DC Universe Online Review
- Posted January 21st, 2011 at 22:59 EDT by Steven Williamson
- 20 Comments
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DC Universe Online is certainly brimming with potential, but until Sony irons out some of the kinks, the various bugs and server issues prevent it from being the triple-A console MMO experience we've been craving all this time.
- The production values. Great animation, character models, cut-scenes and audio work
- Teaming up with like-minded heroes/villains for co-op play and raids
- The addictive and fast leveling up system
- The repetitive mission types
- Slowdown, getting thrown out of servers and some game-spoiling glitches
- The clunky user-interface and chat function
Early adopters beware: DC Universe Online is typical of any subscription-based MMO that’s in its infancy. Though we’re promised an evolving world with brand new areas to explore, new characters to interact with and tons of new missions, it isn’t going to happen overnight. Likewise, the issues with server stability as well as the numerous bugs and glitches won’t be ironed out immediately either. Sony Online Entertainment’s aim in the long run is undoubtedly to deliver a game that’s worthy of its $14.99 monthly subscription fee, but having already forked out $59.99 for what amounts to a 30 day trial, committing further cash to the superhero cause still feels like quite a gamble.
That’s not to say our minds won’t be swayed over the coming weeks and months, because DC Universe does have a lot to offer. Furthermore, having played a lot of MMOs over the years, we’re acutely aware that things can change quite significantly over time; therefore we’ve made the decision to review DC Universe Online in two parts. This initial review, the one you’re reading right now, is based on our impressions so far. The final score we give may well differ in our second review, which will follow in a couple of months time, thus giving SOE ample opportunity to expand on the content, tweak things here and there and improve on existing issues.
At a time when superheroes are all the rage on T.V and film, gaining the official DC Universe license is an impressive feather in Sony’s cap, and one that immediately sets it apart from its PC rivals, Champions Online and City Of Heroes. With top writers and illustrators on board, the comic book art-style has instant appeal, as is being able to play as your favorite heroes and villains in the flesh. Needless to day, it’s a dream come true for comic book nerds. Characters are expertly handcrafted and sublimely animated. Voice-over work is impressive and the classic comic book narrative serves well to deliver a typically over-the-top, yet enjoyable tale that fits snugly into DC Universe’s magnificent history.
The storyline picks up after Lex Luthor returns from the future to the present day, having killed his archenemy Superman and other DC Comic characters. Luthor learns, however, that his magnificent feat wasn’t all his own doing and his plans for world domination haven’t quite worked out. Braniac, a time-travelling extra terrestrial android with attitude, has been sucking away at our heroes’ powers to facilitate his own plans of global domination. Luthor flees from Braniac having stolen nanobots from his mother ship, which he plans to use to turn ordinary humans into superheroes to create an army capable of taking him on. With some impressive cut-scenes, a suitably epic musical score and plenty of hectic fight scenes, the story serves its purpose well and delivers the perfect excuse for hundreds of heroes and villains to take to the streets of Metropolis and Gotham in preparation for the inevitable earth-saving battle.
Before you step into the action, you need to make the important choice of whether to be a hero or a villain. Your decision affects the people you meet in the game, as well as the missions you undertake and who you fight with and against. You get a variety of decent options to kit out your character, choosing from various powers, such as ice and fire. You then need to pick your preferred choice of movement, such as flight or acrobatics, as well as opting for one particular fighting style that will determine whether you’re the kind of superhero who likes to get up close and personal, or take your shots from a distance.
With your strengths and powers chosen, you’re next required to customize your superhero, choosing everything from the size of his body to the style of his haircut. Alternatively, you can pick a template, inspired by the likes of famous DC Universe characters, such as Batman, or Superman and then adopt it to your preferred look. You even choose a famous superhero mentor, who you get to fight alongside later in the game, but your choice also determines the type of rewards you gain from completed quests. There’s a decent range of options, ensuring that every type of typical MMO class can ... (continued on next page)
- 12:06pm EST - January 21st, 2011
Good review and nice to read. Thanks PSU.
- 12:55pm EST - January 21st, 2011
I think the game is great. For a first release of an MMO I think this game a cut above in many aspects. Yes there are a few server side issues, but they are significantly less that other MMO's at launch and you have got to consider what you are comparing here. When has there been another MMO that kept the framerate and redraw at this level of quality while allowing action based gameplay of this speed? Answer is none. There are three main patch issues that Sony needs to address in the next update. Voice chat. Activating the broker room so we can put stuff up for sale. And speeding up the responsiveness of the Menu IU on PS3. There is tons of content and gear right now to keep me happy and tons more when I hit 30 with the raids. I say great job to Sony on this first release.
