Every so often there comes a MMO that stands apart from the rest. A game that doesn’t claim to be a WoW killer. A game that lives up to its own hype. A game that is just fun to play. DC Universe Online is that game. From the beat-em-up combat to the fully voiced missions, DCU stands apart in a good way. This game is a MMO but it is not a traditional RPG. DCU would best be described as a hybrid of a MMORPG and a brawler. Oh but you’re saying, “Ninth how could DCU be any different than Champions of City of Heroes?” Easy, DCU has Batman. Oh and the voice cast for DCU will make any nerd have a full nerdgasm. I mean when you have Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Summer Glau, Adam Baldwin, James Masters, Clancy Brown, J.K. Simmons, and Wil Wheaton(just to name a few) voicing your heroes and villains you just can’t go wrong.
The world of DCU is simply amazing. Gotham and Metropolis are awesome(both individually about the size of Vice City from GTA) and all the comic heroes that live in them create a feeling of epicness. You’ll love exploring the cities and find landmarks like the Bat-Signal, The Daily Planet, and Power Girl’s… uh eyes.
DCU Online takes place in *spoiler* the DC universe, although it is an alternate reality. Basically in the not too distant future Brainiac wins and the only survivor is Lex Luthor. Luthor steals technology that will give a vast amount of people superpowers and travels back in time to hopefully prevent the coming future. A cut scene and a character creator later, you end up captured on modern Brainiac’s ship. All in all the story is well structured(unlike Final Crisis) through out the game You do not have to know DC lore to understand what is going on but there are some occasions that you may not get the reference. Even me in my nerdom didn’t know the reference of Brainiac bottling. But hey that’s what google is for right.
All the missions(quests) are voice acted but it is normally just a voice over a com. Missions do tend to be the standard go beat up X amount of guys, go collect X amount of things. But given that DCU is a brawler at heart I’m willing to forgive this. Although I do expect better questing content in the future.
Customization in DCU is pretty deep like you would expect it to be being a Superhero game. It is not as extensive at Champions Online but with DCU you’ll actually be able to make a character that look like Batman and not have it deleted on you. There are only 3 types of movement(flight, superspeed, and acrobatics) and 6 power types. The 6 power types are very different and have deep talent trees. Their philosophy behind only having 6 is that they want every power to feel unique and different from the others.
Combat is one of the major features that will separate DCU from other MMOs. Instead of your cast bar and wait system, DCU plays more like a brawler than anything else. You spend talent points into various combos and power upgrades your character can do. You also have the ability to block, that’s right block, your opponents’ attacks and break out of stuns. It’s not as fluent or as complex as a game like Assassin’s Creed but for a MMO it is leaps and bounds ahead of its competition. I also did find it easier to play with a controller rather than a mouse and keyboard, but it’s really just personal preference.
The instances are very enjoyable due in no small part to DCU’s bosses. Every boss in this Game is a hero or villain from the DC universe. From the Teen Titans to the Joker, DCU wasn’t afraid to let you to toe to toe with the best. And to top it all off, after you beat a boss you get a comic cinematic.
PvP in DCU is both fun and addictive. Some of the most fun I had was just teaming up with a couple friends and going hero hunting(we were on a PvP server). And even if the person out levels you it isn’t a guarantee that they higher level will win. PvP is truly about who is the better player. You’ll be thinking more like you’re playing a fighting game than a RPG. And with the physics combat system DCU has I’m looking forward to seeing what the future of PvP can be. Currently there is an issue with balance and hard stuns on players and I would expect them to address it ASAP.
Is DC Universe Online fun to play? Yes. Is DCU different from other MMOs on the market? Yes. Is DCU for everyone? No. Traditional MMO fans may not like this game but fans of brawlers and people looking for something different will really enjoy it. Most of the content is focused toward being max level but it won’t take you long at all to reach it. Combat is fun and different but only time will tell if the game is worth you paying a subscription for. However, I do think the initial month of game play is worth your money. I am hesitant to give a game a score given that we won’t know server stability but I’m going to trust in that SOE knows what they are doing given their MMO history.
Post by Ninth Batter the author/creator of Nobody Like You.
Any opinions expressed in posts on Polygamerous are not necessarily the opinions of Polygamerous or the other Authors/Editors/Podcasters of Polygamerous.