Today I’ll be talking about this not so old MMO game that I’ve just started playing and you may have heard about it. Still, many people that I talked to have never played before or tried once, but gave up.
However, before you think this is one more Review just like the others with experience people and talking, think again. My idea here is to bring a review from a first-time-player and not the I-spent-500-hours review. Why does that matter? Well, think about it. After you play a game for 500 hours or more, everything will be easy to understand, to remember, easy to do and explain to others in your own words! It’s really nice to have someone explaining everything and how it works. Makes you want to play it. Well, I kinda thing that sometimes that doesn’t work and having a first-player-review is like testing the game for the first time. The UI should be friendly and easy to use making the player experience wonderful and not hard. You’ll get what I mean later.
Here are some things to make you think about the game.
DC Universe Online (or as some people call DCUO) was developed by Daybreak Game Company and co-published by Daybreak Game Company and WB Games for PS3, PS4, Xbox One, and PC based on, of course, DC Universe of DC Comics. Released in January 11, 2011, this “not so free-to-play” gives the player an opportunity to be a super hero or a super villain in Gotham City or Metropolis City.
So, where do we start? Oh, yeah, the intro!
The start cinematic, beautifully developed by the producers, includes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Robin, Cyborg, Flash, and Green Lantern in one side and Joker, Lex Luthor, Harley Quinn, Circe, Deathstroke, Black Adam, and Giganta fighting in the ruins of Metropolis. It’s worthy watching. At the end, Lex explains that the War was caused by the subtle manipulations of Brainiac. During the game, you can see in Gotham and Metropolis Brainiac’s ships hovering over the cities and the invasion all over.
With the end of it, its the players turn with first the creation of the character. I’m not going into all the things you can do, powers, skills, etc, because theres a lot of websites
talking about it. Roughly, you can choose between a super hero where your mentors can be Batman, Superman or Wonder Woman, or a super villain having mentors as Lex Luthor, The Joker or Circe. The character creation is really amazing and you have a lot of options to build your char, including your uniform which can be based in one of the heroes or villains or you can work on your own. With a variety of forms, types, colors, and shapes for the feet, wrist, back, head, hands, chest, shoulder, and legs you can sure bring something unique to your hero/villain or create a uniform like a Super Sayajin or One Punch Man (really, I’ve seen those…). Your first “mission” is to escape from Brainiac’s ship. Somehow, you were one of the heroes/Villains Brainiac was draining energy from. You can consider this as a tutorial for the controllers, communication, interface, scenario, powers, skill points, etc.
After this first “stage” you have to go over missions that your mentor or other super hero/villain will give you. It goes from breaking into places, destroy things, rescue people, healing people, and all kind of mission related. Eventually, you will also find someone trying to break into a building or trying suicide. Just stop/talk to this NPC to get some free XP. With that, you are able to do raid instances (some require a specific level to get into), update your character with weapons, and armors. The world is huge and, even flying or using super speed, it takes a while to go from one point to another in the city.
The game has a lot of good sides to talk about, its really addicted, and you want to keep playing more and more. It’s a nice feeling to have super powers and go around messing or saving people. As of August 2014, according to Wikipedia, the game had 18 million registered users, AllGame gave 3.5 out of 5, Eurogamer 6/10, GameSpot 7.0, GamesRadar 6/10, IGN 8/10, PC gamer (US) 88%, and X-Play, 4/5. But, as any other game, it sure has some down sides. Really.
So, I played this one on the PS3 and PC. First, PS3, if you don’t have the way of controlling a character in a full open environment, do not try it on your console. Have you ever played Call of Duty or Battlefield on a console? Probably, yes, but aiming and moving the camera around should be made only for mouses, not controllers…. but that’s just me. I suck on that kind of game in a console. I’m not good using a controller where it should be a mouse. The PC version feels way more fluent and playable. To tell the truth, when I first tried on my PS3, I played for 15 minutes and gave up. Weeks later, I tried on the PC and here I’m writing about it.
Took me a while to get used to the user interface and many times I found myself using Google to search for how to do this, how to do that, what is this for, what is that for… The tutorial and interface for the items do not help at all. Yeah, after a while you get the way of it and some people would say “ah, that’s not so hard. I know everything and it’s quite easy”, because you took a while to search, go over, and understand it. Think about it. EVERY game, no ones know how to deal with, how to play, how to manage the skills, powers, items… and if you spend a lot of time playing it, you will eventually realized everything was easy and every piece fits together. This should be simple from the first time or at least on the first hours playing. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you should know the whole game on the first couple or hours, but the more you play the more you understand what you are doing and move on. You shouldn’t look for stuff all the time. I can also add that I saw other people, new players, asking the same questions in game, same problems, having the same issues. So, yeah, it’s not just me and I do believe the, in some point in history, you did Google how to do something. Exobits and Exobytes are and example of it. Those are not a bad idea – way far from that – but I had to Google and ask people how to deal with that. If I’m a new player, it should be simple, with a better tutorial, friendly, step by step… otherwise, people would just give up because its “complicated”. (Still, its worthy to keep pushing it).
