DC Universe Online Review (Playstation 3)
-Eric Lee Lewis
Let me get this off of my chest; I am a big superhero nerd. Also, I prefer DC Comics over Marvel Comics. With DC, we get some of the biggest named super heroes and villains that are practically household names i.e. Batman, Joker, Superman, Robin, Lex Luther, etc. So, what if a capable company took the DC universe and mixed it with an MMO? Well, we would receive DC Universe Online. And boy, oh boy, it’s a wonderful mix that feels as if it was meant to be.
On the surface DCUO looks as most massively-multiplayer-online game, but this is definitely not the case. DC Universe Online starts off with what may be the best cutscene in gaming history. The best of the DC universe are at battle in a rundown Metropolis. Instead of me telling you word for word about the cutscene, here is the opening cinematic. So the premise is that Brainiac’s exobites have fallen to Earth and given everyone super powers. That means you get to make your super powered hero or villain in almost any manner you want. The characters all have the ability to more in 3 different ways; gliding like Batman, flying like Superman, or super speed like The Flash.While it’s great to choose your hero’s movement ability, you also get to choose your power. Want to have cool gadgets like Batman or Joker? Choose Gadgets as your “super power”. There are also the abilities to use super-strength, certain weapons, elemental spells, and multitudes of others to choose from.
Now picture what you would want to look like if you were a superhero. What exactly would you look like? Would you wear a special costume? If so, this game allows you to look almost exactly like what you pictured. In my time in DC Universe Online, I saw some of the most creative superheros and recreations of other established heroes. It was fun to be running around and see that people had created Marvel heroes in the likenesses of Magneto, Hulk, Wolverine, and Deadpool. Sure, they aren’t original, but the ability to make them shows how much Sony Online Entertainment cares about the fans.
To add to the already stellar character creation, SOE gaives everyone the ability to choose their mentor. This mentor will allow the player to see the story through that hero/villain’s eyes. In my playthroughs, I had a character mentored by Batman and one mentored by Joker. For some reason, I have always steered toward evil characters in gaming. I connected to my Joker-mentored character. Seeing an awesome story unfold through Joker talking to me is fantastic.
On the subject of talking; the voice-acting of the main characters in DCUO are great, but civilians and lower-tiered characters’ voices are a range of bad to almost acceptable levels. Not only are some of these voices bad, the lip-syncing is hardly there. Let’s put it this way; the lip-syncing makes some of the scenes look like the lip-syncing in an old giant monster movie. Thankfully, not every talking scene is done like this. Some of the story is told through subtly moving artwork and this is where the best stories are told. The artwork is fantastic and what you would expect from DC Comics. Beside the storytelling artwork, missions obviously tell most of the story in DCUO and the missions are fun. Missions can vary from races to fetch quests to simple defeat-the-enemy quests. On top of the mass quantities of missions, there are bosses to hunt down in parties and some that can even be taken on in 1-on-1 fights.
Let me say this; DC Universe Online is pretty and the cities look authentic. Gotham City is dark and gloomy and full of crime. Though I don’t care for Superman or Metropolis (where Superman/Clark Kent reside) in the comic world, Metropolis is gorgeous, massive, and colorful in DCUO and quickly becomes a joy to play in.
I speak very highly about DCUO because of the fun involved, but this doesn’t mean that the game is without flaws. DC Universe Online is an MMO and what MMO doesn’t have issues? Issues are minimal but they are there. Textures pop in after a few seconds. Sometimes your character will take damage though the enemy hasn’t actually shown up on the screen yet. Navigating the menus on the Playstation 3 version is not the easiest and doesn’t have a tutorial to teach you the basics. To get into DCUO, you may need a friend to teach you the basics and let you loose into the wild after a few minutes.
I have played a lot of MMOs over the years and DCUO has quickly become my favorite. I got to create my very own hero that felt like he truly integrated into DC Universe Online and interact with some of my all-time favorite characters. Combat was a blast and flowed together like it was meant to. This game was a real treat and is something every gamer should try. Hell, it’s free on PC and Playstation 3. Go get it, DC Universe Online is a true masterpiece in the MMO world.Catch me on there on Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays using a character named DeadFunk.
Are you an MMO fan or a DC fan? Will you try out this great free-to-play game? Why or why not?