WB Games and Sony Online Entertainment used San Diego Comic Con as a chance to show off the new trailer for their upcoming massively multiplayer roleplaying game DC Universe Online. The trailer shows an alternate DC Comics universe, where Lex Luthor finally succeeds in killing Superman. However, Luthor quickly discovers that his victory is a shallow one; Brainiac has returned to invade Earth and the only one capable of stopping him was the Man of Steel. Determined not to make the same mistake twice, Lex travels back in time to warn the Justice League of the past about the incoming invasion.
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Comic artist Jim Lee lent his distinctive style to the game, which is either a good or a bad thing depending on what you think of his art. Lee’s square-jawed look seems well suited to being rendered in 3D, in this respect the developers could have done far worse. As for the game itself, sadly you won’t be playing as any of DC’s A-list characters (you know, the one’s featured in the trailer), at least not regularly; Superman, Green Lantern and friends will all serve as non-player characters in the game. However, DC Universe Online will allow you to play as Batman, the Joker and others in a “simulator”, the player versus player mode. The vast majority of the game will be spent playing as your own custom superhero or villain.
The MMORPG genre has remained fairly stagnant for almost a decade now, most are designed in the mould of World of Warcraft and do little to alter that model. Whether DC Universe Online goes that route or tries to do something different with the genre remains to be seen. Many recent MMO’s—DC Universe included—have wowed prospective players with impressive computer generated trailers that do not reflect the actual gameplay experience. As cool as this trailer is, it isn’t the game.
DC Universe Online is slated for November 2nd 2010 release on the PC and Playstation 3.