Monday, January 17, 2011

DC Universe Online’s awesomeness and growing pains

The second I got off of work last Tuesday, I rushed down to get my preordered DC Universe Online PS3 Collector’s Edition. While I was waiting for the painfully slow downloads to install (took about 3.5 hours), I read the instruction manual, the prestige format comic book, the smaller comic book, and marvel at the Jim Lee designed statue that comes in a decorative box that will look great in my office.

The game is awesome.

Let me repeat that: The game is awesome. I’ve made three different characters and I’m enjoying the worlds and the quests and having a lot of fun. As an ex-Warcraft player (I quit a few months ago because I was in school and unable to play, not because I didn’t enjoy playing) I appreciate that the game is more like Grand Theft Auto than World of Warcraft. You can go wherever you want and you can avoid bad guys that are too tough for you because they’re spread out (in WoW, you had to stay out of certain areas because the upper-level baddies were too dense).

I also like participating in storylines featuring some of my favorite characters from the DC Universe. What’s better is the voice cast. Adam Baldwin as Superman, Gina Torres as Wonder Woman, Kevin Conroy as Batman, Mark Hammil as The Joker, James Marsters as Lex Luthor, Dwight Schultz as The Flash, and Wil Wheaton as Robin. I’m a fan of so many of those guys and Batman and The Joker’s voice actors have worked as those characters for over a decade. Superman and Wonder Woman’s voice actors have already voiced those characters in animated movies. It’s nice to already have this history with the voices – it feels like I’m playing in the real animated DC Universe.

Although I’ve had a great time, there have been some growing pains common with MMO deployments. Things like all of the servers being down most of the day Saturday, lag time, dozens of people questing in similar zones so it takes forever to complete quests, etc. Still, I’m going back to school next Monday so I’ll only be able to visit this deeply immersive game every once in a while – but by summer I know it will be complete operational and probably have a lot of cool new stuff to do.

It’s PS3 so I can’t take a screenshot. Hopefully there will be something like the WoW Armory for this game so you can see your character on the internet and take a screenshot that way. The great minds at Sony are probably coming up with a way to do that right now.

In any case – if you loved the animated movies, Batman The Animated Series, the DC Universe in general, video games, or World of Warcraft, you’ll love this game. Just be patient while it goes through a few growing pains on its way to being completely awesome.

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