Games and Gaymers

Crisis on Infinite Servers

I’m very pleased to introduce you to the latest member of Team FBOTU. Longtime site member Jason (formerly known as Rolltideguy77) is a charming and dashing Southerner and fanboy. He admits to a severe fetish for men who look like Clark Kent (and he doesn’t look so bad in a Superman suit himself). His favorite heroes are Spider-Man and Superman, and his dream is to work for a comic publisher or just be a full-time convention junkie. Dreams have to start somewhere, so he’s starting at FBOTU. Jason also loves watching horror and sci-fi movies, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek and any 80s/90s era cartoons. So, clearly, his credentials are impeccable. Please join me in welcoming Jason to the team!Chance

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock—or perhaps off planet—this past week, you probably heard DC Comics and Sony Entertainment released DC Universe Online, a MMORPG for Sony’s Playstation 3 and PC platforms. It has a $59.99 price tag, including 30 days of free game play followed by a subscription fee of $14.99 per month thereafter. Sticker shock for some, but for those who routinely play MMORPGs, the price tag is nothing out of the ordinary.

Your adventure begins as a future version of Lex Luthor returns to the past with a warning to all the world’s heroes and villains: Brainiac is invading Earth and will wipe them all out. Something about Lex sprinkling the masses with “exobytes,” or super-powered pixie dust, as I prefer to call it, and suddenly you are transformed into your own super-powered creation. Hero or villain loyalties are chosen and game play is thusly justified thereafter. Your choice of hero or villain affects the characters you meet in the game and the missions you will undertake, so choose wisely.

Character design is pretty straightforward, with thousands of customizable options to create your character’s look, costume, movement and powers. As any gay man knows, the look of your character is quite important, so you’ll be happy to know there are options to make your hero/villain into a muscle Mary, topless twink, Lady Gaga look-a-like or anything in between, as they are virtually limitless. Alternatively, you can choose a top, er, tutor for your character and the system will automatically adopt a look for you based upon whom you pick. Choose from Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman for the heroes and Lex Luthor, Joker or Circe for the villains.

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Now that you’ve created your own mini-me, game play begins. My arch-nemesis (aka my roommate Clifton) and I have been playing almost non-stop all week on the PS3. Game play feels smooth, as other players fly, zoom and grapple through the expansive cities around you. Quests are fairly straightforward, maybe even a bit elementary at first for the average gamer. The cities feel spot-on: Gotham, for example, has a seedy, brooding quality. The large moon overhead highlights dark clouds as the bat-signal shines brightly from nearby Gotham police station, while Scarecrow’s minions spray hallucinogenic gas into the streets. Two roses lay at a dead-end in Crime Alley, marking the place where Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered. A memorial built in honor of Superman when Doomsday killed him stands tall in the middle of a park. Batwoman also greeted me in the game, so it’s nice to see some lesbian representation as well. Touches like these add to the fun of exploration and free roaming, making it one of the best parts of the game. I think longtime DC fans will be pleased with the variety of characters past and present that are featured.

The biggest negatives to the game I have encountered so far have been the servers failing and the game being offline for hours at a time. Multiple times now, I have tried to log on only to find that the servers are down. Very frustrating. The next is the in-game chat. The chat box feels awkward to use, and typing is quite slow on the PS3 controller. How am I supposed to ask a hot superhero out for a virtual drink if I can’t type? Since I plan to invest quite a lot of time in this game, at some point I will definitely be adding a wireless keyboard and headset, just to make things easier.

My last gripes are nitpicky, but I feel they should be noted. The game does not cross platforms, so unfortunately, if you are playing on a PC, you cannot team up with your hot neighbor who is playing on a PS3. There is also a lifetime subscription option for PC users set at $199.99, while PS3 users get no such choice. What gives, Sony?!

I think DCUO has laid a great foundation for a strong game and social community, providing they can get some of the super-powered bugs ironed out. I would like to see, perhaps, even some 3D content added at some point in the future, since Sony seems keen on pioneering that format in their televisions.

Finally, my character’s name is Tangent, and I’m on the Crisis server. If you see me logged on, let’s go save the world together, or at least get that virtual drink. wink

Reviewed by JASON <a href="http://www.fanboysoftheuniverse.com/index.php/forums/member/200/" title="imageimage

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