Recently in my ears
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I'm not sure I could call what Perpetuum Jazzile does jazz, but this is a pretty nifty version of Toto's song. I especially dig the opening.
You can find Perpetuum Jazzile on Amazon.
Now that the veil of NDA has been lifted, I can say that I've been
The quickest assessment: pretty cool.
One of the first things that struck me is the physics. I thought Champions Online was pretty nifty because you could pick things up and chuck them about (walking into a warehouse and picking up a forklift so I could throw it at an evil robot who might be in the next room always amused me), especially after the quite static scenery of City of Heroes/Villains. In DCUO, things will get broken. If you're walking down the street and someone picks a fight with you, things will get knocked around and broken and blown-up, like it or not. Breaking stuff is fun.
Of course, the main reason someone is likely to choose DCUO over Champions or CoX is being able to interact with the heroes and villains of DC comics. I'm an old-timey traditional RPG nerd, so I thought it was pretty cool to play alongside Defender and other characters I remembered from Champions 4th edition (the "big blue book"). However, this has nothing on fighting back-to-back with perhaps the most iconic figure of modern fiction: Superman. Pretty much every character from the DCU is found somewhere, whether helping and guiding you, getting in your way or being rescued by you. The Booster Gold tourist-information-style kiosks may be the greatest thing in any video game ever, and Ambush Bug is (of course) aware that he is in a video game.
One thing that sets this apart from the other two superhero MMORPGs is that it has a premise. Where CoX and Champions entire premise is pretty much "there are superheroes," things have to be a little different for the DC game, since it is a well-defined universe with only a canonical handful of superheroes. The way the player characters fit in involves a major plot controlled by Brainiac, and interference from a time-traveling Lex Luthor.
Part of Brainiac's plan involves giving superpowers to a large swath of the population. This justifies more than just the known heroes having powers, as well as putting some structure on the storylines and the PCs. That means everyone has a built in origin story - not cool if you are looking for some RP (though I suppose you can ignore the "Brainiac gave you powers" thing if you want to play at being an alien or whatever).
That premise also explains why you don't start in an ideal state - you really are just a starting out in this whole superheroing/villaining thing. You get better at using powers and you get cooler costume pieces along the way.
Which is to say: initial character creation is a bit more limited than I'd like. There was much more flexibility in abilities for both Champions and CoX - I'm hoping the developers add more power sets as the game progresses.
Starting costumes are much more limited than either CoX or Champions, but the components that are there look great. Where Champions characters look appropriately cartoony and CoX characters are a relic of the graphics from a couple of generations back game-wise, DCUO costumes are amazingly detailed and textured. As limited as the initial design is, as you adventure you'll pick up more components that you may then wear; so you won't necessarily start with the look you want but you can build it as you go. Unlike many (non-superhero) games, you can use the costume bits with the most beneficial modifiers while having the appearance of any piece you've ever collected.
One of the reasons to play a superhero is to have a clever character, with the costume, origin and name all tied together, so major negatives from me in that regard; but the kinetic gameplay in a well-developed world might be enough to offset that.
Since it just isn't Thanksgiving without Arlo Guthrie, I send you into the weekend with this:
You can find it on The Best Of Arlo Guthrie.
Have an excellent Thanksgiving weekend!
Wasis Diop has been involved in music since the 1970s, often blending traditional Senegalese sounds with contemporary jazz and pop music. This is "Defaal Lu Wor", a Wolof language version of Talking Heads' "Once In A Lifetime," which can be found on his album Toxu.