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AICN COMICS BEYOND! Optimous Douche takes a gander at DC UNIVERSE ONLINE!

 

@@@AICN COMICS BEYOND!@@@

@@@@ What the #$%! is AICN COMICS BEYOND? @@@@
With the popularity of comic book properties spilling over into movies, TV, and other forms of entertainment, the @$$Holes of AICN COMICS thought it might be interesting to offer our own take on these things. So while some of the other reviews on AICN come from aficionados of film, the @$$Holes are reviewing from the perspective of the rabid comic book reader. With the number of comics being adapted into film ever rising, look for more AICN COMICS BEYOND! in the future. And don’t forget to read AICN COMICS Q&@, interviewing comics’ top talent throughout the week and gaze at future comic book releases in AICN COMICS PREVIEWS which returns to its Monday slot soon! Join your favorite @$$Holes for their opinions on the weekly pull every Wednesday with AICN COMICS REVIEWS! And if horror is your game, don’t forget to check out AICN COMICS’ Ambush Bug every Friday in his weekly dose of all things horror with AICN HORROR!

 

 

OPTIMOUS DOUCHE TAKES
THE BLUE PILL TO REPORT
ON THE WORLD INSIDE
DC UNIVERSE ONLINE!

Optimous Douche here. I know there’s been fuckton of coverage on the MMO that Jim built, but every review seems steeped in game geekdom. To that I say “where are my comic brethren?” How can anyone that weaned from their mother’s teat to Power Girl’s well o’ mammary pass-up the chance to be transported into the best damn Elseworlds story ever created? This is the real deal, DC and Sony have reset the bar for the MMO experience. Welcome to my first day inside the world of the comics. Make no mistake, the game still involves the grind, but the perfect fusion of comics lore and rethinking of MMO mechanics have made this the best damn grind anyone has had since junior high.

 

A WORLD IN PERIL

I thought I would skip the set-up since almost every subject living within the land of Geekdom has viewed the game’s orgasmic opening cinematic that shows the day after tomorrow and the fall of all heroes. However, it is central to why the fuck DC let you step inside this world in the first place so a brief recap might be in order. Also, I know I refused to watch it in a shitty embed, so perhaps there are a few other media snobs out there waiting to view it in game as well.

Well, as I said it’s orgasmic. Simply the most epic brawl I have ever seen displayed by DC…EVER!!!!! I’ve heard rumor that every time Lex Luthor lances the heart of Superman in this cinematic, God loses a year off of his/her life. It’s one of the many moments I wondered why haven’t we seen this universe in comics format?

The second time I pondered that question was when we learn that that the Lex Luthor recounting the story is from the future and the second after he lances the heart of Superman Brainiac double-crosses him and it’s sayonara sol system, hello earth in a bottle. Lex being the ingenious guy he is goes back in time to warn the holy trinity of Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman of this terrible impending future. Most of you would ask why wouldn’t he just go back and tell himself not to get into bed with Brainiac, when BAM…plot development three…the bestest plot development of all arises. Apparently Brainiac comes back as well and Lex decides to give the brainmeister a bit of his own medicine and a significant leg-up to humanity. You basically get to be a hero thanks to Lex Luthor. The bald one releases these Brainiac-based techno-organic goodies down to earth and the world’s super power population just got a whole lot larger.

I know there is a comic based on the game coming out soon, but it would be so awesome to see just for a short time a mass explosion of regular humans turned super in-continuity. Enough said on that for now…

OK, exposition done…time to swallow the blue pill.

 

I, OPTIMOUS DOOSH

Fucking puritanical profanity filter. Phonetic fandangos of my online handle aside, the character creation process highlights just how shitty our childhood Crayola creations of super heroes truly were.

The first step is to pick your server, which are all named after famous DC events and mini-series. For me the NEW FRONTIER server was a no-Brainiac.

With server selected get ready to lose the first half-hour of the many this game will consume from your life. The choices for character creation will astound the pure comic fan; there’s enough color, costume and skin choices that you will be hard pressed to see two characters that look alike for some time to come. Wanna be a robot, a leopard or a hybrid therein, the level of customization is only limited to your level of patience in waiting to actually play the game.

MMO enthusiasts might have a bit of a learning curve during the next step, which is power selection. This being comics and all, the traditional role types that encompass most MMORPG groups (e.g. Tank, Healer, DPS, AoE etc…) are not presented in the same cookie-cutter fashion we are used to. Class balancing and group dynamics didn’t change; you still need a healer, but where healers in most games come in the form of clerics, medics, etc…with DC Online you see more hybriding of these traditional roles. Sorcery is the top answer here, but don’t think for a second they are the same waifish DPS pussies they are in other games. Everyone in DC Online gets to kick ass. Usually the class selection is the hardest choice for me to make in these games. After all, that could be your online “job” for the next three to five years, so, one should choose wisely. Being somewhat in the dark though as to how the character choice of Ice Defense differs from Mentalist Control, I just decided to select what I thought was cool. So my Brawler who likes to pack his punches in ice was born.

