DC UNIVERSE ONLINE GOES FREE-TO-PLAY ON 09/19/2011

Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) today announced a new free-to-play business model for its popular massively multiplayer online (MMO) game DC Universe Online (DCUO) — where players have the freedom to become legendary fighting alongside DC Comics icons like Superman, Batman and The Jokerin an ever-evolving online action adventure that has already logged more than 42 million hours of super-powered gameplay action by players since its launch earlier this year.

Beginning late October, players will be able to download and access DCUO for free on both the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC. As part of this transition, SOE is introducing three new access levels to the game: Free, Premium and Legendary. All three levels will provide access to open world gameplay and missions, general game updates and fixes to the game, with each level offering different game options and benefits.

“When we launched DC Universe Online, we introduced a very different brand of massive online game driven by fast action combat to PC and PS3™gamers and with that, we discovered a new type of online gamer,” said John Smedley, President, Sony Online Entertainment. “We’ve listened to our community, and we’ve determined that the free-to-play model is the best fit for DC Universe Online.”

Smedley added, “Our philosophy embraces learning from our experience and as a pioneer in the free-to-play space with proven successful games like Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures, we believe this new model will expand the DCUO experience and offer more options that cater to every type of player so they can play the game in a way that fits them.”

All three levels provide access to the current game, but allow differing tiers of convenience and flexibility. The levels are:

•Free: New players will now have access to the current gameplay in DC Universe Online (including Gotham City, Metropolis, and all current raids and alerts), with the ability to create two characters, join a league and many other benefits. Free level players will be able to purchase downloadable game packs/updates, additional character slots, powers and more through microtransactions.•Premium: Any player who has spent at least $5 USD (including former paid subscribers and new players who have purchased $5 of in-game items) will qualify for the Premium access level. Premium level players will have more benefits available to them than the Free level player, including additional character slots, additional inventory slots, and higher cash limits. Downloadable adventure packs, additional character slots, and more can be purchased in-game.•Legendary: Maximum features and benefits are included at this level. Loaded with enhanced additional features, Legendary access will be available for a $14.99 USD monthly fee and includes all DLC packs at no cost, more than 15 character slots, more than 80 inventory slots, the ability to form unrestricted-sized leagues, and many other benefits.More information on the DCUO free-to-play access levels can be found here: http://www.dcuniverseonline.com/free/ .

DC Universe Online combines immersive environments and fascinating story arcs with fast-paced, physics-based combat, allowing players to pick up buses and other objects in the environment, fly into the air and throw them at enemies; run up the sides of buildings to engage in melee brawls while shooting flames of fire from their hands; or cling to the side of buildings while using a grappling hook to pull flying opponents out of the sky – all while fighting alongside or against the legendary characters of DC Comics and charting their own path to legendary

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DC Universe Online

 By Maurice Lewis

Published by: Sony Online Entertainment (SOE)

Developed by: Sony Online Entertainment (SOE)

Number of Players: MMORPG (online) or 1 Player

Release Date: January 11, 2011

MSRP: $49.99 PC/ $59.99 for PS3

Rated: T for Teen

For: Mild Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence

Also Available On: PC/PS3

Rating: It’s ok.

 

DC Universe is a MMORPG, but don’t be fooled by the genre;  it has certain elements that may surprise you. As most MMO style games, you start off at the character creation screen.  You have the choices between being a superhero or a villain, which in a sense is choosing a faction. Character creation actually gives you templates of your favorite hero or villain, such as Superman, Batman, Joker, Catwoman etc…  I personally created my superhero to look like Magneto (I know taboo !).

When it comes to choosing factions I think DCUO lacks certain characteristics that made choosing factions a big part of your mmorpg experience.  There is a neat little option where you’re able to choose your characters personality. This determines your characters idle stance (animation your character does while you just stand there). The most part in character creation is choosing your mentor. He/she is esentially your quest giver. So choose wisely.

After choosing your character’s looks, you can choose its abilities and characteristics. You can select from a variety of things, such as having your character have frost abilities, fire abilities, mental, nature abilities etc… You also have secondary abilities, such as being strong physically with punches/brawler guns, kungfu, and even gadgets.  You can also duel wield certain weapons.  I really believe Sony did a good job implementing all of these abilities, giving you control of making your character balanced and well rounded.  Time to choose your super human ability.  Your choices are, flying/Superman Acrobatics/Batman, super speed/Flash, these are your modes of transportation.  Hey it beats riding the bus right?

 Gameplay

You start off in the newbie zone which turned out to be confusing.  If I wasn’t a veteran MMO player I would’ve been stuck in Brainiac’s ship for hours.  Another question, Why do both factions start off in the same basic training mode?  Basic training consist of you learning your hotkeys and practicing your abilities. 

Time to quest.  After making it through your basic training, you meet up with your quest giver/mentor. For example, if you’re evil and you chose The Joker, you will be placed in your home city, which is Gotham.  You grab a quest or a few, then you’re on your way. You have your basic start up quest, Locate Mr X, or kill X amount of enemies.  I didnt enjoy questing at all. Every quest felt so cramped.  Many  people tagged my mobs on pure accident, not only that but some quest were bunched up right next to each other causing multiple NPC interference.

