PAX Prime 2013: Breaking tables in DC Universe Online

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PAX Prime 2013: Breaking tables in DC Universe Online
During this year's PAX Prime, I was able to grab some hands-on time with the PlayStation 4 version of DC Universe Online. The demo was made up of content from the brand-new DLC, Sons of Trigon. The DLC features three new duos and an alert, whereas I feature slightly rusty DCUO skills.

In fact, nearly all of my DCUO experience has been with a keyboard and mouse, so I reached for the controller with hesitation. I managed to pull slightly more confidence from a long history of PlayStation gaming and Sony's staunch refusal to change the basic layout of its controller for 19 years and counting.

The biggest improvements of the PS4 version of DCUO over the PS3 version are graphics and stability. The SOE employee overseeing my demo mentioned running this particular build at a couple other conventions and having yet to crash. I asked about the PS4's new buttons, and he mentioned the largest one will be used for navigation of some kind, but the devs "haven't fleshed out what Share is going to do yet."

Beyond shinier graphics not crashing your system, the most noticeable improvement by far is the UI. SOE has redesigned it to be sleeker and more user-friendly, and I personally really like the change. The redesign isn't 100% complete yet, but when it is, it'll be available on all platforms, not just the PS4.


Navigating with a PS4 controller instead of a keyboard/mouse combo was a pretty easy transition except for flying. Everything was designed with a controller in mind, so most of my experience was pretty smooth until I took flight. I'd beat up an entire room of bad guys, start feeling pretty confident, and then fly straight into an end table. After a while, I began to get the hang of navigating without hitting every single wall possible, but for those first 10 minutes I was an aerial hazard.

I fought two bosses, a sub-boss named the Keeper of the Dead and then one of the sons of Trigon, Jared. Both battles were enjoyable "hit the dude and don't stand in the thing" fights. I struggled a bit with crowd control but learned how to break stuns and had fun trading blocks and attacks with the bosses. After I was suspiciously successful, I asked whether the content had been tuned specifically for the demo.

I was told this particular content is supposed to be for two players and that SOE had indeed tweaked the demo to make it harder for players to die. Boss health was also adjusted, and my character was put into pretty fantastic gear. Accordingly, I welcomed my godlike status and smashed my way through every destructible object I could find.

I've been eagerly awaiting the PS4 launch. Knowing that the PS4 version of DCUO will have no PlayStation Plus fees, share the same server as the PS3 version, and be available at launch might just bring me back into the game. There's something about being in a lazy position on my couch playing an MMO that I find pretty appealing.

Massively's on the ground in Seattle during the weekend of August 30th to September 2nd, bringing you all the best news from PAX Prime 2013. Whether you're dying to know more about WildStar, The Elder Scrolls Online, EverQuest Next, or any MMO in between, you can bet we'll have it covered!
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