Travel mode is another big choice you have to make, and don’t think for a second this shit is created equally. The three hyper-travel modes of flight, acrobatics and super-speed may appear the same on the surface, allowing you to rise above or scale the cityscapes, but after having leveled a super-speedster and a flyer, flying has a hands-down tactical advantage. All I’m saying on that…I don’t want to get into any debates on this. Being able to survey a pull from the air gives you a pattern perspective for future success the other two modes simply don’t offer.

The final essential choice you have to make is whether you will fight on the side of heroes or villains and what iconic DC character will guide you through this journey. My Mother, also a fellow MMO vet since the late 90s, begged me to make my first character a good one and since I’ve been aching my entire life to visit Metropolis, Superman became my guide.

 

TRAINING DAYS

Frantic and pulse pounding, right from the start you know the game was developed for both the RPG traditionalist and button-mashers alike. I haven’t clicked my mouse button this much since hitting replay on “two girls and one cup.” Your training mission takes place aboard Brainiac’s vessel and it is as exciting as it is fun. Jim Lee’s art pops off the screen, the voice acting is superb and the mini-story behind this mission feels exactly like the second part of any epic story-arc you would pull off the shelf. Also, you get a run-in with a certain Ambush Bug that is not the comic editor of Ain’t It Cool.com.

My only “complaint” is that when Superman (and Lex Luthor for my eeevvviiillll character in Gotham) transports in at the end to help you escape and move forward to your starting city, the guys could have used a little bit more animation. After being blown away up until this point, “Captains Wooden Lips and poles up their asses” did break my willing suspension of disbelief for a micro-second. A small nit, but I only point this out because I know it could be easily fixed.

 

METROPOLIS & GOTHAM...
OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO

As I’m writing this article, Optimous Doosh, new hero to Metropolis, and Optimous Dooshborg, Jewish orthodontist from Palm Beach…I mean cybernetic villain from Gotham, have both successfully dinged level 10. So while I am nowhere near ready to PWN the universe, I will say my training wheels have been sufficiently worn in. At the very least I can speak from rudimentary noobertese.

The cities of Gotham and Metropolis are respectfully worlds apart in tonality and structure. Metropolis is as every bit the city of tomorrow comic fans would expect. Likewise Gotham lives under the same dark pall that Bob Kane put to page oh so many years ago.

The richness of detail and differentiation in building architecture makes up for any and all delays this game experienced. Every street, building and rooftop has its secrets to share with players. Seriously, these worlds are immense and rife with every comic Easter egg that could be culled from canon.

The days of the rat killing noob are done. Right from your first mission you feel as though you are affecting this world. In Metropolis my first task was to fight back the forces of Gorilla Grodd, which culminated in a side-by-side boss battle with the Flash against the simian lord. In Gotham I was put on a track by my mentor, the masterfully voiced Joker, to pour a little ultra-violence onto Gotham’s finest. Seriously, Mark Hammill, God bless you sir. You steal the voice acting show. As of this writing the razzies for voice acting are going to Booster Gold and Martian Manhunter. Despite the dialogue for Gold being spot-on in its arrogance and self-promotion, the wimpy cadence was never what I heard when reading JLI. Martian Manhunter was British…no, simply…no.

 

SONY & DC BREATHE EASY

Your work is done (for now), and you both deserve a hearty congratulations for the world’s first smooth MMO launch (at least from a user perspective).

If you ever wanted to live the comics, or if you are simply an MMO enthusiast that wants to do more than hit 1-10 on your keyboard, DC ONLINE is waiting. And so am I. Shoot me a tell on the NEW FRONTIER server at Optimous Doosh in Metropolis or Optimous Dooshborg in Gotham. See you in game.

Finally, we found this video of 25 DC ONLINE cut scenes on the AICN Comics doorstep. Check it out below and follow this link for more info. Thanks to Lance for this.



DC Universe Online Cinemas Montage from Motherland on Vimeo.



Optimous has successfully blackmailed fellow @$$Hole BottleImp into being his artist on Average Joe. Look for Imp's forced labor on Optimous brain child in mid-2011 from COM.X. Friend Optimous on FaceBook to get Average Joe updates and because ceiling cat says it's the right thing to do.


