In the world of massively multi player online role-playing games, or MMORPGs, one of the most anticipated games has approached comic fanatics in DC Universe Online. This game from Sony Online Entertainment allows players to immerse themselves in the world of DC Comic and live their childhood fantasies of becoming a superhero.
The level of detail in the game in reference to the actual comic superhero characteristics is phenomenal. Sony also was able to use famous voice actors such as Mark Hamill as the Joker, Kevin Conroy as Batman and even Wil Wheaton as Robin.
Upon starting the game, the player is walked through the character creation process. The player is allowed to customize the look and powers of the superhero to their liking. The player has the option to pick the hero side or the villain side, and a mentor must also be chosen for the new superhero. The player can choose between Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman if the player chooses to be a hero, or Lex Luthor, The Joker and Circe if you’re a villain.
Different powers are also available to choose from such as fire or ice powers. Fighting styles such as brawling and using guns or swords can also be customized to what the player creates. In addition, the player can choose from three special moving abilities. One can harness the power of flight, acrobatics or super speed.
When the player enters the world, they are awoken inside of Braniac’s lair in a futuristic story line. The player must fight his or her way to meet up with Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman depending on who the player’s mentor is. Once that part which serves as the tutorial is completed, the player is then taken to a present-day story line. The player’s MMO experience begins here.
The Player vs. Environment (PvE) world is completely open and free-roam. Players can interact and fight with each other to complete quests and instances. Events take place in famous locations such as Gotham City and Metropolis.
The quests will be different depending on the player’s alliance. Players can also participate in “missions” with each other. Teamwork is a must if you want to get through it with a minimal amount of deaths and problems.
Another big part of the game is the Player vs. Player (PvP) aspect. Players can participate in PvP battles against each other in four versus four or eight versus eight configurations. The queue system is very easy to use and allows the player to continue on with PvE tasks while waiting to join a PvP game. Once the PvP game is over, the player is returned to their last location in a seamless transition back to what you were doing.
There are a couple problems with the game, which are pretty minor, but worth mentioning. The first is the social aspect of the game needs to be worked on. The chat system is a little light in features and the social panel is a bit cluttered. However, once one gets used to the layout, it becomes easier to navigate. It’s a bit counter-intuitive for those new to MMOs.
Another problem is one found commonly in classic MMORPGs. The payment model Sony chose for DC is monthly-subscription based, which costs about 15 dollars per month. While many other competitors are adopting the free-to-play model with an in-game cash shop, DC has stuck with a more traditional style. While not deal-breaking, a free-to-play model would be a big plus for the game in the future.
DC Universe is a very well polished MMORPG for immersing the player in the world of the superheroes. Both veterans of MMORPGs as well as new comers will enjoy the experience of being able to become what they’ve always dreamed of.