- 1:09pm EST - January 21st, 2011
Yep, the cap level needs amending immediately. I agree it's a decent MMO, but not yet worthy of a subscription. Having another review a couple months on should reveal the true picture.
- 3:51pm EST - January 21st, 2011
The Game is really fun i just cant stop playing it.. i made a character look like The Punisher :D and one Like Super Girl, my Score is a Strong 8.5 and the
Review! is Nice :-)
- 6:31pm EST - January 21st, 2011
I'll wait for the second review before buying.
- 5:17am EST - January 22nd, 2011
I give DC universe 9 from 10 Points. This game is Fantastic! Cant understand how to rate it for 7,5... think its only typical
- 2:18pm EST - January 22nd, 2011
I just bought the game and was excited to play it. However I found that the downloading of new content and updates effected my views on this game extremely before even beginning to play it. I waited 45 minutes for the initial update, which I sat through with excitement only to be followed by the downloading of game content.. which took 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete.. I have now waited 2 and a half hours to play the game only to be swamped with a THIRD "game content update" which has now taken 3 hours to download and has yet to be completed. My internet speed is the fastest possible so that does not play a factor in this scenario. I have now waited over 5 hours to play a game I am subscribed to for and do not think the monthly fee of $15.99 is worth it at ALL. Another money grabbing scheme from Sony most definitely. Think about it.... I pay less for a YEARS subscription on my Xbox 360 Live Gold membership which allows me to play ANY game I want online rather then being restricted to just ONE game subscription which costs more monthly then a whole years worth. I am extremely disappointed with how this game is turning out to be because I had high hopes and expectations only to be let down by Sony and DC.
- 4:43pm EST - January 22nd, 2011
@8 You can't compare subscribing to an MMORPG to subscribing to live - that's Apples & Kiwano African Horned Mellons.
- 5:16pm EST - January 22nd, 2011
I find it silly to give negative feedback on a game because of full servers and disconnect issues.
That doesn't have anything to do with the game design at all. It's definitely an issue, but more pointed at SOE rather than the game itself IMO.
I'm lucky enough to have non of those problems though and I'm enjoying the gam so far. :)
- 7:03pm EST - January 22nd, 2011
I dont usually partake on commenting, but the stupidity of #8, cannot go unmentioned.
This kid is either under 12 years old or has half a brain. You are disapointed that Sony released the FIRST next-gen MMO on a console?
You have no Idea what an MMO even is do you....and comparing it to a Xbox all online game fee....my god....MY damn IQ just lowered.
And that that $hit about downloading times is BS, i went through two instals, 30 minutes each, and hopped right into the game.
This review makes some good points on its downsides, but like any MMO, none is a perfect 10 the first month of Launch. WoW has been around for 8 years now, think what the developers can do here in even a fraction of the time.
I dont usually give props for nothing, but being the first real next gen MMO on a console, i give it some mad Props for what it has already done in the first month of launch.
- 10:59am EST - January 23rd, 2011
Agree with everyone else that #8 is a moron. Thank God he will never make a living as a game reviewer, the average consumer would be doomed to reviews laden with bias, ambiguity, irrelevance, and downright stupidity.
- 1:06pm EST - January 23rd, 2011
That Live Gold account doesn't allow you to play EVERY 360 game online. Try playing Final Fantsy 11. That requires it's own subscription aswell.
MMOs are a whole different breed of games my friend. Give it some time. Almost all games have connectivity issues at release and MMOs are certainly no exception to this rule. lol
- 2:07am EST - January 25th, 2011
#8 u r a doofus u cant have negetivity just because of a download and fanboying the 360 just give it some time to fix the problems i mean you have to give sony props for making a very fun mmo on a console.
