DC Universe Online creative director Jens Andersen informed players of the pending fall of the MMO's artificial intelligence antagonist Brainiac last week, marking a kind of end to the game's opening story arc and the transition to the title's next chapter. It's set to go down in soon via the "Battle for Earth" DLC pack, which will pit players against Brainiac's Avatar of Magic on the Amazons' home island of Themyscira. The DLC will also include a ninth power set (Earth), a new Alert, new Duos and more combat-based activity in the south side of Gotham City.From the official DCUO press release's list of features:

  • Themyscira – Experience a new Raid on Wonder Woman's home island that pits players against Chimeric Brainiacs and, ultimately, the deadly Avatar of Magic. Players will fight alongside mythical creatures such as Cyclops, Hydra and Colossus, while simultaneously protecting key units of Amazons and Beastimorphs.
  • South Gotham Brainiac Invasion – Supercharged action continues as players battle Brainiac's invasion force in the streets of South Gotham, the Courthouse Alert and new Duos. Working to stop Brainiac's Union – formed by the people trapped inside the bottled buildings – who are constructing Proto-Avatars to assault Gotham, players will be challenged to rise up and defend Earth against Brainiac's final assault.
  • The Prime Battleground – The Battle for Earth storyline leads players in to an epic battle in which they must fight all three of Brainiac's newly completed Prime Avatars, and then Brainiac himself. Heroes will fight for the safety of the Earth and its inhabitants, while Villains will want to defeat Brainiac and expand the influence of evil across the planet.
  • Earth Powers – Rumble on to the scene and shake things up with DCUO's ninth power set. Earth Powers can be used for both Tanking and Damage and features an exciting new Tanking mechanic that defers damage to a player's constructs and automatons. Geokinesis abilities give players the ability to shape Earthen constructs to crush enemies and reinforce allies while Seismic abilities allow players to call mighty, Earth-shaking forces to rattle and daze opponents.

It's still unclear who the game's next major villain will be, although as Andersen explained to PC Gamer last week, Brainiac's actions and the manipulations of Future Luthor will have lasting effects well into the future, regardless. DC's got a number of worthy bad guys to take Brainiac's place. Powerhouses like Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor come to mind, although more earthbound foes like Vandal Savage have the potential to wreak universal havoc, too. As long as the game's "shocking new threat" isn't a giant squid or a naked blue dude, fans will probably welcome the change of pace after more than a year of battling the B-man.

Check out the new stills from the DC Universe Online "Battle for Earth" DLC below:

[Click Images to Enlarge]

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