DC Universe Online: Hello Metropolis, Goodbye Real World

I don’t play MMO’s. Now you understand who you’re dealing with. I tried the trial of World of Warcraft when I was in college, I got why it could be addicting but I got bored fast. I figured, hey why not try City of Heroes/Villains? I like Superheroes, so why not? Disappointment followed. It had the potential to catch my interest, but couldn’t hold it for more than two days worth of play. Last year, DC Entertainment announced DC Universe Online and my interest was peaked. Obviously it would be impossible for everyone around the world to play as Batman or Wonder Woman, so I wanted to see where they were going with the story. This time I wouldn’t be disappointed.

After months of seeing Jim Lee inspired character designs and numerous release date push backs, fans were finally given something they could really sink their teeth into, the intro video for the game! In it we see Green Lantern battle Black Adam, Wonder Woman take on Metallo, Joker using a bazooka, and even Green Arrow’s corpse! What more could you want?! Err, sorry Green Arrow fans, that came out wrong. But I was hooked! I needed this game and I was excited to learn that it would be available not only on PC but for PS3 as well.

After realizing how much I hate PC gaming, I bought DCUO for my PS3 but I wouldn’t drop the game in right away. I needed to think long and hard about the character I was going to create. After all I didn’t want to be stuck with some shlup I created at 2am after a night of heavy drinking and watching Arrested Development. I did NOT want to be Mr. Banana Grabber saving someone from the clutches of Bane’s thugs. After thinking long and hard I created my hero Mauritane, named for the Matt Sturges’ character from his Midwinter novel and I proceeded to dive into the game. I immediately loved the button smashing dynamic and the large open worlds of the DC Universe.

Exploring Metropolis and seeing places both familiar and new was exciting and immersive with something new around every corner like common thugs on the street and even thieves on fire escapes trying to break into apartments. The cast of characters for both the heroes and villains is so large I couldn’t possibly count them all, ranging from having one of the big three as your mentor to minor cameos. You’ll see people from across the entire DCU that you know and some you may never have even heard of before. As a hero you’ll smash Bane’s drug dealers in Gotham and help the Flash send Gorilla Grodd back to the zoo! You’ll take missions from people like Zatanna, Batwoman, and Hawkman that set you up against some of DC’s notorious villains. I haven’t had a chance to play as a villain yet but I can only imagine what it would be like taking missions from the Joker!

If you’re like me and don’t normally play MMO’s but love DC characters, you will enjoy the game. Like all games it does have a few downfalls, two of which I found to be particularly annoying. First, the only way to heal yourself in battle is to consume Soder Cola, and at 180 bucks for 6 cans, it can be kind of pricey to just stay alive. That is unless I’m so clueless I’ve simply missed how you can purchase ONE can at a time. The second issue being with the gameplay itself. I found the sound FX’s would drop out sometimes in battle and I would watch on as I quietly bashed Braniac drones while birds happily chirped in the background. This eventually lead to the game freezing and having to restart my system, though luckily the game put me right back into the thick of things and put me back exactly where I left off. Whether this was a one time bug due to high volume of players or a bug that needs to be worked out, we’ll have to see. But these two small problems have not turned me off from returning to the game.

With such a huge cast of characters, multiple side missions aside from your main quests, and an incredible voice cast, DCUO is a DC geek’s dream come true. A real chance to explore and interact with the characters you love and beat some villain (or hero) butt in the process! Do yourself a favor, get yourself DC Universe Online for PC or PS3 and explore to you’re hearts content! Here’s a free tip for those of you who may play on the PS3, get yourself a trophy by climbing the East End Police Department in Gotham City. You’ll figure out why!

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