Sony Online Entertainment’s DC Universe Online has been in closed beta for a little while now, but this week the NDA dropped which means people can now talk about it. We haven’t spent too much time in the game yet, but we’ve played it enough to give you some first impressions on what will be the third Superhero MMO to hit the market after City of Heroes/Villains and Champions Online.
Since you can’t play Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman in the game; they did a thing where you select your favorite hero to be mentored by and that makes your character sort of look like them and have similar powers and abilities. You can customize your characters powers, look, etc. but the range of options are no where near as robust as CoX or Champions Online. It’s not even on the same planet.
So for the purposes of checking out the game rather quickly, I decided to be mentored by Superman. EVERYONE wants to be Batman, and flight is such a cool power. It’s great that you start out with flight immediately so you can get that Superman feeling right away. The Supes tutorial takes place on a Brianiac ship and you will be fighting a lot of robots, and I do mean a lot. So much so that it almost becomes tedious and you want to avoid fights by the end just to finish the tutorial.
The reason for this is due to the game’s action-based combat. It’s a lot like Dungeons & Dragons Online in that regard, but with one major difference. In DDO you could hold down the mouse button for a sort of auto-attack. This reduced the amount of clicking required. Maybe it’s due to being released on the PS3 as well, but DCUO doesn’t offer this as an option currently and that means that you will be doing an ungodly amount of mouse clicking in the combat. Running on Unreal Engine 3, the game looks great and its physics are a highlight and really play into the action combat well.
We’ll have to play more of DCUO up through its launch to be certain of its chances in the MMO market, but it does face some major MMO competition next year in the form of some Jedi and Sith.