Crispy Gamer

The Five: DC Universe Online

The 10-Cent Tour: Comic-book aficionados may get their biggest wish fulfillment ever when Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment rolls out DC Universe Online. Read on to learn more about the DC Comics/Sony Online Entertainment team-up that's coming to PC and PS3 and find out how you'll be rubbing elbows with Superman or Wonder Woman.

1. Sorry, fans, but the long-percolating MMO still doesn't have a beta date. However, folks will be able to get their hands on the game starting this week during Comic Con in San Diego. Producers say that hands-on sessions will continue at other conventions so they can get feedback.

2. There'll be no flip-flopping between hero and villain if you're creating a guild. You'll have to pick a side in the debate of good vs. evil and stick with it. Factions of world-savers and would-be conquerors will battle for control of the entire DCU earth by securing control of individual territories.

3. Don't expect to be sneaking up willy-nilly on goth vigilantes in DCUO. Just like the best kind of romance, player-vs.-player matches will be consensual. Mano-a-mano battles will not only take place on exclusive PVP servers, but also in arena areas throughout the open world.

4. Your custom-created character starts off as a lone metahuman. You can either mimic the power set of an already existing DC character or create a tailor-made combination of abilities. Of course, your activities as a crime-fighter (or criminal) will gain the notice of heavy-hitters like Green Lantern or Batman. As you level-up, you'll be invited into the Justice League of America as a reserve member, eventually working your way up to the starting rotation.

5. DCUO will take an interesting approach to managing loot and statistics. Let's say you've earned a piece of gear like a pair of Thanagarian wings like Hawkman uses. If you don't feel like wearing it because it spoils your avatar's look, you can equip it, make it invisible, and still reap the stat boost those wings provide.

The Crispy Forecast: Partly cloudy. DCUO wasn't available to be played hands-on, and we were shown a video to see how the game is progressing. A playable level or, at least, the opportunity to take the create-a-character mode for a spin would've gone a long way to stoking excitement for the impending visit to DC Earth.

This preview is based on a publisher presentation that took place at E3 2008. As soon as he's able, Evan's going to recreate some of his favorite iconic superheroes from the early '90s.This game should be released sometime in 2009.