E3: Introduction To DC Universe Online
MMORPG.com's Carolyn Koh is in attendance at this year's E3 where she had the opportunity to be introduced for the first time to SOE's upcoming MMORPG based on the characters of DC comics, DC Universe Online.
Jim Lee, the Executive Creative Director of SoE's recently announced MMORPG DC Universe Online started his presentation at the historic Shrine Theater in Los Angeles by repeating the Jack Palance feat of doing one-handed push-ups on stage to the laughter and applause of a full house of media representatives and analysts. The renowned comic book artist is no stranger to the world of MMORPGs. He informed the packed Shrine Theater in Los Angeles today, July 15th, 2008 that he is an avid gamer and played EverQuest from the day it launched and made the level cap of 50 that summer. By way of presenting his MMORPG gamer creds, Lee boasted, “I was the first. Not the second, not the third, but the first Paladin on my server to get Fiery Avenger after a miserable 20 hour camp in the plane of Sky.” Jim waxed eloquent over the beauty of the Gotham skyline and the ability to walk the same streets Batman walked. To be a super hero standing besides the likes of Green Lantern or Wonder Woman, or a villain helping to orchestrate a mass breakout of the inmates of Arkham Asylum, “that would have made my twelve year old brain explode,” he said as he spoke nostalgically about his longtime love of games and comic books. Imagine being able to play a super hero character of your own making and assist Nightwing or Green Arrow in a mission. Or maybe you would prefer to concoct a scheme with Lex Luthor to undermine that do-gooder spandex wearing Superman? Oppose or support Brainiac's robot army? This will be your choice when SoE's DC Universe Online launches. This game is being designed on both the PS3 and the PC platforms and will allow both console and PC gamers to interact in the same world. Creative Director, Chris Cao was on hand at the SoE meeting room to talk about the game and not giving away much. Jim Lee directs the art and look of the game and a yet un-named writer ensures proper continuity between the comic book world and that of DC Universe Online. Players will see many favorite villains and heroes in game: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Black Canary, Super Girl, and more, Lex Luthor, Braniac, The Joker, Penguin, you will find them all. Including various Robins. Wait... how will that work? “Luckily,” said Cao, “we don't have to deal with it. They <DC & Warner Brothers> have that worked out. We have a great writer – as famous in the comic book industry as Jim Lee – that's writing our story, but this is early days yet.” Well, obviously the various Robins – Tim Drake, Dick Grayson and Jason Todd will not be in the same mission or time/space, allowed Cao, but yes, we saw Nightwing in the game trailer and we will see Robin in his trademark “elf” outfit and speculated on playing out the Death of Superman. “That's still to be worked out, but yes, comic book story lines might be worked into the game time line.” When asked about the information already out, such as the physics of the game where you could be frozen as a block of ice, Chris laughed, “Yes, that's totally something else. You're basically stunned but your team mates can pick you up and throw you at the villains.” There will be factions in game, but whether they will be the Justice Society of America, The Guardians of the Universe, H.I.V.E. or the Secret Society of Super Villains have yet to be revealed. Yes, it's early days but we are already promised lots of customization in terms of costume and powers, but mostly teasers since SoE is preparing a presentation and hands-on play at Comic Con in San Diego only two weekends away. “We call it a hybrid between a traditional MMO and an action console game. But instead of just listening to me talk, come to Comic Con,” said Cao. “Play the game and see for yourself.” DC Universe Online has a myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/dcuo, and from what little we have seen from the trailer, under the direction of Jim Lee, it is your favorite comic book heroes and villains of the DC world come alive and we soon will be able to live out our childhood fantasies and be a hero (or villain) alongside them.
You can also watch a trailer for DC Universe Online here.