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DC Universe Online: Reasons to play


DC never interested me much. I did not like the iconic characters of Superman, Wonder Woman, and, to lesser extent, Batman, because they were so iconic. Marvel heroes, on the other hand, were much more human and that appealed to me more. I read a few of the classic trades (Crisis on Infinite Earths, Kingdom Comet etc).  A positive review of JSA made me pick it up and the wonderful writing of Geoff Johns pulled me in. In my opinion his run of JSA is one of the best written team books ever and since that time my DC/Marvel ratio is pretty much 50/50 (but still not reading the main Superman, Wonder Woman or Batman titles). When I read that he was one of the writers for DC Universe Online, my interest for that game suddenly increased.

That the ability to walk around in a world with a rich history gives a game extra flavor has already been proven by World of Warcraft and even more by Lord of the Rings Online. On the other hand, many main events are set and the heroes of the story cannot be overshadowed. The appeal of Champions Online as a superhero MMO to me was partly that the NPC heroes of CO are not that well known and thus could be overshadowed by the players. However, DC has a so-called multiverse, many alteration of possible realities and outside the main one, pretty much anything goes. Since DCUO seems to be playing in an alternative, it may be possible shove Superman aside and save the day yourself.

Small spoiler: in the parts of the game I have played so far, the team-ups with DC heroes have felt like real team-ups and not like me being a sidekick.


Champions Online already took one step away from the pure hotkey setup of MMO’s by adding an active block button, DCUO is a pure action game. And that fits the superhero theme so well. Combo’s and targeting may not be perfect, but the idea to the combat system is sound. Where it lacks some polish, it makes up with fun.

Since it was both released on PC and PS3 the game can be played on PC as well with a game pad. I still have to give that a try myself, but it may be superior to mouse and keyboard.


DCUO has both heroes and villains and is designed with PvP in mind. Conflict between heroes and villains drives almost every superhero comic, so an MMO should be filled with that as well. In DCUO heroes and villains come to the aid of their NPC allies and that generates reasons for PvP. It makes the world feel alive.

World PvP is never balanced, it cannot be in any game, but getting back into the fight after a defeat is fairly quick and there is no dead penalty. There are, of course, PvE servers for those who wish to avoid world PvP. Arena’s are instanced battleground of various sizes and Legend arena’s let you play as existing DC Heroes and Villains in different instanced scenarios.

In summary

DC Universe Online adds a true action aspect to the MMO genre, it builds on a rich history, while still having freedom of story and there are plenty of PvP opportunities. To me that was enough to give it a try and I will provide more in-depth reviews and impressions of different aspects of the game, like character creation, dungeons, quests, etc. in future posts.

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