DC Universe puts the customization in costumization

, | Games

When I first started DC Universe, I just rolled up a punching character, slapped the default Superman template onto her, and started playing. That’s her up there. Superchick.

But something funny happened on the way to 10th level. Things changed. Or didn’t, in the case of my other character.

After the jump, let me show you how DC Universe handles customization.

You don’t need me to tell you how important a superhero’s costume is. You have to get it just right. It matters. You can’t very well pile on new helmets and boots and pauldrons like you do with a typical fantasy character. So when you get new gear in DC Universe and equip it, you can chose how it looks, drawing from anything that character has found or purchased so far. The result is a wider range of visual options as your character gets more powerful. Think of it as your wardrobe.

And since I ended up really liking DC Universe and therefore caring how Superchick looked, she evolved visually. I went from the default Superman template to my own creation. Now Superchick has leggings and gauntlets that suggest some sort of mechanical augmentation. Instead of just magically flying, she has mechanical wings. I pulled her hair back into a ponytail so it doesn’t get in the way. And the piece de resistance is a pair of glasses. You see, Superchick is slightly nearsighted. I only realized after the fact that Bayonetta has wormed her way into my subconscious.

Here’s how Superchick turned out:

My main character is Miss Chick (I apologize for the names, but I like identifying myself when I’m playing with people I know). By the time I rolled her up, I knew I was really digging the game and I began with a very specific idea. She would be a villain, but I wanted a sort of Cate Archer approach. No magical powers, no mutations, no outrageous gear. Just a simple black outfit — she is a villain, after all — with a “C” on the chest and a straight-up assault rifle. Sensible footwear, too.

As Miss Chick wrought havoc, she got lots of great new gear, but I’ve locked her visuals so that no matter what she wears, she looks the same as she did when I rolled her. For instance, as she gets better guns, I can equip them, but they retain the non-outrageous look of her basic AK-47. But then Catwoman gave me a pretty slick looking sniper rifle and I couldn’t resist. So at 15th level, Miss Chick just enjoyed her first aesthetic upgrade. Behold:

For more on DC Universe Online, I’ve just started the first in a weekly series running on Gamepro. Read it here.