The much-anticipated and mostly successful rival to City of Heroes, DC Universe Online has gone free-to-play and is now available on Steam for download. This is true of the PC version (reviewed on GameOgre here) as well as for those users on the PlayStation Network. The free-to-play version is very similar to the pay-to-play version and free players have a very similar experience except for limitations on number of character slots, bank slots, and inventory—as well as not having access to most trophies.
Access will be tiered between three levels called Free Access, Premium Access, and Legendary Access.
The Premium Access, which stays for the lifetime of the account, is unlocked after the player purchases at least $5 worth of in-game assets. A player with Premium Access receives more Vault tickets, bank slots, inventory, and character slots. Early adopters who have already paid for the game will automatically receive Premium Access.
Legendary Access will use a standard subscription model and will give access to DLC content at $14.99 per month. If you’re already a lifetime member of DCUO, Legendary Access will already be enabled for you.
Free players receive only two character slots, 28 inventory slots, and no auction slots, 12 bank slots, and can hold only a maximum in-game currency of 1500, they cannot create guilds, and they cannot send items in the in-game mail system. Free players also only get one Vault ticket a week and can only send six chat messages in 30 seconds (this would seem to be an anti-spam mechanic.)
For PC users, it’s currently available on Steam for download and PlayStation Network users just look for it in the usual place.