Graev and I have been playing DCUO for a bit these past few days. The decision to get the game was totally on his shoulders since he was the one who decided to purchase it for himself regardless of my desire to play. We rolled up villains on a PvP server and have reached ~level 12 so far. DCUO has received a mixed bag of impressions from people. You can read any given website’s comments section and see half the people saying they love it and the other half saying it’s bad. I think my impressions falls in the middle, leaning towards the “I really like it” side.
DCUO is not a typical MMO. The problem it faces is the fact that it’s going up against other games that feel more traditional. I went into DCUO knowing these superhero games are never really MMO’s and I think my enjoyment has been quadrupled because of it. It is definitely closer to an action game with multiplayer, even though for all intents and purposes it is just as close to a MMO as any game released in the past six years. It’s weird because it’s right in the middle of what people would expect, so it will most likely surprise you in a good way if you go into it with the right mindset.
The world is fairly open. We started in Gotham with Joker as our Mentor. The storyline and city interaction so far has naturally followed the Batman property. I’ve explored all of Gotham and feel that one definitely could conclude that it’s mostly open-world, even if the cities themselves are like isolated continents. Travel powers make it quite easy to traverse the playable area of the city, but even flying across the rooftops it feels big.
Gear works well, albeit there are some interface issues that I feel hinder how polished it comes across. Your character’s appearance can change based upon items you find or you can choose to lock your look. Items drop regularly but rare enough to make it still feel like you got something for killing that boss.
Combat and interaction with the world are well done. The combat feels like an action beat’em up with twitch elements. As an archer I can lock on target or I can shoot freestyle and still hit the enemy. Holding or pressing shift blocks and breaks CC’s and dodging by moving out of the way is also in the game. You can pick things up and throw them and interact decently with the environment.
There’s a lot to do in-game right now, but most people have been saying that the game only has enough content to support serious play for about a month. I can see that being the case. You finish the story lines and then you’re left with either grinding rep or just PvPing (which is done for fun and not reward at this point). If the fun content runs out, I can’t see myself playing long but that’s what most people would think too.
What can you expect from DCUO?
A game where you can log in and jump out into missions quickly. It’s a game of constant action that makes you feel like a real character in the DC universe right from the start. The powers are fun, the missions are fun, and the PvP is just right for my style (even if frustrating when ganked). Some of the questing gets boring but on a PvP world it is broken up by lots of PvP and villainous acts. It won’t be a game that you get into deep character progression or one that has you logging in 15 hours a day like WoW, but there’s legitimately fun content for as long as it lasts. It’s a super hero action beat’em up with MMO elements near-seamlessly mixed in.
I recommend the game to fans of DC and to those looking for a fun game to beat up some bad guys, have a little PvP, and enjoy some action for a couple months. It’s as good a time as any to get into DCUO. I believe that no matter what, it’ll be fun while it lasts and that’s at least enough to justify the $50 and first free month. DCUO is by far the best “superhero MMO” I have played.
Combat – Fast paced and action oriented. The button combos (ie: tap left mose 2x hold -> Hold right mouse) to execute powers work well with the mouse. The combat feels much smoother and connected than previous super hero games and nothing like a regular MMO.
World – It’s open except for instanced dungeons or story encounters. Graev and I both feel strongly that this is how SWTOR will be done. The graphics are not the best but the game is pretty and stylized enough to capture the feel of cities like Gotham.
PvP – It’s open world pvp in its simplest form. You find someone from the opposite side and you kill them. Level 30’s can kill level 1’s. It’s fun being a villain and really being able to just attack some poor hero.
Powers/Skills – Both the travel powers and the normal powers are fun. Graev and I both went acrobatics for our travel ability and have since taken additional skills under the acrobatics section to give us a more powerful glide that mimmicks flying and a grappling hook that jets us up buildings. Abilities like landmines, sleeper darts, and my favorite the tazer pull look nice while being functional. We jumped this hero who was level 12 when we were level 8 and he tried to fly away… well, I shot my tazer grapple out at him and sucked him back in so that Graev could root him with ice. It was awesome.
Story-related Quests – When you see Bane, Catwoman, Joker, and these other villains/super heroes in action it’s a lot of fun. These cinematic-like missions are what got me set on liking the game.
Legendary Arenas – You get to unlock your favorite heroes and play them in a battleground setting. These are fun and offer some additional playability to the game. You get tokens from these that you can use to unlock new heroes. Starting with Harley you get tokens to spend. I’m saving up 70 for Joker. Note: There are standard battlegrounds where you use your character as well.
Customization – Between Powers, Skills for weapons, skills for travel, iconic powers, and how you spend your points and customize your looks it feels like there are many different ways to play. In my opinion it feels like I have more choices than I did in CoH.
UI – Although it looks nice, the UI feels like it gets in the way. Chatting is harder than it should be sometimes.
Some quests – There are some bland quests among the good ones. Apparently they become more abundant later on, but for now from what I’ve seen it’s 50/50 crappy quests to good quests. If you don’t like to quest, just avoid DCUO.
Longevity – The fact that it may not last long has me bummed. It will last just as long or longer than some of the console and PC games I’ve purchased, though. For a MMO I hope it lasts longer.