DC Universe Online Preview: Doomsday Smack Down

DC Universe Online gives gamers a chance to become a super hero or villain in a world familiar to any comic book fan.

You may not be able to play as Batman and Superman, but that doesn't mean you won't see them, talk to them, and maybe even help them at times.

What Is It? DC Universe Online is an action-focused massively multiplayer online game set in the DC universe. In it gamers create their own super heroes or villains and work to make a name for themselves. Comic book artist Jim Lee and some of DC's writers helped create the game that features DC settings like Gotham City and Metropolis.

What We Saw I played around for a few minutes in an open world setting, fighting with other players, good and bad, and some NPCs. Then I went into an instance where, playing as a super hero, I had to help Superman defeat Doomsday. The villain instance, which I didn't play, had players taking on Doomsday with the help of Lex Luthor. All play was on the PC, the Playstation 3 version was not on hand.

How Far Along Is It? The game is due out in late 2009 to early 2010.

What Needs Improvement? Graphics: While the likes of Superman and Doomsday are easily identifiable, the graphics don't pop as much as I expected with Jim Lee helping out. The character you create doesn't really look all that different from the ones I've seen in other super hero MMOs.

Something New: Not to beat a dead horse, but so far the only thing that DC Universe Online seems to have going for it that City of Heroes doesn't is the DC name... and characters. Of course that's huge, mammoth even, but it would be nice to see them do a bit more to differentiate themselves.

What Should Stay The Same? Lift With Your Legs: I love the fact that many of the things you see around you in the open world can be picked up and used as a weapon. I tossed cars at people, even picked up a giant light pole and used it as a baseball bat. That alone sold me on DC Universe.

Super Stars: You can't play as Batman or Superman or any of the other heroes of villains of DC because then you would have an entire world, worlds, of Batmen and Superman and it wouldn't be any fun. But, you can help them out. I may not have defeated Doomsday on my own, but I'm fairly sure I bugged him enough during Superman's battle to let the big blue boy scout get in an extra pop or two. I'm told that players will also catch site of famed heroes and villains roaming around the game at times and can even get messages from them as they build up their reputation.

Movement: The game has several movement modes that allow you to do some pretty neat stuff right out of the box. The character I played had a standard mode that allowed her to walk and run around. But she also had an acrobatic mode than allowed her to double jump in the air and do a bit of a glide. She could also jump onto walls and stick there, which was pretty damn neat.

Controls: The controls for DC Universe Online would be familiar to anyone who has played a game like City of Heroes or Guild Wars. You get hot keys to slap powers down to and mouse clicks for attacks and alt attacks. The game based on some pretty solid roots which shouldn't be tinkered with.

Final Thoughts DC Universe Online appears to be a very solid effort backed with some notable characters and storyline. I like some of the little tweaks made to the game, but would love to see a bit more to set it apart from the competition.

The big question for me, right now, is what character creation will be like. We had to play with set character, and in an MMO like this being able to make someone who acts and looks exactly like I want them to goes a long way.


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