Editing, compiling, imaging, coding, logos & cat-wrangling by Ambush Bug
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G
Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 20, 2011, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Nice article Douche

    by fpuk99

    Thanks.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Played it in Beta

    by Aquatarkusman

    Jerky button-masher; about 90% of the beta participants objected to a January 2011 release (it was slated for April 2011), but Sony said screw it. As a PCer, I think it was definitely marketed for the PS3 generation. If playing alongside well-voiced and computer animated representations of your favorite DC hero overrides that, then who I am to argue? That said, if my current superhero MMO (Champions Online) implodes after transition to free-to-play, I'll probably come crawling back. I just wish it had more customization. Three whole body types! Wow!

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Great game!

    by GL_2814

    I spend more time jumping off rooftops onto random thugs than I do on missions sometimes. The cities are huge and incredible fun to explore! I can't wait to see what they have in store for expansions. I read that they are planning a big update after the first month!

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 10:32 a.m. CST

    So When Is It Coming Out For XBOX 360?

    by NeonFrisbee

    Does anyone actually own a PS3?

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 11:24 a.m. CST

    It's cool as all hell

    by David Cloverfield

    I'm a console guy, but I managed to put the PC version it on my TV and use a 360 controller. First MMORPG I ever played. The cities are full of colorful exciting characters jumping/flying/running kicking ass. I've seen some reall cool looking characters and names. I don't even mind if they vicously murder me in PVP, as it "adds to the story". Flying through the city... A Brainiiac Incursion Zone here, some Trigon demons there, a pack of citizens devolved into Gorillas by Grodd there... It would suck to live there, but it's makes for a mighty fine game.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Got it on PC Monday

    by Cletus Van Damme

    I like the creation process better on City Of Heroes, but this one is growing on me. I am liking the game play so far.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Pure awsomeness!

    by bat725

    Thank you, DC and SOE! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 11:34 a.m. CST

    After a Week In

    by optimous_douche

    I'm still loving the gameplay. I focus on this point simply becasue I see this as a true invigorating kick in the ass for the genre. By the time I hit 70 on WoW, I could play the game in my sleep. DoT, Nuke, Heal...repeat. Four fucking butons was all it took for success. Combos on a mouse = Continued Interest and attention.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 12:22 p.m. CST

    How about without teaming up?

    by BizarroJerry

    I realize that for a lot of these games, and maybe even this one, you're encouraged to join teams, so you can have your healer, your this and that. How will someone who doesn't want to deal with all that find this game?

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 12:33 p.m. CST

    On the fence still.

    by Mr_Fancy_Pants

    played City of Heroes for a few years. Finally got burned out. But that game is still the gold standard at least with character creation. Any oppinions on PS3 vs Comp versions?

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 12:42 p.m. CST

    Buggy

    by VXXXJesterXXXV

    I am playing and loving this game, but that said it is not a smooth launch. There are a TON of bugs in here, from audio glitching out, falling through the world, getting stuck in solid buildings, and voice chat not working. Despite the flaws, I do recommend the game to anyone that enjoys action games, DC, or MMOs.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Disappointed in this to be sure.

    by JonQuixote

    Played CITY OF HEROES religiously for about a month when it first came out and never since. That was, what, 2005? 6 years later and the customization here isn't even close to what was offered on CoH's launch. Except for capes, I guess. But I'm not even talking visually - power-wise too. I can't even *create* the 2 characters I was playing with back then - the options/powers aren't there, and I haven't really found new ones that are as a trade off. Maybe it'll be better once I get more into the social aspect.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 12:52 p.m. CST

    It's true that customization is not on par with other games...

    by bat725

    ...but the fun factor knocks it out of the park. I think they deliberately limited your customization options to avoid people from creating Marvel (or other) characters; although, I still see a few Marvel characters out there. But, being able to choose from good or bad, with 3 mentors each opens up a lot of gameplay.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 1:22 p.m. CST

