The F2Peer Review: DC Universe Online
For the next F2Peer Review we get our guys and gals to check out DC Universe Online from Daybreak Game Company (former SOE), the free to play MMORPG where players step into the shoes of their own rising star, creating a super hero or super villain and siding with well-known characters such as Batman, Joker, Superman, Lex Luthor and more. With a constant stream of updates, new features, DLC and game content still being added to the game it is very much alive and pushing forward and has even expanded over to the Playstation console network, but with a few years on the clock now we ask our readers what they thought about the game.
The PVP is kind of frustrating in late game and some characters are massively overpowered, usually the newly added flavour of the month ones, but it does upset the general PVP balance which is already pretty shaky at best. More worrying is the ongoing situation with gear in PVP, where PVP gear is seemingly outmatched by PVE gear, which just isn’t right. The endgame stuff is fun and kind of mindless, not too big a challenge with a halfway decent group, but the action combat is pretty fun still and jumping all over the map does create a unique dynamic to combat.
A lot of the early content in the game is very easy to solo, both the main story-arc quests and the sideline quests we picked up, however any time we did get a little stuck it was at times quite a chore to find random players to group up with as no one was around or the content was a little easier for other due to their class choice so people didn’t need to group up. You could definitely feel the difficulty creeping up mid-level 20s so I did gloss over the DLC content to see if there were some other avenues, but paying around $5 or more for content that, in my honest opinion, should be in the game as free content already, was just something I wasn’t prepared to do.
There are some aspects of DCUO that I enjoyed, but overall the game is just lacking as an MMORPG in comparison to other games, particularly as an explorer/achievement hunter like myself, it felt like quite a generic game and a littler underwhelming after the absolutely awesome cinematic. Getting access to my Hideout at level 10 was pretty cool, plenty of games have no housing whatsoever so being able to decorate my own pad definitely gives DCUO a gold star and a thumbs up, at least in that area.
There’s nothing like building your own cool superhero (or villain) to then end up as a freaking errand boy sidekick for one of “the big three”, though let’s be honest, and this isn’t me being sexist, but who really gives a damn about Wonder Woman and Circe? The biggest failing by far in the game (and there’s a lot…) was bringing in the console crowd and releasing it on the PS3/PS4, opening up an MMORPG to a cross-section of console players and getting their opinion on what would make the game better and having to cater to them is going to be the death of the PC version. That’s what SOE get for their greed though.
Although I like being able to create a hero of my own (or a villain if so inclined) instead of trying to fill the boots of an iconic DC comic book character (my biggest issue with Marvel Heroes 2015), the problem was that the customization options for character appearance were extremely underwhelming in places, especially when compared to the level of detail of Champions Online; for an SOE title with a bigger budget you would have expected more of an effort. Second to this is that, as a roleplayer at heart, the RP community is pretty much none existent and gets no real support from the developers in way of RP servers, RP tools or anything like that and just relies on a handful of RP Leagues (guilds) to provide players with an RP experience.
I haven’t played DCUO for quite some time, but when I did it was pretty fun for the most part; early content was a breeze and it’s only really after level 30 that the true game kicks in and greater challenges, but even then hitting max level isn’t particularly hard. The problem really is that it gets a little grindy when you play a lot, there’s not (or at least wasn’t) enough stuff to do at high level and so resorting to focusing on PVP in a system that wasn’t the best I’ve experienced was a little boring after a while. I definitely enjoyed my time there for the most part, but you could tell even then that the game was getting emptier.
I definitely have mixed feelings with DC Universe Online, on the one hand there’s a part of me that really wants to love it, I love DC, I love the franchise, I love being able to meet the characters I’ve read about and watched on screen since I was a kid. As an MMORPG, it just didn’t really work, there’s not enough community focused stuff to engage in, it feels like a solo adventure up to the point where the content gets too tough to complete alone, and visiting iconic places like Metropolis just feel like a ghost town with huge streets that seem to be completely void of life and NPCs. The game has/had potentially, but overall is quite a disappointment.
Well there you have it, our players have pitched in with their thoughts about DC Universe Online, but what about you? Have you played the game, and if so what did you think, or if not why not? What do you think about what our players have had to say? Give us your feedback in the comments below!