DC Unchained, developed by Korean studio Thumb Age (a subsidiary of publisher 4:33) together with Warner Brothers, entered the Closed Beta phase earlier today in Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. A mobile action RPG, players will be able to form teams of 3 (6 if you include the supporting roles) to battle the evil forces of Darkseid. However, there is a twist. The story mode is divided into Heroes and Villains, meaning you will not be able to form teams consisting of, for example, Joker and Batman, or Doomsday and Superman.
There is a 3rd category of characters, which can be slotted into both Heroes and Villains, giving the great divide some reprieve. While the locations and art are not exactly the same, enemies in both Heroes and Villains story mode tend to be similar, including bosses. There are other modes which Heroes and Villains can mix, such as the Unchained co-op mode (other players choose Hero, you can choose Villain). Given the short time we had, we were not able to play through the Battle modes, but we will be sure to give them a spin soon.
Heroes and Villains are categorized into families, and then arch-types (Strength, Intellect, etc). These families are basically the iconic Heroes and Villains which are most well-known for their rivalry in comics and cartoon series. Players can then level up skills of each Hero and Villain, equip them with gears, power-up stones, and change their skins (which will unlock new skills). Rather than rolling for new characters, players could purchase cards (or obtain from quest rewards) to unlock, or use the cards to strengthen them when needed.
DC Unchained uses stamina, and we could definitely see players having a lack of them since there are many teams to level up. First, you got to level up a Hero team, and then a Villain team. Support characters do not get any experience points, hence players have to actually level up 2 teams from each faction. We shudder at the thought of the time and stamina purchases required to progress fast in the game. But it is really not that bad since there is no gacha system involved. This is just the Closed Beta, so stay tuned for updates!