with the numbers filed off, the most brazen of this being the 'kidnap' missions in which you have to retrieve a hostage who is being held captive by other villains. If you think this sounds a lot more like a rescue than a kidnap, then congratulations.

But that doesn't mean there isn't genuine evildoing in City of Villains. There's plenty, if you know where to look for it and have the stomach for it. And now that so many of you are pounding away at the levels in the hope of unlocking a Villain Epic Archetype by the time Issue 12: Midnight Hour rolls around, we thought you'd like a few hints.

Our first contender comes very early in the levels. To experience his arc, you have to choose Mercenary Burke as a contact from your very first levels, rather than Fortunata Kalinda. Burke will introduce you to Doctor Creed once you've exhausted his own missions. His content is in the 5-9 level range.

Doctor Creed was included in the game after the initial release, and answered the players' complaints that there wasn't enough Mad Science in the game. Creed's exposed brain and be-goggled glare are instant winners.

So where's the evil? Well, you grab some innocent homeless people to use as test subjects, for a start; and you go up against the police, which is a pleasant change from beating up other villains. You beat the hell out of a superhero, too, which is sort of the point of being a supervillain. One mission even has a gorgeous frisson of horror when you encounter certain strange deformed things in suspension tanks. You find out all about them much later on.

It's testing out the anti-Infected serum that's the real joy, though. Creed's formula is designed to treat the strange Infected plague that's infesting Mercy Island. He sends you off to jab some of the Infected with a syringe and record the results.

The test subjects explode. They aren't 'defeated', they aren't knocked unconscious, and they aren't teleported off to a convenient conscience-salving hospital. Those suckers blow up.

That's Doctor Creed's arc in a nutshell: blackly humorous and genuinely villainous.
This article was originally published on Massively.