Sony Online put out three developer videos of their DC Universe Online MMORPG (which does mean this things in never coming to the Xbox 360, natch), and the game looks just fine, I guess. there’s some neat bits in there, like Metropolis looking rough with buses strewn everywhere, because Superman and Doomsday just had a fight; plenty of appropriate foes and locations, like Luthorcorp henchmen and S.T.A.R. Labs; and gameplay that looks a bit more like a beat ’em up than most MMORPGs.
But I’m still left cold and emotionally distant. Remember that you can’t play any of the actual DC heroes or villains, although the developer stresses that you can play heroes just like them. I genuinely wonder how this will work, because either the character creator will have to be severely limited, or there’ll be several thousand Batmen running around calling themselves Batman1, Battman, Bamtan, Batmon, Matban, Batmanuel, etc. Also, as the title of this post indicates, the way you interact with the real DC heroes is that they call you to help them beat up bad guys. This will be weird enough when perpetual loner and misanthrope Batman calls you to hang out for a while, but in the video, the developer literally says Superman has called his character to help defeat Doomsday.
Now, his character is a half-naked chick with samurai swords who shoots light. Doomsday fucking killed Superman with his bare hands. There is no way she should be useful in that fight other than possibly scratching Doomsday’s knuckles when he punches her goddamn face off. So either Superman has called her because he’s trying to make sure all the new heroes feel included, or he just wants a momentary distraction while he shoots Doomsday with his heat vision from the other side of the room. Either way, it’s kind of a dick move–and more importantly, breaks the feeling that you’re in the DC Universe, because you shouldn’t be asked to help with some shit unless maybe you’re level 70 or something. Right?
Of course, the other problem is that I’m just not into MMORPGs, so maybe this thing is blowing your nerdy mind–I prefer my videogaming experiences to be lonely and depressing, like when I drink. Anyways, check out the other two videos, detailing the character creation and using powers, here.
Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.