Exobits are all over the cities, but you don’t know what to do with them and, when your inventory is full (we’ll talk about that later), and you have no more space for nothing, its time to learn how it works. From there, you have to keep collecting them.With some Exobits, on a R&D Station, you can build Exobytes, with the right plan (you can buy some and others are drooped by bosses). When they are ready, you can add them to your armor. (Its like the diamonds in WoW or Diablo).
Now. Prices. Lets talk about the “free-to-play” marketing. Sure you can do that, play for free. I’ve been playing for free. However, your inventory has limited space as your bank and if you want more space, you have to subscribe. And it’s not a simple subscription .You have to keep paying for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or, if you’d like, 12 months. Another issue is you don’t have access to all your money, for example. Long time ago, I heard you could handle only $2000. The overrun value goes to something you can call an “investment account” where you have to pay for the game so you can access that money. I didn’t get that at the first time. I thought that would be unlocked after I reached level 10/15/25/30. But, no. Today (2016), it’s still the same, but the amount you have available is now $1500. And to make things better, the value of fixing your armor is nothing more than $10, depending on the armor and how many pieces, and to pay better plans to build better mods to your equipments costs around $1550 or more. Thats right. A little bit higher than what you can handle. Anyway, you are still trying to learn how the game works, so you won’t be worried about it until you reach level 30. Nothing hard to do if you play 4 to 5 hours 2 (sometimes 3) days a week. Do the quests and you’ll be fine.
Another interesting thing is some parts of the game that you can only have access if you buy that specific part. As chapters are released with new content, you have to keep buying them to have access to certain areas. Now, the game has a 22 chapters or episodes, $4 each and some of them for $9.99. Want to keep playing, buy it.
Ok. How about the subscription!?
If you get a subscription and kept paying for that, you’ll have access to a few stuff as the DLC packs, Free replay badges monthly, in game currency (access to your savings account), more space in your character inventory, Broker slots, banks slots (Free – 12 slots, premium account 24 slots, and legendary account, 48 slots), trade items and cash with people, powers (example:light, electricity, earth, quantum, celestial, and rage you have to pay $29,99 to have it), etc…. Somewhere in the game you get the chance to have a HQ. Your own place to call cave, home, place, cell, whatever… You can put furniture in it, place your armor, allow people in, even but some busters to have a sidekick and other nice things, but it doesn’t go much far than that (I really don’t know at this point because I haven’t paid). You don’t have a locker or a place you can hold items (you have to pay for it, I guess). If you want power cells to get other adds to your character, you’ll have to pay for it (really…). Some of this and other stuff can be bought using in-game money (DBC money) however, guess what? They cost money. you can find more info here.
Oh, I almost forgot, as a free player you can only create 2 characters and, if you logout and try to login again, sometimes the game puts you into a queue to get into the game. Yep, you have to wait to people to disconnect so you can play for free. If you pay, you’ll wait 1 second to login. Free player, around 3 minutes but I had usually waited 5 to 10 minutes sometimes. The game also keeps giving you Prometheum Lockboxes which contains (I don’t know, have never opened one) great items, armor, weapons, better than the ones you find in the game. And if you plan to keep them until you have enough time, level, money to buy the game, think again. The lockboxes are only available for 30 days. After that, they disappear. I found close to 6 or 7 and through all of them away, so far.
You may also bump into some kid playing the game and chatting all the time instead of letting you playing, but it doesn’t really make a difference in your game. Just ignore them. Another interesting things is someone may also call your attention if you are speaking too weird stuff (because there are kids playing the game). Again, not a big issue, but it’s weird, isn’t it?!? Feels like Captain American telling me to watch my language… Anyway, a mix of culture is also interesting to find there as I saw Turkish, Brazilians, Chinese, Americans, Canadians, Europeans, etc.
Overall, the game is really good to play and people should definitely try it out, but they could make a better UI and work on those tutorials. Explain better stuff and how to use them. Most of the that I figured it out but not without at least once, going online to look for help. I would say, if you have sometime and are looking for a fun no so “free-to-play” game, this is your game and, if you feel you are going somewhere with it, just go for the membership. I do believe its worthy and compare to other games and costs, it’s not that high.
As me, I’m going to keep my self a free player for a while…