At this week’s ComicCon in San Diego, Sony Online Entertainment is introducing DC Universe Online, a new massively multiplayer online game coming up for the PlayStation 3 that will enable players to create their own superheroes (or supervillians) and fight alongside (or against!) iconic DC comics characters like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Blue Beetle, the Flash, and Green Arrow…and, of course, bad seeds like Lex Luthor, The Joker, Brainiac, and Bizarro.
“The rich, storied world of DC Comics has never been available to players like this before,” said SOE president John Smedley, in a statement. “For the first time, gamers can actually open the door and step into the vast world of DC Comics and choose their own fate. Who wouldn’t want to infiltrate Batman’s cave or fly over Metropolis as you speed toward a mission to help Superman?”
Renowned comic artist Jim Lee is serving as executive creative director for the game and is working with some of DC’s comic writers, which could lead to interesting crossover opportunities between the game and printed comics: events in the comics may wind up influencing the game, and elements first introduced in the game may migrate to the comics.
DC Universe Online promises to tap into the diverse history of the DC Universe, offering up more than 150 characters from the DC mythology, although the game will focus on user-designed characters; eventually, characters will be able to work their way up through the ranks to join the Justice League…or the Legion of Doom.
The game sports a physics-based combat system “that makes traditional role-based massively multiplayer online games a thing of the past”, and the impacts of epic super-hero battles will affect other players in a game—if Superman gets launched through a building in downtown Metropolis, other players will find themselves dodging debris or running to civilians’ aid. (You’ve really got to wonder what insurance rates are like in Metropolis and Gotham; how does new construction ever get approved?)
DC Universe Online is being developed for the PlayStation 3 and for PCs; Sony Online Entertainment didn’t reveal any pricing or shipping information.