Combat is based around simple combos, which are directly related to the combat style selected during character creation. You begin with a simple set of combos, but as you level, you'll earn access to new moves and abilities. Powers are also a big part of combat. The control set up is incredibly easy to use. Similar to WoW
, all abilities are mounted on a command bar. Each side of the bar is tied to the (R2) and (L2) buttons. Tapping each highlights that side of the bar and allows you to use a mapped ability by pressing the corresponding face button. Again, you begin with a simple set of commands but by the time you hit higher levels, you'll have to make some tough choices about what sort of character you want to be. This ties in beautifully with the sort of "class-less" creation system DC Universe Online
Each series of missions ends with a giant showdown with the main villain where you fight alongside a specific character. In the Scarecrow mission chain, I eventually teamed up with Batgirl to take on Scarecrow. Boss fights are neat, because you're actually helping the hero in combat rather than acting as a sidekick. The experience varies based on who you're helping, but always feels important. It's also a cool way for players to connect with the DC Universe's many characters.
Adding to the console feel, you'll also find various challenges spread across each city. Immediately after exiting the police station, I noticed a checkpoint race that put my character's movement skills to the test. The race began at street level, but soon enough I was scaling buildings and executing trick precision dives. Each is timed and if you can manage to hit a specific goal time, you'll earn special gear from certain heroes.
Based on the beta, DC Universe Online looks like a great MMO for the PS3. It manages to stick to MMO roots while also tossing in console-specific gameplay. It will be interesting to see how, beginning with today's launch, the game and community will react and grow.