Since DC Universe Online came out, i always been tempted to try it but due to the fact that i had other games and RL messing around i always postponed it. And also because i wasn't sure i wanted to pay for it.
To be honest i was going to play the game anyways, since the fact that Star Wars Galaxies is leaving us in 15 December, SOE decided to award players that had an SWG account active by the 15 October, with free game time to titles Everquest 2, Everquest and DC Universe. I wasn't expecting to get any free time on DC Universe, but since i got it i took the chance. :)
So i decided that i should be a nice sidekick to Batman, hence created my character has an hero with skills based on the Bat. Mind that the game boosts an good amount of heroes or vilains to base our powers on, but for some reason if not happy with those you can always create your own hero, with powers and abilities you wish for. Although the character creation isn't as deep as, lets say, City of Heroes, it's still quite more deep then most modern MMO's and will allow players do customize many details of the character. And if you still ain't happy with what you got, while you play the game, whenever you get a armor piece, it will had that appearance to your character to suit your needs as you play.
Character created, and off to the tutorial. Ok, for a first character, the tutorial is fine and interesting enough. After that i just wish we could skip it, it's a bit of time consuming. It teach us the basic ropes of the game. Not that's an hard game to learn or such. After the tutorial we are released in the local police department, and from there on, quests will be either handled, directly to the player, or one can cross around the cities (Gotham, Metropolis) for any quest giver npc. It's straightforward enough if one follows the quests given.
As a low level character we can't do much except questing. As we grow up, several games with show up, like pvp battlegrounds (which one can play with DC Universe heroes, such as Robin or Bane), instance grouping at level 9 (know as Alerts), some world events if any (at the moment there was the Halloween event going - a instanced dungeon where you fight agains Scarecrow), and other.
As you level you also have access to skill points, that will allow to buy new abilities for your hero. I'm still level 11 so it's a bit a while to find out the full potencial of my powers. And yes, you have also gear much like any other mmo out there. By the way, there is no crafting in game.
The gameplay of the game, it's more action oriented. You do have the powers on your bottom bar, up to 8 powers at a time, but many attacks are a sort of key combinations. I haven't tried the game with a gamepad, i just use the mouse, so for i have for instance a stun attack that i need to make a combination of 2 fast left clicks and a third one so i can stun the enemy. I guess with a gamepad is a key combination of some sort. It's fast, it's furious and it's fun. Only thing annoys me (but because i suck on it) it's the pvp. They always manage to keep me stun! Those damn villains!
I do hope i manage to get to level 30 (that's the max level) and try one or two raids, to see how the game behaves in high level. Besides that, i can always make several alts based on different heroes (Green Lantern is really cool) so the game can keep one busy for some time.
Overall is fun game, and it wants to be slightly different from most MMO games out there, maybe exception goes for City of Heroes and Champions Online. Although i admit City of Heroes is still better then DC Universe, i never was a fan of it, and i'm enjoying DC Universe more.