While much has already been written about Sony Online’s upcoming superhero MMO, DC Universe Online, there’s one question that has, up to now, been left unanswered: What’s the combat like? After all, the brunt of this game is not going to be meeting people, starting a career, or wandering around aimlessly in hopes of finding something to do, it’s going to be about kicking ass and taking names.
Well, that question was answered recently when SOE held an event in Los Angeles to show off the PC version of the game (there’s also a PS3 edition, but it was on vacation in the Bahamas or something). And while it is still a work-in-progress, our hands-on time with it gave us a good sense of how we’ll be fighting evil (or good) in this game.
Called “The Doomsday Dilemma, Part 1,” the quest we engaged in was set outside S.T.A.R.S. lab, with heroes and villains trying their best to stop Doomsday from rampaging. Playing as a woman who looked like Deadpool’s slutty sister, I immediately jumped into the fray, hitting one mouse button to attack and the other to do a jumping attack. But these basic attacks are also augmented by your super powers, which are presented as icons along the bottom of the screen, and activated by hitting the corresponding number button. Though you can’t just jam on the “2” button over and over, these powers have to recharge.
What’s interesting is that all the superpowers will be available when you first create your character. If you want to fly, you can fly; if you want to be strong, you can be strong. Well, you can be a little strong. As you level up, you’ll be able to upgrade your powers and get even stronger than you were, or fly further than you could before. And while you don’t play as any of the supers from DC Comics, you can kind of clone them, to a point. Just pick strength, flight, heat vision, robust health, and cool minty breath, and you’ve got Superman. Or his non-union Mexican equivalent, Superhombre.
Sadly, though, this wasn’t me. I was some nimble, acrobatic sword-swinging lady with an aversion to clothes. And eating; I was really skinny for some reason. Which is probably why I kept getting killed by random S.T.A.R.S. grunts. I mean, it’s not like I might suck at these things or anything, it must be the game. I’m sure I’ll be much, much better at this when I get my hands on the game next year.