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Game Review: DC Universe Online


I used to be love computer games. First person shooter and MMRPGs were my favorite. As I have grown a bit older and had kids, the amount of time I spend playing games has dwindled. But I did spend some time over this last week playing DC Universe Online (from DC Comic Books). This is a Super Hero/ Villain MMRPG (Massively multiplayer online role-playing game).

When this game first came out January 2011. At the time of release, this was a subscription game and you had to pay $14.99 a month.  On November 1, 2011, the basic game became free to download and no monthly fee. According to Wikipedia, “There are 3 levels of players: Free, Premium (at least $5 spent on the game) and Legendary, which are ongoing subscribers.”  There are certain character types that you can only create if you are a paying customer.

About the Game:
As is true with most MMRPGs, you can pick your type of character, gender, and the look and feel of the character. DC Universe allows you to either play a Hero or a Villain.  They have 3 Hero Mentor options: Batman (Tech), Superman (Meta), or Wonder Woman (Magic). They have 3 Villain Mentor options: Joker (Tech), Lex (Meta), and Circe (Magic).

A future world is devastated by the a war between the villains and heroes. Lex defeats Superman and the other heroes. He believes he won until Brainiac shows up and takes over. Lex goes back to the past to warn the world of Brainiac’s future attack. Lex brings back Exobytes, nanotech that gives regular humans super powers.

Your character starts off as a captive on Brainiac’s ship. You are helped by either Oracle (hero) or the Calculator (villain) depending on your side. You have to learn your new powers from the Exobytes and fight your way off of Brainiac’s ship. At the end, either Superman or Lex shows up to help you win and escape. You go back to their headquarters and start missions.  You have to fight the other side, do missions to help your side, and continue to fight against Brainiac.  You specific story it geared towards your character and if they are a hero or villain and which type of mentor you have.

What I liked:
The story and plot of the is game is very well designed.  I played several different types of characters and test out different abilities and powers. The villain plot appears slightly more pressed but still better than many comic books.

You are given certain powers and abilities to use.  It is fairly easy and intuitive to use and fight.  It is very first person shooting type of action along with the MMRPG set up.

When on a mission, there is a yellow arrow that leads you where you need to go. The city is large and often hard to maneuver but the arrow will get you on the correct course.

The character set up was full of details and options.  You can pick your gender, body style, skin tone, hair color, hair style, specifics to your costume.

What I Disliked:
The character set up was a bit complex and not really intuitive.  It can get confusing on what you need to put where. It took me a couple of characters before I felt fairly comfortable with my options and how to find what I was looking for.

I don’t like the travel powers. Everyone has to have either flight, speed, or acrobatics. Not every character needs to have one of these abilities. I understand the characters may need to travel long distances.  You could either give vehicles (bat-mobile anyone) or have them use teleporting systems with the JLA/ Legion of Doom to get places. I would love to see some sort of vehicles.

I wanted a speed character. Unfortunately I had to have other abilities/ powers that are not related to speed. You cannot develop any speed powers beyond travel until you are level 9.  If I want a Flash/ Quicksliver type of character with pure speed abilities, I cannot really play this character.

On the free account, there are a limited number of power choices.  Some of the choices are only for the pay accounts. I wanted to be an lightning/ electricity character but this is not an option on the free account.

I really did not care for playing a villain. The story and missions were not as enduring and fun as the hero missions.   It might be the fact I am a nice/good guy by nature or maybe the heroes are more fleshed out.

Overall it is was fun game that is worth checking out, playing, and investing some time in.  It is not revolutionary and unique but still fun.

In many ways, it reminds me of City of Heroes which I used to love. The graphics and plot is superior to the old City of Heroes (I have not played in a long time but will check out again soon). It is far superior and much easier to play than the Champions Online super hero game.

Grade: Solid B

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