DC Universe Online
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that DC Universe Online is a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game that closely parallels the world of DC Comics. Players can be heroes or villains in this game, and characters like the Joker and Superman are both available as in-game "mentors" for kids' avatars. As in the comic world, the same type of hyper-sexualized characters can be found online. The game is available both on PC ($49.99) and PS3 ($59.99) and requires a monthly subscription of $14.99 to continue playing after the initial 30 days.
What's it about?
DC UNIVERSE ONLINE is a world where the DC comic books characters and settings come virtually alive. The future is a grim one where Braniac takes over the world after an apocalyptic battle between Super Heroes and Super Villains. To prevent that, Lex Luthor has traveled back through time and released thousands of robotic Exobots, which Braniac has used to steal the powers of Super Heroes and Villains alike. These Exobots injected ordinary humans with these stolen powers so that you now possess powers beyond the ordinary. Will you join the side of the Heroes or the Villains? The conflict between Super Heroes and Super Villains is the basic concept of DC Universe Online, and kids get to design their own powers and costumes, and fight for one side or the other.
Is it any good?
DC Universe Online has a strong character creator, which allows players to create characters in a DC Comic Books style, then they take to the streets to immediately fight villains and their henchmen; or if kids choose to be villains, they will fight the police force and other peace keepers. The game is mostly about fighting and the action is fast and furious. Active and reactive, this massively multiplayer online games is much more like console games than traditional MMOs. The fun is in the sheer variety of characters that can be created and the action-oriented game play. The movement system is a choice between speed, flight, and acrobatics, and each avatar brings a different style to its character.
DC Universe Online provides a great variety of missions, both solo as well as for small to large groups. There is an achievement system for players to further differentiate and advance their characters. There is also the added challenge of playing against other players in missions where Heroes are pitted against Villains. All in all, there is great replayability in this game.
Online interaction: Kids play with others online and interactions can vary widely. However, the game encourages positive interactions with missions that require players to work together to be successful. Text filters are on by default and there are a range of tools available for players to be safe and to report negative experiences like bad choice of names, repeated cursing, and harassment. But this interaction can be unpredictable.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about violence in games and comic books. There's no blood, but does that mean it is not violent?
Families can also talk about body Image vis-a-vis the body types seen in the game as well as in comic books. Do a reality check. Do men and women really have proportions like that? Why are comic characters so exaggerated?