When I first read about the game City of Heroes, I thought it sounded suspiciously like Irrational Games' Freedom Force. However, Rick Dakan (lead designer of City of Heroes) brushes off any influences from Freedom Force, but did give it some praise.
"When I first came up with the idea for City of Heroes and started pitching it to my future investors and cohorts, I looked down the road and saw the distinct possibility that superheroes would be coming on strong. I was, as it turns out, more right than I would have dared hope. I, of course, had no idea about Freedom Force, but that's certainly a great breakthrough game for the superhero genre, and cannot help but help us."
Read the Gamespy interview here.