DC Universe Beta Preview (PS3)
Having PlayStation Plus seems to be finally paying off. This month we were presented with lots of great stuff. One of the things presented was the DC Universe Beta (DCUB). The DCUB is 117MB and absolutely free to PlayStation Plus subscribers. This is my preview after playing a little while of it. When you first start the game you are presented with a screen showing Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and a guy in a green suit of armor (Later identified as Lex Luthor) standing together looking at the Earth from space. A menu opens on the bottom and the game starts downloading the data you need to play. This is a very long process and takes roughly 5 hours to download all the data (15gigs). Fortunately you can stop the download and resume from the spot you left at later. Once the download finishes you get to watch the opening cut scene of the game.
To say a few words the opening cut scene has Wonder Woman looking like a man and everyone sounding like they're smoking Hookah and trying to talk, with the exception of Joker who is voiced by Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker and Joker from the cartoons). The Heroes are fighting the Villains. The heroes start loosing and in an extremely epic moment Superman flies away from the sun and just starts wrecking havoc. Lex Luthor kills Superman and Brainiac's ships invade. Luthor goes back in time to rally all the heroes and villains together to prepare for Brainiac's assault. That's where you come in. The power of all the heroes who died in the future was trapped inside bug, parasite, things that Luthor took back in time with him. He can give this bug to a person and they become infused with the power of the hero or villain that died.
You get to designed your hero/villain. Everything, what power they have, who their mentor was, what their movement ability is, what clothes they wear, what weapon they use, and what race they are. The customization is extensive and detailed. While you don't get to create your own custom patterns the available designs can be mixed and matched at your personal choice, which leads to quite a few exceptional looking characters.
In RPG fashion you receive quests, fight enemies, level up, get gear, buy and sell, and interact with other players. Most of this is done from Watchtower, the superheroes secret hideout (sorry I don't know what it is for the villains). Outside of Watchtower the world of DCU is extremely violent. Enemies are prevalent and have extremely short respawn times. You could easily wind up fighting in one building forever because of how fast the enemies respawn. Fortunately as you are super you can easily keep fighting or just flee.
Combat is relatively easy but not entirely satisfying. You use Square for regular attacks and Triangle for quick attacks. X jumps and Circle picks up objects. L2 or R2 with a combination of the face buttons does a special power. Overall the combat seems to lack any sense of power as your attacks seems like your barely striking your opponent.
As you fight you receive EXP although you only receive 1 EXP from most enemies and it takes hundreds of EXP to level. The game does not want people to grind for levels it wants you to do quests. Once you finally amass enough EXP to level you receive along with standard upgrades a skill point in either physical attributes or super attributes. Basically at level 1 you get a point to place in your powers like fire, level 2 you get a point to place in physical attributes like weapon skills, or health, ect. than level 3 it goes back to powers, back and forth.
The rest is fairly standard. Quest, kill, loot, sell, level up, repeat.
Being as how this is a Beta bugs and glitches are to be expected. Some problems I've encountered are the game deleting my cape. I have a standard superhero cape equipped which the game continues to unequipped from me, while not game breaking it is annoying. Another problem I keep having, and this is game breaking, is that the game continuously disconnects me from the servers without telling me. So I'll be flying around looking for stuff to do and there will be no one (While doing this is discovered that the map is exceptionally huge). No quests, no players, and no enemies. Overall the game is fun.
It's fun to be your own superhero or villain and fight other enemies. The combat needs to be ramped up a bit to make it seem like your actually hitting the enemies instead of lightly tapping them, and the bugs need to be hammered out, but what is a Beta for if not that exact purpose. Overall definitely a fun game, and one I'm going to be keeping a much closer eye on now. If you have PlayStation Plus or know of some way to get in the Beta be sure to give it a try.