DC Universe Online video: Full Access Playthrough

Our office can tend to take a flippant attitude towards MMOs that aren’t World of WarCraft, so after several years worth of delays and countless batches of tepid screenshots, we’d somewhat written off DC Universe Online. But then something strange happened… we started to hear a shitload of positive buzz about the beta.

Above: We spend a little time futzing around with the character creator, so scrub to 2:35 to jump right to the gameplay in action 

As is often the case with MMOs, those boring ass screenshots don’t do DC Universe justice. Quite simply, you gotta see this thing in motion just to see how well it performs on the PS3. Bear in mind the footage above is oddly compressed (our bad) but it’s taken directly from a retail disc and console running on launch day. Suprisingly, everything ran silky smooth, with minimal loads and zero crashes on the very first day... what?! Some of us have had more trouble loading up Call of Duty matches or keeping New Vegas stable on Day 1, so Sonly Online Entertainment deserves a helluva lot of credit for pulling off its most ambitious PS3 project to date.

Above: Meet GR’s custom created superhero, Schmagma: Sex Panther of Right! 

However, it’s DC fans who are in for the biggest treat, because even while performing online and populated by actual people, the game is an enormous cut above your average comic brawler, with a skill/ability system deep enough to convince you that your created character has existed on the page for several decades.

Above: 9 out of 10 fanboys agree: The opening cutscene is pretty badass

Instead of playing as iconic characters like Superman or Wonder Woman, you’ll choose one as a “mentor” and create your own custom hero in their image. (You’ll never guess who we chose to emulate, but it rhymes with “Goddamn Batman!”) The story involves tselect Justice League members training civilians to fight off Braniac and his plans for mass annihilation, and it’s quite surprising how well age-old comic book tropes adapt to an MMO. You’ll find no shortage of familiar faces right from the get go, plus you’ll hear GR’s resident “Comic Book Guy,” Henry Gilbert, point out some of the character voice work from DC’s remarkable animated output carries over into the sprawling, persistent game.

Above: A view from the top of Gotham

So Good News! DC Universe has damn decent shot at living up to your expectations, since it definitely surpassed the cynically low ones we came into it with.  Early PS3 adopters with dinky hard drives might want to start clearing out their unused game data, because this baby requires a chunk of memory. If you feel like you’ll only play it for a month, the 30-day trail is completely credit card free, although playing after that’ll run you $15 a month. Stay tuned - we should have our DC Universe Online Review ready for you soon.

Jan 12, 2010

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