Fans of the world of superheroes will soon have another MMO to add to their list of most-played games when DC Universe Online is released next year. One of the problems with attempting to turn an entire world of comic book characters into a game is choosing which artist’s vision provides the best version of each, and DC has made it loud and clear that legendary artist Jim Lee is the artist to be trusted with the task. Now we have a look at not only the Gotham City that will be featured in the game, but some screenshots showing the dark knight going toe-to-toe with his greatest foe, the Joker.

Fans and potential players alike have already been told how much money they’ll need to hand over to take the super-MMO for a spin, but all the details will be irrelevant if the gaming world isn’t one that players want to step into. Epic story trailers are one thing (and beautiful to behold), but fancy cinematics aren’t all that it takes to succeed alongside the elephant in the room, World of Warcraft.

Where DCUO stands apart is that while WoW may have a massive population of players, nothing can compare to the nostalgia and child-like fascination that people everywhere have with superheroes. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash– these names will always carry more weight than can possibly be calculated, and bringing the game to both PC and PS3 could be enough to find an audience in the wake of Cataclysm.

Thanks to the amazing talents of Rocksteady Studios, the modern image of Batman in a videogame is that of Arkham Asylum. In light of the massive fan approval of that game’s take on Gotham City, a world that at one time could have been seen as one of the simplest in the DC universe suddenly becomes one that needs to be proven.

Have a look at the Gotham City that Sony Online Entertainment will be putting on display in DCUO:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeFGHu2q7-A

The video’s fly-through certainly covers the bases: dark, moody, deserted back alleys and industrial yards. There are even a few story landmarks and zeppelins there to delight the hardcore fans. The environments seem to be well-realized, and manage to depict the city as shadowy and deserted while still showing a bustling population, which is something previous titles have simply overlooked.

DC Universe Online might currently be overlooked in favor of WoW or The Old Republic, but it can’t be overstated– there is no way to predict how much fans will love to walk the streets of Gotham City as their own superhero or supervillain. Being able to fight some of Batman’s most famous enemies in the very alleys and factories that shaped the Batman? Sign me up.

Fans of the comics shouldn’t be concerned that Lee’s colorful portrayal of Batman and his villains has been sidelined in favor of Arkham‘s doom and gloom, and screenshots of Batman taking on the Joker in combat are proof of that. You can head over to PC Gamer for the full gallery, but have a look at a few of the screenshots, as well as some stills from the trailer to get a complete picture of Gotham City as DCUO sees it:

DC Universe Online seems to embrace its roots in the pages of comic books, and the looks we’ve had at the types of gameplay our heroes and villains can enjoy seem promising. If the attention to detail when it came to the game’s trailer are an indication of the care that the rest of the team is showing for the game, then comic book fans have a lot to look forward to.

We’ll find out how well DC Universe Online does at finding an audience when it’s released for both the PC and the PS3 in early 2011.

Source: PC Gamer

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