fish[4]_thumb[1]So I, like so many people  do when they quit WoW,  have jumped ship to another mmo straight away. Instead of going for the current flavour of the month, Rift, I decided that DC Universe Online was far more enticing.

I have always been a fairly big comic fan, though I don’t buy as many as I used to, and I have always had a fondness for the DC world. Having recently tried Champions Online again and still found it lacking (though certainly better than the first time I tried it), the thought of running around Gotham and Metropolis was very exciting.

So does it hold up my hopes, especially as I certainly seem to be remarkably unforgiving 2011-03-05_00003to pretty much every mmo I have played lately. I think for DCUO what really separates it from the pack is its combat. It is the first, though probably not the last, of what you could call an action mmo. While you do have skills you activate by pressing number keys (6 abilities at any one time), that is only half the combat. The other half is activated by mouse clicks, for example left click to melee attack, right click to shoot. It takes this idea  further by activating special moves with mouse button combinations. In the case of my character tapping right mouse, then holding right mouse button down sees him dive backwards firing both pistols, john woo style. Now maybe I am just shallow but this mechanic makes combat a hell of a lot more fun, and even if there are missions to go take out 10 mobs (which they are) combat is so fast, fluid and  fun it doesn’t really matter.

2011-03-05_00002As far as the world is concerned it seems to be made up of the two cities, Gotham and Metropolis and a base to act as a hub (the JLA watchtower for the heroes), and a bunch of instances areas. The cities are large, good looking and fit into the DC mythos very well, heh, it took a few hours to realise that, brilliantly, it is always dark in Gotham and always sunny in Metropolis.

So far the quests haver made good use of DC’s rich history, as I have teamed up with Nightwing and Batwoman, rescued Supergirl and defeated Bane, Scarecrow, Harley Quinn and Doctor Psycho. Each series of quests seem to end in an instanced area which leads to a big fight with the villain in question, which are varied and fun. This also gives 2011-03-05_00001each play session a very natural conclusion. On one particular note the voice acting, of which there is a lot, seems uniformly excellent, as you quite often have bats and supes talking directly to your character.

I have only got to level 15 so far but have enjoyed all of it. There seems to be a great deal to do in this game, but none of it seems to be essential. It appears to be a game that doesn’t want  to rush you and I love that. It also appears to be a game that has not included anything the isn’t fun, there is no crafting, no auction house and even getting about is fun with the travel powers. Will I like it long term? I dunno but I do know there is a lot to do in this world and I am having a ball.