This cinematic intro is probably better than any super-hero movie ever will be.
Warner Bros. and Sony made a gutsy move by releasing a MMORPG on a console. A pity it wasn’t the roaring success everyone hoped it would be. DC Universe Online has many flaws but isn’t without its redeeming factors, the level of customization is staggering, every element of the avatar can be altered to suit the players taste.
When designing a character the choices are incredible, weapons, personality, super-powers can all be created from scratch or based on templates taken from the heroes and villains we all know and love. This is something that DCU got right. The combat is intuitive and even noobs have the ability to use some heavy hitting moves.
However one of the issues that the console version has is that the player will soon find their character has more moves and abilities than can fit into the action bar at the bottom of the screen. While PC MMORPG’s have a vast amount of keyboard mapping potential, console controllers only have a limited number of button combinations. This is also an issue that affects the social element.
The story is very enjoyable, telling the tale of Lex Luthor’s desperate plan to save Earth from the clutches of Brainiac. However many of the quests, while telling their own mini-story, had little-to-no relevance to the overarching storyline.
The locations are magnificent in their design and delivery, from the sunny heights of Metropolis to the rain sodden gloom of the back alleys of Gotham the world is believable, engaging and feels like it has been lifted right from the pages of the best comics DC has to offer. However the entire ‘universe” consists of just these two cities, and some dungeon-esque arena locales. Part of the joy of playing RPG’s is the epic maps with plenty of interactive elements and side-quests, in this DCU was lacking.
There is not a huge amount to see and do around the city. Most of the quests are found in the safe houses that are found in the cities. The world is also disappointingly under populated, especially at the lower levels. It was a commendable effort but it fell short, and is unlikely to keep people playing after the free month.