sdcc 2011

Green Lantern's Light Shines In DC Universe DLC

by Phil Kollar on Jul 24, 2011 at 11:30 AM

We heard about the first paid content pack for DC Universe Online a couple of weeks ago, but at San Diego Comic-Con I had a chance to go hands-on with the new Green Lantern-focused power set that the pack introduces.

I got to play as a Green Lantern-esqure character using the new "hard light" powers. As with any worthwhile member of the Green Lantern Corps, players wielding this power will fight off opponents by creating constructs made of pure energy. It's a great opportunity for the game's designers to show off their creativity, and there's plenty on display here.

The most basic attack is a bit obvious, with the character creating a giant boxing glove to beat down enemies. Things get more interesting with the extended arsenal. If you're attacking from a distance, you can will a giant set of assault rifles into existence to gun down your foes or crush them with two giant hands that clap together. You can even summon a glowing green train to run down anyone standing in its way. Build up enough energy, and you can unleash a super-powerful attack where your characters calls down a will-powered jet to bomb your target.

If the Green Lantern power set doesn't have quite the bite you're looking for, you might want to consider starting up a villain. Bad guys will wield the yellow light of the Sinestro Corps, which includes its own completely unique set of constructs. I wasn't able to test this side out for myself, but during my battle with a bunch of Yellow Lanterns, I noticed powers including a buzzsaw and a giant rolling skull that caused huge knockback to any heroes it touched.

The portion of the DLC that I played took place in the Sciencells, an intergalactic prison on the Green Lantern homeworld of Oa. I was tasked with stopping a breakout by beating down waves of Yellow and Red Lanterns as well as various other space foes. After taking down enough opponents, I had to fight off a powerful boss: Lyssa Drak, one of the most infamous Yellow Lanterns, who was able to summon horrifying monsters from the Book of Parallax. I also briefly caught a glimpse of this area's final boss, Krona, a rogue Guardian who wields an awful lot of power.

$10 may seem like a lot to pay for a new power set and a few new adventures when you're also paying a monthly fee, but the SOE representative that I talked to said they will continue releasing new content, and they're treating the paid downloadable content as mini-expansions. Where the average MMO might receive a single huge expansion at $40 every year or two, SOE plans to release four or five of these $10 packs instead.

I also had a chance to briefly speak with DC Universe creative director Jim Lee. I took the opportunity to ask him what corners of the DC universe he'd like to see brought to virtual life next. Though Lee stressed that he couldn't discuss what's actually being worked on, he seemed most interested in taking players to the underwater realm of Atlantis with Aquaman or to battle with Darkseid on the strange planet of Apokolips.

I enjoyed playing with the Green Lantern powers on display for this new content, and it reminded me that I really need to spend some more time with DC Universe Online. I can't say whether the DLC will be worth the price of admission in full based off of this short demo, but I'll definitely be checking it out when it's released.