Games Post: DC Universe Online

It’s Thursday!  And it couldn’t come at a better time.  It’s a full moon today and the week has been long and full of challenges.  I’m looking forward to some time to relax and soon!  But, it also means it’s time for a games and tech blog post.  My time has been eaten up by many activities (and work) so I haven’t spent as much time as I would have liked in trying out a new game.  However, thanks to Hubby, we’ve discovered a gem we missed before.

DC Universe Online is a free to play MMORPG based around the DC Comics universe.  You will need to create an account with Sony Online Entertainment to play this one.  If you play Everquest, Wizardry Online, or any of their other games, you probably already have an account.

First impressions are everything and this one grabbed me from the start.   After installing the game, when you launch it you’ll be treated to a cinematic with some very iconic heroes and villains.  As a female gamer, I have to say that watching Wonder Woman in this opening movie was very exciting.  Guys and girls alike will love her look.  Of course Superman and Batman are there too but… who notices them?  Just kidding!  It’s full of heroes and villains.  (Joker is great!)  It’s fun and worth it to watch.  If you want to watch it while you wait for the download click here.  I’ve watched this a few times myself.

Once you’re in game, you’ll be creating a character.  You can have two characters per account.  You can choose from a good number of power types and costumes.  The characters look very realistic (in most cases).  When you’re creating the character, you can choose to customize or not.  It’s easy to get into the actual game quickly but I definitely recommend taking the time to go through each option as you’re creating your character.  Don’t forget to scroll down and up!  The scroll bar is a curved bar on the left side that doesn’t at first look like a scroll bar.  The mouse wheel works too.  I was impressed with the options available for a free account.  My first character has nature powers and a bow, has wings, and a really cool skin that looks like vines.  You can change your skin and hair color.  Costumes have a pallet of three colors.  This is not permanent.  You can change all of your colors later if you don’t like them after the fact.

You choose from three mentors.  Heroes choose from Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.  Villains have Joker, Lex Luthor, or Circe.  This will determine where you start and who gives you missions at the start.  You can team up with friends who have different mentors but someone will have to do a bit of travel to group up.  You’ll be in Gotham City or Metropolis.

I almost forgot travel powers!  You can choose flight, acrobatics, or super speed.  Acrobatics has you jumping and clinging to reach high places (think ninja!).  Super speed lets you run over water, up walls, and even on the ceiling!

I don’t want to spoil anything but even the tutorial was fun.  You get to learn how to move and fight and you’re introduced to how to interact with the world around you.  Many things in the world are destructible and some things can be lifted up and thrown.  The end of the tutorial is too cool to reveal.  Just go do it.  You’ll like it!

My character is a hero so I’m not as familiar with villain side but I know it’s similar.  My descriptions throughout this are based on my experience as a hero character.  Please be forewarned that villain missions are villainous. Hubby has been playing one and I can tell you that Joker at least gives missions where you are fighting and killing cops.  This might not be appropriate for everyone.  I like that the villains are truly evil and villainous but I am sticking to a hero at least for now.

Once you’re in the world, you’ll start at a police station with more learning and your first missions.  The city is something to see.  Fighting in this game is fast paced.  The enemies come at you in numbers and they respawn quickly in the world.  There are instanced missions as well.  We did run some missions as a group.  There were four of us and it was a blast.  The controls did take some getting used to.  You steer with the mouse and the standard keys are used for movement.  Number keys activate powers.  I keep wanting to move my mouse cursor and click on something but that isn’t possible without pressing another key such as to bring up your Inventory or Character.  But I do love the customization.  You gather costume pieces and can choose to have them change your appearance or not.  A unique feature is that each piece of equipment that changes your appearance is still available to you to change into later even if you sell the actual item.  So if you love that pair of gloves you get at third level but you get a better one later that looks terrible, no fear!  You can wear the new powerful ones but have it look like the lower level ones.

What I Like: 

  • Graphics are beautiful.
  • Designing costume
  • Power choices
  • Superman!
  • New powers at leveling
  • Customizing appearances
  • Housing at level 12 (even for free to play!)
  • Not difficult to get started playing

What I don’t Like:

  • Controls are a little tough to get used to (but worth the effort) 
  • F key to activate/deactivate travel power (doesn’t feel natural)
  • Lack of explanation for some things.  (Press your Function keys [F1 – F4])
  • Grouping up wasn’t as intuitive as I would have liked.
  • Would like names above the characters to be a different color for team members than the light blue for all players

Verdict:  Try it!  If you’re a fan of DC characters at all you don’t want to miss trying this game.  It’s free to play so you have nothing to lose.  But, if you love it, I definitely encourage you to buy some Station Cash (Sony’s currency).  Then you can get more character slots, costumes, powers, etc.  It’s important to support the games you love so they improve and stay around.  I have a strong feeling I’ll be spending some money for this one.  The negatives are really minor and mostly just require time to get used to.