Targeting enemies was also a major issue for me.  The AI tries to auto-target mobs but it fails miserably and is only 100% accurate with mobs that are directly in front of you. The fighting system makes up for the lackluster questing experience.  You have so many combinations you can use, I found myself actually interacting, and having more character control than im use to.  If the going gets tough, you have tons of escape routes.  I found flying to be the best ability, because you were basically unable to be touched by acrobatics, and super speed. I’ve noticed after every long quest chain, you go into a dungeon, and you’re fighting enemies from that quest chain, sometimes fighting a mini boss that you may remember from certain DC comics. DCUO has an alert system, this takes the place of having a instance group.  Alerts are for groups of 4.  I tried giving the PVE another chance because I love doing group dungeons.  Doing this also felt like I was just doing one big quest chain, and the experience was also lack luster.

PvP is very entertaining; its a breath of fresh air pulling off lethal combinations leaving your enemies wondering what hit them easily makes world PVP exciting.  You feel like you’re in a comic book.  With all that said, leveling seems to be a breeze, my only gripe is the skill tree seems to be pointless, as I rarely saw any real benefits.  The level cap is 30, and you will quickly realize the game play was created with nothing but pvp in mind.

My final thoughts

Character Creation was my favorite part of the game, as its every childs dream to be a superhero and while you may not  actually be that superhero, you get to control one and interact with all of your favorite comic book heros.  The rest of the gave leaves a lot to be desired.  There is lots of room for improvement but right now it’s just a break from the monotony of another MMO.

DC Universe Online, which reveal for the first time the game’s Scarecrow design

source superherohype

New images are now available from the upcoming DC Universe Online, which reveal for the first time the game’s Scarecrow design. The official description of the character is as follows:

In the right hands, Fear can be a weapon….

Jonathan Crane was a skinny, awkward kid who got bullied often because he reminded people of Ichabod Crane, from the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  As he grew older, Crane became obsessed with the essence of fear, hopefully in an effort to conquer his own phobias. This obsession put him on the academic fast track at Gotham University. 

But Crane sabotaged his career by using his students as unwilling subjects in his dangerous fear-based experiments.  He was dismissed from the university by the board of regents for his unorthodox methods.  In an act of revenge, Crane put his knowledge of fear to work, creating a fear gas, dressing himself in straw and sackcloth and adopting the guise of The Scarecrow. 

His quest to heighten and instill fear in Gotham has often run afoul of Batman, attempting to root out any anxiety or phobia that would bring him down.  But Batman has faced him down countless times and in the process, Crane has become victim to an ironic type of fear, chiropteraphobia…

…Fear of bats.

DC Universe Online is scheduled to ship early 2011 for both the PC and thePlayStation 3 at an anticipated retail price of $49.99 (PC) and $59.99 (console).   DCUO is rated “T” (for Teen) by the ESRB, with Mild Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, and Violence









More Voices for DC Universe Online

source superherohype

Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) announced today that four new actors have been added to the cast of voice talent for DC Universe Online (DCUO).  The new cast additions include Arleen Sorkin (“Batman: The Animated Series”), Wil Wheaton (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”), Corey Burton (“Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” “Batman: The Brave and the Bold”) and Dwight Schultz (“The A-Team,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation”). 

“The addition of these actors to our existing cast reaffirms our commitment to gamers to deliver the most fun and authentic DC Universe experience possible,” said Sony Online Entertainment executive producer John Blakely.  “They’re all experienced and talented performers and we’re excited for players to hear their work when they encounter them in the game.”

In addition to her career achievements as an actress, television host, writer and producer, Arleen Sorkin will again reprise her role as the Joker’s off-kilter girlfriend/henchman Harley Quinn, considered by many to be the most popular villainess on “Batman: The Animated Series.”

Wil Wheaton lends his skills to DCUO voicing Robin, the Boy Wonder.  As author, blogger and champion of geek culture, his successful acting career began in 1986 with acclaimed roles in Stand By Me and Toy Soldiers.  Recently he’s appeared on “Criminal Minds,” “Numb3rs” and “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” as the voice of Ted Kord, the Silver Age Blue Beetle. 

Joining the cast as the voice of Brainiac, Corey Burton began his voice-acting career over 35 years ago, studying the craft of radio drama with the legendary Daws Butler, the voice of Yogi Bear.  As one of the last authentically old school “voice men” in America, the San Fernando Valley native has voiced sound alikes and original characters for hundreds of entertainment and educational productions. 

With forty years of acting experience to his credit, Dwight Schultz voices The Flash in DCUO.  Schultz is best known for his portrayals of ‘Howlin’ Mad Murdock’ from Stephen J. Canell’s “The A-Team” and ‘Reg Barclay’ from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”  His voice credits include many popular videogames, TV and film animation projects such as Vampire Hunter D, Princess Mononoke, “The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy,” and most recently, chef ‘Mung Daal’ from the hit cartoon series “Chowder.” 

In DC Universe Online, players will be thrust headlong into an action-packed multiplayer online world based on the heroes, villains and landmarks of the DC Universe. In the game, players step into the role of the next legendary superhero or villain and are given the choice to save or conquer the universe online. Along the way, players will be fighting alongside or against iconic DC characters as well as other players for the fate of the DC Universe. 

DC Universe Online is scheduled to ship early 2011 for both the PC and thePlayStation 3 at an anticipated retail price of $49.99 (PC) and $59.99 (console).   DCUO is rated “T” (for Teen) by the ESRB, with Mild Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, and Violence.