    another beta tester

    by LethargicJ

    I gotta say, they really dropped the ball with this game. It is not ready for release at all. The gameplay itself, THAT is right on, I LOVE the gameplay. Though it did take a few huge steps back in the last couple of patches, the gameplay a month ago blew this game away. The game released is nowhere near as good as it used to be. But besides gameplay everything else is pretty bad. There is a HUGE lack of content. They make a big deal out of choosing your mentor, Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman, etc. Yet none of the mentors have enough missions for you to be able to level up just doing their stuff. So you end up doing all the missions from all the mentors anyway, so choosing a mentor is pointless. And end game content? They claimed that was a focus yet all it is is doing the same missions over and over and over and over so you can earn enough merits to buy the high end armor. But once you have the high end armor, all you can do is continue doing the same missions over and over in your new armor. Chat, teaming, the social aspect in whole is completely broken. Very few people even know HOW to team so teaming hardly exists except in alerts when the game forces you into a team. Most of the conversations in game are... anybody wanna team? me! ........... ............ uh.....how do you invite? And then there's the profanity filter in chat which bleeps out EVERYTHING. If you tried to say something like "I sat it there" you would get something like "I sa###############" because the filter sees "t it" in there and bleeps out everything. It's something we begged them to fix but they wouldn't. But the worse part of the game is character creation. The character creator is insanely limited. Compared to CoH or CO, this is just pathetic. I believe it has around 25 different shirts and 25 different pants and most of them don't match. And none of the pieces are cool and unique. For example there's no Asian inspired pieces. Want to make something kinda Samurai or Ninja based? Too bad. All you can do is wearing generic tights. They give you a lot of helmets and stuff, yet no armor for the rest of your body. Not only is the variations in pieces limited but then you have things like the idiotic way they did hair. You can't choose hair and then choose facial hair separately. It's all hooked together. Like the hair, hate the facial hair? Too bad. Only three body types. Normal, huge and teen. You can't adjust height or anything. They claim they want everybody the same size to fit in the DC "mold" yet why is your character shorter than Zatanna? You're also only allowed THREE colors in your costume and that's it. They say the CC is limited because the game is based on loot. But after you level up a few characters, I did 16 in beta, you figure out that every single character you make pretty much always gets the exact same loot drops. And most of that loot is the exact same options that were in the CC only with different names. The few unique costume drops you get, are the same unique costume drops everybody else gets. So like when you get the demon costume set you think you're cool and fancy until you notice that everybody else is wearing their cool and fancy demon costume as well because it's the ONLY new costume anybody has so far. All in all, they have the beginnings of a great game. But it's nowhere near being the game it should and can be. And they've crippled the PC version in order to make the PS3 version. As a DC fan, it's friggin AWESOME to jump in the DC universe. And that feeling will get you through the early days. But once that feeling wears off you quickly figure out what an empty shell this game is. In 6 months or a year, this could be one of the best MMOs around. Right now, there's a LOT of work left to do. I just question if Sony is willing to do any of it seeing as how they ignored most of what they beta testers asked for.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 1:23 p.m. CST

    bizzarojerry

    by VXXXJesterXXXV

    You can actually solo most content in the game with little frustration. Some missions you may need to gain a level or 2 and then try again. I'm currently a lvl 26 with my villain and aside from a hgh level friend helping me clear a few low level missions, I've done most content solo. Also of note any content that requires a group such as alerts(basically raids), raids)lvl 30 required), and PVP zones are set up nicely for a solo player. You just select which you want to do and it places you in a queue until it has the correct # of people for the instance at which point it gives you a prompt and warps everyone to the instance. This makes finding a group painless and after the instance you would go back to solo play or the group you were in before.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 2:36 p.m. CST

    $60 for game + $15 a month?

    by Killaarmy

    Thats the cost to play it correct? And I believe the first month is included in the initial purchase of the game?

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 2:44 p.m. CST

    ISsues

    by optimous_douche

    I truly haven't expierienced one bug yet in the game. no drops, no crashes etc... As for catering the expierience to PS3 players, I say pshhawww.... Yes, it has a button mashing element, but that's what I find exciting. Never before have I interacted with the mouse in an MMO like this and I'm loving it. I will agree whole heartedly though with the posters that pointed out: Customization limitations - agreed, character creation is richer in a lot of other games Concerns about the end game -- I'm almost level 20, and I am far from hardcore playwiseon this thing Loot -- this is my biggest lament. These games are based on unique loot and reflecting that with your avatar. I will call a mistake on this one by allowing people to randomly miss match item themes. It is easy fairly easy ot level

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Let me know when it hits Mac or Xbox 360

    by Jobacca

    Who uses a PC? Or a PS3?

