The Marvelous Feats of DC Universe

"Time to Play the Game!" As wrestler Triple-H would say; and maybe he wasn't referring to DC Universe when he coined that now famous phrase. Although, there has to be so some correlation between spandex wearing wrestlers, and, well, spandex wearing super hero's. However unfashionable it may seem. Maybe they shop at the same store? Now that I've got your attention, you've most likely heard of the little MMO based on the DC Universe; aptly titled: DC Universe. What if you haven't heard of DC Universe, or just want more information on the game but don't know where to point your browser, dear reader? Well sit back, relax, and catch all of this: DC Universe just so happens to be a massively multiplayer online game for the PlayStation 3 and PC. Developed by Sony Online Entertainment in conjunction with DC Comics, the universe is at your hero's (or villain's) disposal, and its free to play. Although, in actuality, there are three tier levels of players within the game: Free, Premium, and Legendary. The Free model indicates some restrictions; Premium indicates at least five dollars or more was spent on the game through micro-transactions -- the game's other bread and butter; and lastly, Legendary indicates that you are a monthly subscriber to the game. The monthly subscription rate is fifteen dollars per month with no restrictions. Read more.

You can choose two different factions and each faction has its own Super Hero or Villain that guides you through the game and its story line. The story line delves into a masterminded plot by Lex Luther, and Brainiac. And delves into the line up of DC characters and heroes and their involvement in stopping Brainiac, and Lex Luther. To summarize, Brainiac has been stealing our hero's powers over time utilizing and plans to create an Army of Meta humans that he would command. Utilizing Exo-bytes, Brainiac steals the data from Brainiac, then travels back in time; presumably to present day, where he disburses the Exo-bytes on the population of unassuming earthlings, transforming them into Meta humans. 

Its an epic struggle, as the DC Heroes race to preserve the future of humanity, and confront Future Lex Luther, Present-day Lex Luther, and Brainiac. Beta testing for the game was conducted back in Dec of 2011, and ended in Jan of 2012. Upon the conclusion of beta testing, the game had numerous technical issues that were present in the official release of the game. However, most of those issues have since been patched with eighteen major updates released and hot fixes. The voice recordings for the game spanned lots of actors, and featured predominately actors that portrayed these heroes and villains in the movies and cartoons. The voice actors include returning stars in their recurring roles such as Mark Hamil as the Joker; Kevin Conroy as the dark knight himself, Batman; Corey Burton as Brainiac; Adam Baldwin as Superman; Arleen Sorkin as the irresistible Harley Quinn; and Gina Torres as Wonder Women.

DC Universe was released on January 11th, 2011 in North America, January 14th in Europe, and January ,20th in Australia. The game comes on three formats: DVD, Blu-Ray, and download. Although it is free-to-play, the Blu-Ray game retails for $8.99 at Amazon. The DC Universe collectors edition includes and retails for $59.99 at Amazon. Here's a product description from Amazon of the collectors edition: "DC Universe (TM) Online Collector’s Edition for the PS3 offers the collector, the fan and the avid gamer the ultimate DCUO collection. Included is a DCUO limited edition Batman figure from DC DIRECT, based on Executive Creative Director and legendary comic book artist Jim Lee’s concept art for the game; The Joker's Flying Jester in-game Weapon System for Villians; Bat Drone in-game Weapon System for Heroes; a DCUO prestige comic of the game’s back-story as written by Geoff Johns; The Art of DC Universe (TM) Online art book showcasing the stunning art from Jim Lee and the team at DC Comic's Wildstorm Productions; The brand new DC Universe (TM) Online comic book, Legends Issue#0, with an original cover by Jim Lee. DC Universe Online brings high-energy action to the forefront with a combat system designed to deliver a fast-paced action experience with the extraordinary powers of DC Super Heroes and Villains at your disposal. DCUO offers a dramatic Online setting where players battle with or against their favorite DC Super Heroes and Villains including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and The Joker. For the very first time, players and fans will be able to enter this fabled world as an active force for good or evil. The action and drama will play out in such well-known locations such as Gotham City and Metropolis."

DC Universe is a very very lengthy download, and it could take up to a full day to download and install it, if you decide to go that route. It is about 18GB (?) The game is a wonderful mix of beat-em-up action and exploration. That's not a surprise, as the game was stated by developers to be inspired by another beat-em-up: The Hulk Ultimate Destruction. The main attraction DC Universe has is that it does take place within the DC Universe and it is fairly easy to just pick up and play. Even to more casual players, or noobies. Many players who are new to the mmo-universe including my very own girlfriend. This is the first MMO she'll be trying out. Well, if she can wait out the download and install the damn game. There are many players just like her who are interested in the game, and they happen to not be your typical MMO players. Personally, I have a lot of friends on the PS3 that play the game, and I would consider them hardcore players. They have one character, or even multiple high-leveled characters.  

As I traversed through the world of DC Universe, I've noticed that there happen to be a lot of imitation characters based on the Marvel Universe -- funnily. So its not uncanny to see a Spider Man-look-alike, Wolverine, or Iron Man hanging out with Batman and Superman tossing a few beers back, as they plan their assault on Lex Luther and Brainiac. The game was developed by Sony, and co-published by Sony and Warner Brothers Games. Warner Brothers happens to be responsible for another two other hit games: Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. Other games that are similar to DC Universe include City of Hero's, which has since closed as of November 30th 2012; and Marvel Universe, which is developed by Gazillion Entertainment and is set to release this year on June 4th, 2013.

So here's what you can do in the game: you can create your character out of a default model, and it goes as far as the colors a hero or villain can don. The premise behind DC Universe's game play follows the beaten tracks of the Incredible Hulk for the PS2, and its game play. The game play consists of side missions, mini missions and main storyline missions. The powers and weapons increase and develop as you grow higher in experience. The multitude of things you can do in the game varies. There also happens to be a skill tree; however the micro-transactions are ubiquitous with the game, and you may have to shell out money for more downloadable content and powers. The learning curve isn't too steep; and the game received fair reviews from gaming websites such as IGN. Does DC Universe have your attention now?

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