Super Types

January 13, 2011

The Comics Console: DC Universe Online

To many, this is as close to a dream come true that modern technology will allow. Millions of DC fans all over the world, and even throughout history, have dreamed of being their own superhero, and teaming up with their favorite comic book character to fight crime, and save the world. With DC Universe Online, you get to do exactly that. DCUO has only been out for a few days, and a full comprehensive review of the game would take weeks, so for now, I’m guiding the skeptics, and die-hard, yet curious, Marvel fans through the early beginnings of DC Comics’ first MMO.

DC Universe Online

Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Developer: Sony Online Entertainment Austin
Released: Jan. 11, 2011
Platforms: PlayStation 3, PC
ESRB: Teen

The first thing you do after watching the awesome story set-up (see it here), is, in my opinion, half the fun of the entire game, creating your own superhero…or supervillain! You’ll see a pretty lame and generic superhero avatar, and your first options, after picking the gender, are to customize your character’s attitude, or pick an “Inspired” template. Going with the Inspired option automatically gives your character their personality, hero/villain status, and mentor. For example, if you choose Batman as your “inspiration,” your stats will be set as the dark, brooding hero, and you’ll be taking on missions from Batman in the game. It’s a cool option for players who just want to be a Superman or Lex Luthor or Joker rip off, customize their costume, and get in the game.

But if you’re like me, you want to personally customize every inch of your character to make it truly yours. Your first option under the Custom selection is your hero/villain status. For obvious reasons this has a big impact on your experience through the game, and while most people have already made up their minds about if they want to save or destroy Metropolis, you can always make a second character if you’re not sure. Yes, you can have multiple characters at once.

Next is your personality, which really doesn’t bare any impact, it’s just how your character will look while standing idle. You have quite a few options here: Powerful, serious, primal, flirty, and comical. Again, this option has no effect on your stats, it’s just how your character will be standing. From there, you choose your mentor, an established JLA/Legion of Doom member, who will be guiding you through objectives.

I was a little disappointed with the beginning super power selection. Your powers are mostly elemental. You have fire, ice, nature, mental, gadgets, and sorcery. All of which have focuses in defense, healing, etc. I was really hoping to have a list of different super powers like heat vision, super strength, magic, and other typical super powers to choose from to build your own over powered demi-god. Having fire, or ice, or nature powers doesn’t really appeal to me. From there, you choose how you get around your environment. Flight and super speed are obvious, and acrobatic allows you to scale walls and what-not. And if you’d like, you can give your character a weapon. Anything from battle axes, hammers, bow staffs, different guns, and hand blasts, all of which are upgradable.

Finally, your costume customization opens up, and it’s huge. There is so much freedom to really get creative with making your own unique character. Tons of different cloths/spandex/armor, gloves, boots, capes/wings, masks. Personally, I had a hell of a time going through everything, and playing with all the combinations, and examining all my options. I ended up spending about two hours on my character’s costume alone. My only complaint was the color palate. You have only three color options for the theme of your character’s costume. You get to choose specifically which three colors go into your palate, but you’re strictly limited to those colors. For example, if I want to simply change the color of my boots, or cape, or gloves, I’m restricted to one of the three colors on my palate. It’s a pretty big annoyance for those who want to create a totally ridiculous hero/villain, but it didn’t stop me from having a great time.

The last component is maybe the most difficult part of the character creation: Deciding on your character’s name. And once your characters is absolutely perfect (or imperfect) as you would like him/her, you jump right into the action.

You wake up in the heart of Brainiac’s mothership. Depending on what your hero or villain status is, you’ll have either Oracle or the Calculator in your ear, guiding you to your exit. I chose the evil path for this particular venture, and had the gravely tone of the Calculator’s omniscient perspective in my head.

DC Universe Online is an action MMO, meaning it doesn’t follow the same format as your typical MMO. The opening mission plays almost like an MMO beat em’ up. I played the PC version, so combat was executed with the mouse. The action is simple at first, but grows very heavy as you progress. Your enemies are the diverse drones patrolling the ship, and taking them out is pretty satisfying. Along the way I ran into Ambush Bug, which, for a hardcore DC fan like myself, was so cool. He recognizes you as a new player, but I didn’t stick around long enough to chat. After taking out more Brainiac drones, I was graced with the presence of Lex Luthor. Together we took out a few more robots before making our escape, and taking the fight to the streets. I’ll leave the rest of DCUO for you to explore on your own.

Even if you’re not a big DC Comics reader, there is still a lot to enjoy about this game if you ever just wanted to be a superhero, and go save the day. DCUO may never be as expansive, or as popular, as World of Warcraft, but that’s okay, because this game was made for comic book fans. And as a comic book fan, this game is doing just about everything right so far. I can’t wait to see what possible expansion packs will come in the future.

For more segments of The Comics Console, click here!

Andrew Hurst



  1. I. Want. This. Game.

  2. Kristin

    I played around with it, and I don’t remember the color limitations…..
    And for anyone interested, the game works great on the PS3, as far as the control scheme goes. It’s set up pretty well.

    By the way, how much is the game itself, and how much does it cost to play per month?

  3. Billy

    Looks awesome! :O

  4. Infinite Speech

    @ Kris – From what I remember reading the first month is free and it’s $15 after that. There is a life time payment which is a little over $200 but I don’t remember the exact dollar amount.

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