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Loving it!

    by Furiously_Sober

    I played WOW for about a month until all the haters started picking on me for using a laptop. I'm loving the hell out of this and I don't even need to join a group to progress, it's great! And it's on my PS3 on my beautiful 55' inch vizio with surround sound.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 5:21 p.m. CST

    I signed up for the free LOTRO trial

    by raumohir

    I signed up for the free LOTRO trial, and haven't looked back. Tolkien and DC are my two favorite properties, but playing a giant and awesome MMO for free? Yes, please.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 7:08 p.m. CST

    I like the morons asking for a 360 version

    by clupula

    of a game made by SONY! And you wonder why people say everyone on Xbox Live is an idiot.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 7:09 p.m. CST

    I find it odd

    by clupula

    that the article doesn't actually specify what systems it is for. For anyone who is unaware, it's for PC and PS3. I played the BETA on PS3 and loved it, but I'm not into paying for monthly subscription fees (one of the reasons I bought my PS3 in the first place was the free online), so I'm taking a pass on the game.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 7:10 p.m. CST

    It's a GREAT game...if you NEVER played a game before.

    by Negative Man

    Was a PS3 Beta tester. I must have sent 50+ major/minor bug-notes to the developers. I should never had been released. Myself and several friends cancelled our pre-orders based on what we played. But it's worst crime: Being boring as Hell to play. Heck, when you hit level 20 after less than six hours of gameplay...by yourself...you know you are playing an extremely unchallenging game. In the end, this is a milquetoast version of CITY OF HEROES. It's not worth your money or your time. I would wait until April at least before trying it out again. Let them work the crap out of the pipes.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Here's my pic from the Beta finale w/Future Batman

    by slayme

    it's a good game, not a great game IMO and I say this as a hardcore DC fan. for me it was just not great enough for me to shell out $15 a month + the $50 game price. the final lvl 30 battle in the beta i fought in was Future Batman vs The Joker and Brainiac. They were lvl60 so that kinda sucked but hey look it's me hangin w/Future Batman in my cool Flash shirt armor! http://i610.photobucket.com/albums/tt182/slayme3/dcu-slayme-future-batman-finalevent2.jpg

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 9:53 p.m. CST

    The customization rules, unless you are a mouth-breather

    by skipbrilliantine

    I can tell from some of the bitching that people are missing out on the richness of the customization options. You can have many more than three colors in your costume. The overall costume palette is a template. Not only are all the colorways adjustable by hue, intensity, and brightness, but each element down to the eyeballs can be customized INDIVIDUALLY, overriding the palette choice, item by item. My costume palette could be red, yellow and blue - and I can customize the whole thing to black, blue and purple, with yellow mask and white boots if I wanted. In game. Yes, there are a few items I wish were in there. The emblems section is a waste of time, just letters and dingbats. Whatever. Me, I have nine characters that look exactly how I wanted them to, and illustrated by Jim Lee. And it's a total lie that all the collectables are recycled from what was already available during character creation. Maybe that was true during beta - but I'm only lvl10 and I've won dozens of things I was not expecting and are far, far cooler than the initial choices. That I can then make any shade I want... This game is really, really good, and if you love the DC Universe, it's like heaven come early. So fun. It makes the X-Men Legends games feel like naptime, slow and long ago. I'm glad I wasn't in the beta group, I guess it was frustrating. But I don't think jaded MMO heads should really be dissuading new players from the game. It's too fun for that.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 10:22 p.m. CST

    The BETA

    by clupula

    The game did get more and more fun the more updates they did. The first few days I was in the BETA, it was pretty horrendous, but they fixed a lot of elements by the time it ended. My biggest problem was the ridiculously small fonts on everything. By the time the BETA ended, they weren't completely fixed, but they were certainly better than when it started.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 11:24 p.m. CST

    PS3 or P.C?

    by blackflowerX

    It would be great if someone could compare the two and say which is better....

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 5:32 a.m. CST

    blackflower

    by optimous_douche

    I have a friend of PS3 and I'm playing PC. The difference? Mainly the servers. If you buy a controller for your PC, it's the same damn game.

  • Jan. 21, 2011, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Good review here

    by RaptorJesus

    This is a pretty lengthy review, some interesting thoughts : http://bit.ly/dHdhRH

  • Jan. 24, 2011, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Haters

    by bat725

    I find most of the negative comments to be unsubstantiated. I haven't had a single crash or bug on the PS3. I haven't been bored, nor do I think it's too easy to level up. On the contrary, I play for hours trying to level up until my wife starts to nag. I understand that this game might not be a "hardcore" MMO, but that's what I like about the game. As a gamer, I was never interested in MMO's (or PC games in general), and I haven't touched my COD or GT5 since I got DCUO. I call that a success. Don't be mad because people are playing this instead of your favorite MMO. The fact that I get to go on missions for Batman more than makes up for any facial customization that COH has to offer. Personally, I can't see why anyone would want to play as a superhero if Marvel or DC weren't a part of it. Sounds lame to me, but that's just my opinion. But, if you prefer COH, that's fine, too. Just don't be a fucking troll trying to convince people that their favorite game sucks. Go play your game and shut the fuck up.