Review: DC Universe Online

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Remember the time you dreamed of being a superhero or super villain and wondered what kind of abilities you’ll possess and how you’ll use them? Well Sony Online Entertainment thought so too, so why not make a game out of it? So let’s tear this game apart and give it the full on Geek Review!

Design: 6.5/10

DCUO (DC Universe Online) is an MMO like none other, to us, calling this an MMO might be a little too much. The game feels more like a community based Action beat-em-up. As much as this is also a PC game, this game plays like it’s meant for consoles, but if you look deeper, the remnants of the PC is still intact. You don’t simply click on enemies in the game, it’s heavy on the combo aspect which feels weird on a mouse and ideal for a controller, but in terms of menu navigation, the PC is ideal, and like all MMOs, there are A LOT OF MENUS, to the point where having a controller just seems frustrating. Even so, SOE (Sony Online Entertainment) has done a great job integrating a MMO game to the console. It might be a good template for future makers of MMO to use the design idea behind DCUO.

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The Story behind DCUO started great! It even got its own comic book! Sadly, right after the intro, the story simply died out. The events where you need to rescue civilians as heroes or cause havoc as a villain don’t have any sense of urgency. The great thing about the story though is the background tale you get of the heroes or villains you defeat along the way.

Your standard MMO requirements are present. You have your events, raids, duos (DCUO’s co-op missions), leagues (which are guilds), alerts, etc. It could’ve been great to see some in-game commerce and occupations you can take.

The message windows are HORRIBLE, simply getting to see them requires either a magnifying glass or the squint of the eyes! Even the objectives are sometimes hard to read.

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Leagues feel unpolished or unfinished to the point where we didn’t even realize we were part of a league to begin with. It could’ve been cool if the league system is revamped, a league system could make the game so much fun to both play with friends and maybe make some along the way.

Aside all that, the most frustrating part of the game is the amount of bugs, glitches and errors it has. Games may sometimes freeze, certain buildings and enemies might take time to load in, we can’t even complete a tour of the watch tower because the booth wasn’t present!

The design has numerous flaws and very little to give it a positive outlook, but you’ll be happy to hear that SOE is constantly updating their servers and game, plus adding numerous content. Even so, the fact that its already almost 2 years out, we were expecting a much more polished game.

Fun Factor: 7.5

Gameplay in DCUO is fun, sadly there are no variations in the missions you do. Simply put, the top 3 things you do in the game is beat X amount of baddies or goodies, interact with X amount of people (like freeing civilians from demon possession), and deliver or extract X amount of either people or things to the designated area. Once you’ve done the X number of requirements, you’ll be directed to a hide out where you’ll basically beat up bad guys and make your way to the main hero or villain you’re supposed to “take care” of along side with a well known character in the DC universe.

The fun in the game starts when doing alerts, PVP, duos, raids and various multiplayer games. As much as the campaign story for your character goes, the multiplayer is highly addicting. Paying along side other players comes with great reward, especially when going through a high level raid. The feeling of being part of a team is enough for us to keep coming back for more and no matter what role you play during these events, you feel part of a team.

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The biggest addiction off the game doesn’t lie on the multilayer, it’s actually in your customization and character development that entangles you in the world of DCUO. What powers to use, how to allocate your power and skill points depends on you and it will give you some time to think carefully on how you’ll be playing the game. Do you want to be a controller? Maybe a healer perhaps? The experimentation of powers and weapons will keep you at bay for a very long time.

Presentation: 8.5/10

As an MMO, this game looks AMAZING. The metropolis vibe feels right with blue skies and tall buildings and you’ll feel at home like batman when you stumble upon Gotham City. Cities are huge and it can be overwhelming sometimes getting to see the various areas of the cities. Both the Hall of Doom and Watchtower is a plus, beautiful bases complete with reactors and various facilities bring life to the justice league of the legion of doom. The biggest among the visual flare is your character and the powers. Stunning visuals of fire and ice shows the ferocity of the wielder. The use of sorcery with its symbols has an arcane feel to it. No matter how you create your character, the powers are sure to give an awe striking reaction.

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And now for the bad side. As sound goes, Guns sound like guns, and powers give an immense sense of engaging you in the game. The time where you want to turn off your TV is when secondary characters start talking. It’s not fair when you hear superman of even batman speak since they sound like they came out of the show (which they did), but the fact that primary characters just outshine other voice talents brings the immersion of the game down a peg or two. You wold start if hearing Joker and calculator in Gotham city, then when you start getting missions from a bouncer, you’re left wondering what happened.

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Overall: 7.5

The game has many flaws: unpolished or unfinished designs, extreme bugs and glitches, horrible voice acting, but it shouldn’t shun you away from getting to know the DC universe, after all, this is a free game. If you so happen to dive into the universe, try going a little deeper and you’ll find a highly addictive Multiplayer component bunched with a wonderful character creation system.