by HG Staff
previewed on PC
I was quite pleased when I got to play the DCUO Beta but was unfortunately disappointed with what I played. DCUO has a beautiful opening - a 9 minute epic that shows your favorite heroes get beat down by Lex Luthor and other villains. The intro sets a strong comic-book tone that seems to hold great promise, but the rest of the game is not able to match this standard.
Character customization is something I always look forward to but I found DCUOís lacking with hardly any options in terms of color schemes, costumes and body types. With so few options, it will be difficult if not impossible to create a unique looking character. The same is true for character powers with a very small pool of hero powers to choose from.
While competent, DCUOís gameplay does not stand out anywhere and seems like every other MMO I have played. I really did have high hopes, but the beta only served to dampen them. Perhaps in time Sony will address my issues with the game and make DCUO a true contender in the MMO space.
In all honesty, I donít get to play that many MMOís and when I do it is usually only for a short period. I simply donít have the time available to enjoy them the way theyíre supposed to be enjoyed. As such, my expectations of what an MMO should be like may be somewhat skewed. Speaking only for myself then, DCUO turned out to be quite a bit of fun. While the game lacks the depth of a true Role-Playing Game, it is filled with fast, arcade action that - as Ingvi pointed out in our Podcast Ė resembles your average fighting game and one with a decent storyline at that. Gameplay is smooth and manages to draw you into one mission after another, and just when you think you have finished an entire sequence of related quests, something happens that proves the contrary and youíll be out saving the day once again.
Leveling up is fast and while you will surely be biting the bullet every now and then, the game isnít too hard or even particularly complex. This leads me to believe that Sony are targeting a more casual player than those found occupying say Conan, Eve Online or even World of Warcraft. If they have, I think they have done a marvelous job (pardon the pun) of bringing the DC Universe, online.
DCUO is an entertaining button masher in a bright and colorful world. I wouldnít spend too much time creating a back-story or forming any sort of personal connection with your character though - the lack of immersion and complete omission of individuality will make that a waste of time. I wholeheartedly agree with the stamp of it being a MMO game, but the RPG element is lacking.
I've been having a lot of fun playing DCUO so far but I've also been wondering what it would be like to play it long term. I hit level 20 in no time at all, which made me think that the level cap of 30 would need to be raised quickly for the game to hold interest for a prolonged amount of time. On the hero side, a slew of interesting quests await the potential player but the supply is finite.
The gameís ĎAlertsí are like raids but without the hassle of organizing and preparing and they are great fun, even if they do play out similarly every time they're done. Quite honestly, taking on 'world bosses' like Bizarro or Solomon Grundy with just a bunch of guys wanting to go after them felt a whole lot more challenging.
I'm not a big MMO player but being a comic book fan, DCUO intrigued me and I jumped at the chance to participate in the Beta. The storyline is fresh and original, and the cut-scenes are outstanding along with the voice talent. Gameplay on the other hand is a little monotonous too much hack and slash for my taste. The city map is wide open though; a huge plus for a superhero MMORPG.
I didnít have the same issues with the customization options as the others did, but that may be due to the fact that I havenít played that many superhero MMORPGs. Leveling up seemed to be easy enough with unlockables and further options becoming available on higher levels.
All in all, DC Universe Online looks to be a solid MMORPG outing on the Playstation 3. That said, the Beta just wasn't enough for me to justify spending $15+ a month on it. Maybe if it goes free-to-play one day, I'll reconsider.