SOE’s Universe of Ambition
DC Universe Online
When I was 4, I was Spider-Man for Halloween. The next year I was Superman. Spider-Man remains my favorite superhero to this day. The concept of a MMO based on the Marvel series was a dream come true. It was also a dream that was not meant to be. Microsoft acquired the rights to that title and scrapped it. Sony decided to go after the DC rights and has taken steps to make the most ambitious superhero game of all time. This ambition surpasses even what had been hoped for Superman 64. The title is still in its pre-alpha stage and it appears that it will not suffer the same fate as the aforementioned Superman 64.
DC Universe Online is a MMO. I emphasize that it is an MMO and not a MMORPG. This game is built around action and movement. That does a great deal to increase my levels of excitement for the title. You are able to create your own character and become a part of the DC Universe. Choose to fight alongside Batman as a hero or fight against Batman as a villain. The choice is completely up to you. (I am going to be a hero, I hope that Pete makes a Joker-esque character for me to defeat routinely. Rumor has it that Sev is out to fill the super villain role as well). Your powers, their source, and appearance are totally up to you to decide.
This title is going to be released on both the PC and the PS3. PC controls do not always translate well to a console controller. SOE has obviously gotten word of this and has done a fine job of translating the controls. (I think EQOA has certainly helped with this). The face buttons allow for attacks, the shoulder buttons allow you switch your powers, and you can jump with the simple push of a button. All of the actions are instantaneous. That is a plus. Console gamers do not always take kindly to the delayed action in MMOs. The decision to make this an action-heavy title has definitely assisted in the creation of controls.
So when is this game coming out? Dates such as ‘late 4th quarter’ and ‘early 2010’ have been bantered about without any confirmation. The addition of new writers and the unveiling of more of the villain aspects of the game do show a great deal of progress. SOE has not said if this game will be subscription based or one dominated by microtransactions. I am more than willing to sign on for either pricing model. It would appear that microtransactions would be more accepted by the console community. It would be a shame to see a title with this much potential suffer due to a pricing model. Hopefully SOE chooses correctly and the PS3 community embraces this game when it is released.