Will You Join the Forces of Justice or Become the Next Super Villain?
You're invited into the world of DC Comics in this exciting MMO. Build a unique hero and play through a compelling story as you gain experience, improve your gear and prepare for the ultimate showdown against some of the most famous heroes and villains in comic book history.
Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Joker, the Flash - they are all here.
Welcome to the DC Universe
Unlike many MMOs, DC Universe Online has very story-driven game play. The game is set primarily in Metropolis, the city most famous for Superman and the others in the Justice League. When you begin playing, the game treats you to a cinematic set in a ruined post-apocalyptic world; it then cuts back to the modern day, where you are given your mission to prevent that future from coming to pass.
The Flash doesn't stop for red lights
Essentially, you play the game as a genetically engineered metahuman. The Justice League must seek you out and train you so that you can develop control over your powers. Alternatively, you may be placed under the tutelage of a super villain like Lex Luthor or Joker. Either way, your goal is similar: You must train to help defeat the malevolent supercomputer Brainiac before it destroys the planet. Your adventures lead you to other familiar destinations, like Gotham City, and you meet several familiar faces along the way.
Although the game is set in the DC Universe and the characters are recognizable, there are a few deviations from the standard canon that diehard fans may notice. The game seems to exist in its own multiverse, where it combines many of the best moments of several story arcs to deliver a satisfying new experience for fans.
A Different Type of MMO
Although DC Universe follows many of the classic conventions of the standard MMORPG format, it offers a few innovations that help it stand out from competitors. After creating your character, you choose a mentor. This mentor communicates with you throughout the game to provide instructions and quests. This is also a primary way for you to experience the story as many aspects of the plot unfold through dialogue from the mentor.
I am a woman and I am wonderful
The plot also plays out through cinematic cut scenes and various interactions with NPCs. Every NPC is fully animated and voice acted, and many of the actors are big-name stars who you will recognize from their roles in superhero films and cartoons.
Beyond the reliance on story, the game also varies from other MMOs due to its world design. While most MMOs have separate territories for various factions, both sides of the conflict share the same world in DC Universe. This means that missions, quests and group-based instances all unfold in the same shared world, and players from opposing factions may play opposite sides of the same event. There are also plenty of PvP opportunities when confronting players of an opposing faction.
Although heroes and villains in the game ultimately have the same objective, there is plenty of hostility between the factions. There are also numerous side quests that flesh out the story beyond the straightforward task of training to defeat Brainiac.
Fighting the Joker and his forces is no laughing matter
Gameplay itself is fairly standard to other third-person adventure games and RPGs. You control your movement and actions with a combination of mouse and keyboard, and various abilities are assigned to hotkeys. If you're playing on PS3, the controls are slightly different to accommodate controller use. Depending on your character's class, the types of attacks and movements available to you will vary.
Create Your Own Hero and Become a Legend
You don't play the game as any recognizable hero. Instead, you create an entirely new hero based on various character types modeled after DC characters. Depending on who you choose to be your mentor, the general build of your character will vary. You can also modify your character's physical appearance to create a wholly customized look.
Ladies and gentlement, Ra's al ghul and his super sideburns
Unlike most MMOs, which rely on well-defined character classes, DC Universe offers a different method of designing characters. You choose one of six superpowers and one of 10 weapon types, which allows for ample customization.
The powers are as follows:
- Fire is a defensive power that's useful for tank-type characters
- Ice is similar to fire in terms of effect, and it's also a good choice for tanks
- Gadget powers offer crowd control abilities and power regeneration
- Mental powers work similarly to gadgets but use telepathy instead of technology
- Nature is a healing power that includes various buffs
- Sorcery is also a support power that offers both healing and damage reduction
All characters are able to fill a damage role. Crowd control, tanking and support powers are always secondary to damage in any character type. This provides more flexibility when creating groups for end-game instances, and it makes it easier to level up when playing solo.
Superman being super
The type of damage you do is determined by your weapon choice:
- Bows deal significant ranged damage, but they're slow. They offer bonuses to defense and toughness.
- Brawling is a high-powered melee attack that offers bonuses to dominance, critical attack damage and health.
- Dual pistol is a ranged style that's faster than bows but does less damage. It offers bonuses to critical attack damage, might and restoration.
- Dual wield is a melee style that deals fast damage. It offers bonuses to dominance, health, might and critical healing.
- Hand blaster is a style that combines ranged and melee attacks. It provides bonuses to critical healing, dominance and might.
- Martial arts is a medium-speed melee style. The bonuses it offers include attack damage, stealth and restoration.
- One-handed is another medium-speed melee style. Its bonuses affect might, critical healing and vitalization.
- Rifle is a medium ranged attack with a bonus to health and vitalization.
- Staff is a fast melee attack with a bonus to dominance, toughness and defense.
- Two-handed is similar to dual wield, but it offers bonuses to health and vitalization.
Any combination of power and weapon is available, so there are substantially more character builds to create in DC Universe than most other games. This helps keep the game challenging and encourages the creation of multiple characters to experience the game with different builds each time.
Flexibility to Play Alone or Socially
Some MMOs require group play in order to advance through the game, but the character design of DC Universe makes soloing the game easy. In some cases, you may be able to reach max level without the help of any other players. If you prefer a more cooperative style of play, though, there are plenty of multiplayer instances for every level.
The other green superhero
There are also plenty of PvP opportunities in the game. In addition to fighting other player characters, you can also assume the roles of canonical superheroes and fight in a more formal battleground setting. This allows you to experiment with fighting with a fresh character build and adds an interesting layer to the game.
An MMO Experience for a New Type of Fan
In many ways, DC Universe Online taps into a fanbase that is not always interested in traditional MMOs. The experience of DC Universe is unique and feels quite different from a more traditional game like World of Warcraft. This uniqueness is one reason for the game's continued success. It received a seven out of 10 from IGN, and Metacritic rates it at 72 percent.
As the game was released by Sony, it's available on multiple platforms. You can choose to play on a PC or Mac, or you can play on a PS3 through the PlayStation Network. Many people find that the controls are more well-suited to console gaming. The game cannot be played offline, though, regardless of platform.
Three Pay Levels to Accommodate All Players
Once you purchase the initial game, you have the option of playing for free or upgrading. Each pay level has access to different features.
- Access to the complete game
- Ability to purchase additional downloadable content
- Two character slots
- 28 inventory slots
- 12 bank slots
- No auction slots available
- Max of 1,500 in-game currency allowed
- Can join player leagues
Premium Players Who Have Spent $5 or More
- Enjoy the same benefits as free players
- Six character slots
- 42 inventory slots
- Five auction slots
- 24 bank slots
- Max of 2,000 in-game currency allowed
Legendary Players Who Pay for a Monthly $14.99 Game Pass
- All game features are unlocked, including downloadable content
- Earn a monthly loyalty reward of in-game points
- 16 character slots
- 63 inventory slots
- 20 auction slots
- 48 bank slots
- Unlimited in-game currency
- Can form or join leagues
The primary difference between paid players and unpaid players is the ability to accrue wealth. The game is designed in this way primarily to dissuade gold farmers and encourage players to donate. Certain things can be purchased with real-world money without upgrading. For example, players of any pay level can purchase additional character slots.
Overview of the game and discussion on the different payment tier levels
Whether you choose to play DC Universe Online as an unpaid user or purchase a subscription, the game offers a genuinely unique experience. For people who have always wanted to climb into their favorite comic book, DC Universe fulfills that fantasy and supports it with beautiful graphics and well-designed mechanics.
Beginner Tutorial Playlist
Series of videos that walks you through character creation through several episodes of the game