- 8:05am EST - January 25th, 2011
Firstly @8, you are a tool, please do not comment on anything MMO related again, thank you. I have been playing DC for the last few weeks and have enjoyed every minute of it. There is a fair amount of content considering there are 6 mentors (3 villain, 3 hero) and varying mission lines for all of them. Then all the solo instances, plus the alerts, a couple of raids and the PvP arenas as well as the amount of different powers, gear and styles, I have found this one of the most full MMO’s at launch (and most stable). It doesn’t feel like its full of half baked, half finished areas and missions and what is there is very strong. Like many others I love the fast paced action and the style of the game, as well as the quick levelling. SoE have promised large monthly updates, hopefully this will come to fruition as we have all heard such bold claims before from various MMO developers. Will the £9.99 a month prove to be the downfall of the game, or will it be worth it? Is the question on many peoples lips and only time shall tell. Personally I don’t mind paying a sub if the game is solid and is getting regular updates. An 8.5/10 from me, that could easily change to a 9 depending on what future updates bring.
- 8:25am EST - January 27th, 2011
Please GAME DIRECTORS read this because I REALLY REALLY want this game to be the best mmorpg..so I asked ALOT of players in the DC universe facebook page..and they said its GREAT action game but now they will not pay for the next month..but if you make the changes that we want to happen we will PAY for LONG LIFE PLAYING,,TRUST US AND WE ALL GOING TO BE HAPPY : 1- Different kind of quests because they are predictable. 2- Auction house. 3- more than four players raids or quests like 10,15, even 20 would be epic. and fix the voice chat
- 8:15pm EST - January 28th, 2011
I feel most people don't differentiate the platforms enough. I don't think it is fair to compare the PS3 version to WoW or other MMO's. It's not like they are on a console. I can see knocking the PC version because it is just an infant in a space occupied by adults. For many console gamers, you know the people who want to sit on their couch in front of their HD TV with their surround sound systems and hold a controller without continuously chasing PC hardware upgrades, this is absolutely groundbreaking stuff. There's nothing meaningful to compare it to. On that platform, it is not a story about an MMO in its infancy that has a lot of catch up to do. It is a story of a pioneer braving a new territory with the promise to be even better over time. Hitting a level cap in 30-40 hours and having any semblance of playability afterwards is a decent achievement on a console. I agree that there are bugs needing fixing and I can see where it could be more so I wouldn't call this the AAA must have title of the year but I don't think it is getting the recognition it deserves.
- 11:26am EST - January 31st, 2011
@ 17 - i agree the game is Funny and Good, and No MMo`s that have been Made are Perfect at the start, Wolrd of Warcraft had bugs needing fixing too wen it first cam out
But Anyway - it`s the First MMO game to a ps3 Console! i mean you have to give sony props for
making a very fun and good MMO on a console :-)
- 12:20pm EST - January 31st, 2011
Good review indeed. My thoughts on the game now... First the downloading at the start, i found the time varys from internet speed obviously. My friend waited around hours, i waited around 1 hour. However if i new just wot to expect the other side of the download i would of happily waited all day, plus i have bin tracking this game for around a year so why wud i be chewy about it. I have read other reviews on this game most rating it at around 7.5 out of 10. Many reviews compare it to the like of World of Warcraft and other top selling MMO\'s. LETS GET THIS STRAIGHT. DC Universe Online is doing what the final fantasies never achieved. Bringing MMO\'s to consoles properly. As for paying for the game all you saying \' O its too expensive its silly to have to,pay for it\' are really oblivious to how much work goes into these games after release. I no the money you originally pay for the game is the same as most, but who do you think will pay for extra content, further level caps, reparing problems bugs etc. If they continue to spend days after days making the game better and better and better then i am more than happy to pay for the monthly fee. So so thats that done, now for the game. Good Points. Combat system flows very well, Great scenery, the DC characters are great, great voice overs, story lines are just like from a comic, wide range of custom options for building your hero/villian. brill movement options. Bad Points Social interacting could be made better, obviously without a headset it can be difficult, if chosen a pvp server find urself being ganked alot in areas, instances could be made a little better,
- 8:35pm EST - February 12th, 2011
If you are going to buy this game ask yourself first, do you like to be steam rolled by hackers and exploiters? Just think of the level of cheats on a free to play FPS and thats what you will find right now in DC with seemingly no statement from SOE to even say you shouldn't be doing this. It started off as a few people now its the lions share of guilds. I'd save my $50 if I were you and wait to see if they fix any of it or you will be like many of us paying for a game you want to play but is simply unplayable.
- 11:47am EST - February 25th, 2011
they had a chance to turn MMORPG on their heads by not charging a monthly fee and are going to lose a ton of users. Especially on PS3 where chatting sucks and on computer where its competing with a genuinely great game in World of Warcraft! Its too bad because playing with the first month free, it was a pretty good game!
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