DC Universe Online Preview
PS3 | PC
DC Universe Online box art
System: PS3, PC
Dev: SONY Online Ent.
Pub: SONY Online Ent.
Release: Q1 2011
Players: MMO
Screen Resolution: N/A
What It Takes to Be a Hero
by Matthew Walker

August 27, 2008 - When I was younger and racing to the comic book shop, I had one recurring thought; how cool would it be to have a good game that involved my favorite heroes? Even to this day, I would emphasize good. Let's face it - we have been treated like neglected children when it comes to comic book games. I mean yeah, we have had a few decent ones, Marvel's Ultimate Alliance, X-Men Legends, and even Ultimate Spider-Man. However, there is an issue with the aforementioned titles, they all are Marvel related.

DC Universe Online screenshot

I know what some of you are saying, why the hate towards the Marvel licenses? Well, I have to say, it is less hate and more frustration. However, thanks to a few noteworthy people, the time for the DC Universe to shine could be on the horizon. Probably one of the most significant individuals bringing to life the many dreams of comic book fans is Jim Lee.

You can't really call yourself a comic book fan without at least knowing one influential Jim lee inspired moment. Superstar artist of such titles as The X-Men, WildC.A.T.S, Batman, and Superman, Jim Lee has put his signature on many of the industries greatest heroes. Since Jim Lee is the truest inspiration behind the DC Universe Online game, nearly every character and cityscape is based off his vision. With the video and screenshots we have already seen, you can tell his influence is being taken seriously. That being said though, there are a few dead spaces in the details of the environments. While it could just be too early in development, since we have yet to receive a release date, I truly hope these minor inconsistencies can be ironed out before the game actually hits.

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Speaking of the environments specifically, another chore of Jim Lee's is to recreate every nook and cranny of the DCU. Judging by the few concept art pieces I have already seen of Metropolis and Gotham City, there will be plenty for the comic lover and casual fan of the god-like heroes to explore. Heck, even Bilbo's Bar on the pier in Metropolis has gotten the digital treatment. Of course, having illustrious environments wouldn't really matter if you didn't have equally impressive character representations.

DC Universe Online screenshot

DC Universe Online doesn't appear to fall short in that area. Some of the Universe's heaviest hitters were featured in the debut trailer, including Green Lantern, The Flash, Bane, Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman. There was also Hush, a character that DC seems to have forgotten after Jim Lee's and Jeph Loeb's memorable "Hush" story arch in Batman #608 to #619. However, having all these iconic characters might not be enough to get you excited about the upcoming game. But what if you could create a character that could stand amongst these legends, and to take on their notorious villains? Maybe better yet, what if you could turn the tables, and create a character that could stand toe-to-toe against these heroic giants? That's the basic idea behind DC Universe Online.

I know some of you reading right now might be saying "What!? I can't play as my favorite heroes or villains?" Initially, I agreed that this idea sounded lame. But, then I started thinking about how awesome it would be to have Superman or Batman drop in to give me hand, possibly being offered a spot on the reserve list of the Justice League, or maybe, after all these years, fully appreciate Aquaman for being able to talk to tuna.

Additionally, the levels of customization are supposed to be to the point that if you can think of a costume or ability, then you can do it. Not knowing the full extent of this feature is a bit daunting, as I can imagine a lot. For now, I will hold out on deciding until more information is available. I hope my dreams of having a character I created beat the crap out of the Joker or champion behind Green Arrow will come true.

DC Universe Online screenshot

Creating characters amongst the DC Universe is all fine and grand, but what exactly are we going to be doing aside form running through the streets, getting grandmas from trees, and helping cats cross the street? Probably my favorite and most intriguing aspect of the game will be the storylines. Most of them will be deeply rooted in the story arcs that have made people buy the comics for years. There is no official word yet on the exact storylines,we can expect when the game launches. However, I have heard there are plans to incorporate current arcs, like "Final Crisis" and the still fresh in the mind "52" down the line. I personally hope they do the "Reign of the Supermen" and "Knightfall" stories that have somehow become legend, in spite of being worthless to some.

Either way, DC Universe Online has the potential to become that one MMO I will dive into, if for no other reason, than to say I created a character in the DC Universe…sort of. With the industry's, arguably, most prolific characters, and the visionary illustrations of Jim Lee guiding the digital interpretation of the entire universe, there's not much that could go wrong with the game. Well, except for the monthly fee that has yet to be discussed.

By Matthew Walker
CCC Project Coordinator


Game Features:

  • Based on the distinctive, acclaimed artwork and designs of comic book legend Jim Lee.
  • Iconic DC Comic settings and characters, from Gotham City to Arkham Asylum, Batman to Blue Beetle.
  • Players can enter a persistent DC Universe and fight alongside their favorite heroes and villains to play their own adventure in the mythology of these legendary characters and locales.
  • An online world that stays true to the DC Comics property and allows players to feel and act like super heroes or villains.
  • Physics-based fighting turns vehicles, streetlights, and other players into weapons, resulting in dynamic combat scenarios that are different every time.
  • Extreme customization allows players to create their own custom hero or villain.
  • Players will embark on story-driven adventures penned by famous DC writers.
  • The DCUO game world's depth will span the entire DC Universe.


  • Screenshots / Images
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