Yes, you too can soon (okay, next year) go off to smite evildoers with the rolled-up newspaper of JUSTICE:

Cryptic Studios proudly announces City of Heroes, a massively multiplayer online world home to an entire universe of super-powered, comic book style adventure. When the game releases next summer, thousands of players can take on the roles of superheroes, fight villains, and help create the story in a stunning, 3D graphical world, courtesy of the San Jose-based developer.

The story will no doubt involve running around in tights and looking for one of the many bands of villains that will be running around fair Paragon City (the setting of the game), hopefully managing to find one before some other upstart in tights finds him or her. Why are you gonna have to look for villains to fight? Well, because you can’t BE a villain, according to the FAQ:

There is no player versus player (PvP) combat in City of Heroes. As superheroes, the players do not fight one another to the death. However, should they want to get out their aggressions against one another, or just spar a bit, they can do so in the Arena System. In the Arena, players can fight against one another in a variety of environments and even place wagers on the bouts, all without risk of in game death or experience loss.

Cryptic Studios just got started on this one in July, 2000; with a scheduled Summer 2002 release, that just doesn’t seem like enough time to get together the technology they’ve promised. Then again, their screenshots don’t seem to feature any flying helldwarves (at least for the moment), so we’ll just have to wait and see.