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DC Universe Online: The Official Review

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,619MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

DC Universe Online is the first major MMO release of 2011 and MMORPG.com Lead Writer Bill Murphy has been following the game since its announcement. He's got a lot to say about DC Universe Online in our official review. Check it out and then leave your thoughts and impressions in the comments below.

It’s a title that can and will divide gamers. It’s also a title that will need to rely heavily on promised monthly content to keep players flying around in tights. But ultimately, it is this gamer’s opinion that DC Universe Online is one of the most entertaining releases in recent memory, despite what flaws it may have. Read on to find out why.

Read more of the MMORPG.com DC Universe Online Review.


Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel houston, TXPosts: 7,277Member Uncommon

    Very good Bill.  Touched on a little bit of everything, and ended with a decent score.  

    "Loan me a Dragon I wanna see space"


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  • JeroKaneJeroKane OsloPosts: 5,353Member Uncommon

    A good review. But I would have scored it a 7 tho. When you look at the Cons, they really do weight rather heavy on the Pro's.

    For a company like SOE who brought us EQ2, there is simply no excuse for the current UI and Chat interface they deployed in DCUO for PC users. No excuse AT ALL!

    And so far there has been ZERO communication from SOE if they ever gonna address it nor when they gonna address it.

    The current sorry state of the whole chat interface makes PC users just not willing to team up nor making Alerts any fun excersise at all! As people do not communicate nor play their role. Everyone just does their own thing solo, even in Alerts.

    It really hurts the community and community feel overall ingame.

    And sadly, it's already showing, as it wasn't even 2 weeks after launch and the 2 EU servers that were queue'ing and always full during primetime are already down to Medium during primetime.

    SOE really need to get their heads out of their arses and communicate and tell us they gonna fix the horrid UI and Chat interface for PC users!  Or this game is gonna bomb fast and not many will be around anymore after the first month is up.

  • kirak2009kirak2009 fredericton, NBPosts: 541Member Uncommon

    nice read,  lots of valid  points both good and bad,  fair score

    "All expectation leads to suffering" Buhhda

  • HumanHornHumanHorn gaysville, MDPosts: 25Member

    The character customization was shallow I thought...

     

    After playing CoH and CO even games like SWG and EQ2 it was just really poor. I couldn't design the character I wanted and I couldn't even change their face which is really weird, so we all have the same face. 

  • ianicusianicus Calgary, ABPosts: 472Member

    I tried the game on a buddy key from my roommate, played to lvl 20 in 4 days....that right there bugged me, WAY to fast to get to lvl cap ( i know I didnt hit cap but I could have QUITE easily within the 10 days fo the buddy trial) the leveling curve needs some serious fine tuning, which at the same time will require alot of content additions to accomodate. To me they cattered far to much towards the console segment of the game, and the PC release was an afterthought. I play on both pc's and consoles, but I like MMOs because they are USUALY designed to take some time to "beat" as it where. I dont want to hit lvl cap and have donme all the available end game dungeon type content in less than a month...thats not satisfying...

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  • kefkahkefkah East, TNPosts: 832Member

    http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/305936/My-Temporary-Hiatus-From-PvP-Videos-Included.html

     

    Youtube is littered with hack and exploit pvp videos. Somehow, if the game is in this current state (the one in which you reviewed it in) - then I hardly say that the game ranks an 8. Probably a low 7 and worth a revisit about 6 months from now to see how far they have come along in fixing things.

  • KuinnKuinn MestaPosts: 2,093Member

    Originally posted by ianicus



    I tried the game on a buddy key from my roommate, played to lvl 20 in 4 days....that right there bugged me, WAY to fast to get to lvl cap


     

     

    You hit the cap alright, but you dont have all the feats, there's lot in unlocking all the feats maxing out your char.

     

    I thought one of the reasons getting to 30 was intentional to be faster to appeal more of the alt-crowd which is not so small. Also to get to end game I think, but that again would require a bit more variation and vastness to the end game :)

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,249Member Uncommon

    Seems to me, given alot of the language in the review, this isn't an "8", it's an "8, IF..."

    IF they fix social

    IF they provide plenty of montly content.

    IF, IF, IF...

    After all, an MMO that lacks most of the traditional MMO offerings should have added SOMETHING in their absence.  When I played in beta, I didn't see such things.

    I'll give the author credit... at least he didn't use the word, "potential". 

    But I don't buy an 8 for a second, and I think, in a few months, the author will come around to my way of thinking.  In terms of overrating, IMO this is the Champions Online review all over again.

  • TealaTeala SomewherePosts: 7,430Member Uncommon

    Based on your own cons this game is not great.  It garners a score of like 6.5 to 7 at best.  But an 8 and you guys call it great?  Really?  ::sigh::

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  • MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community Manager Queens, NYPosts: 5,719Administrator Uncommon

    Actually the last paragraph explains why he gave the game an 8... he says despite its flaws it's the most fun he's had in years.  It's an opinion folks, treat it as such.

    Michael "MikeB" Bitton
    Community Manager
    Twitter: @eMikeB

  • KanethKaneth Posts: 1,930Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by MikeB

      It's an opinion folks, treat it as such.

    Wise words that people need to heed more often. The score of the reviewer is his own opinion on the game, and if people disagree that's fine, but don't attack someone else for their thoughts. Instead share your own input.

    That being said, Bill scoring it an 8 based mostly on the fun factor would seem warranted. People tend to forget that these are games, which are made for enjoyment. Not every game is going to be a masterful work of art that alone stands on high in the pantheon of utter perfection. However, if a game is fun enough, people can look past flaws.

    However, the chat system should be addressed asap. If anyone knows their mmo history, Asheron's Call 2 was plagued with many issues, but the game was fun for many. When the GUN servers would go down for hours to days at a time, and no one could chat with one another, well that's when people started to leave in droves. Turbine was able to fix the chat issue, (scrapped that stupid GUN server crap that MS had them use), but it was too late.

    If basic communication is still a problem in DCUO for more than a couple of months, you'll probably start to see people become too frustrated for the fun factor to outweigh. It would be a shame if SOE let DCUO not realize its true potential because they couldn't get chat right.

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,249Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by MikeB



    Actually the last paragraph explains why he gave the game an 8... he says despite its flaws it's the most fun he's had in years.  It's an opinion folks, treat it as such.


     

    Oh, I think he's sincere in that opinion, don't get me wrong.  I just don't think he'll see that number 8 a few months from now.  Without crafting and other downtime activities, something has to take its place, or else your investment in that world will start to float away.  I'd agree with his first statement about it being "all about the monthly content".  But I'd wager it's not gonna be enough to justify a $15 sub.

    Fallout 3 is one of my favorite games, and it is loads of fun.  There are tons of easter eggs to find, and plenty of replayability.  It's a 9 as a game, in my book.  But you know what?  I'm not playing it right now.  I played it for about 2-3 months, and I moved on.  And if I had to pay $15 bucks a month to play it?  I wouldn't have played it THAT long.

  • KyngBillsKyngBills Charlotte, NCPosts: 449Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by MikeB

    Actually the last paragraph explains why he gave the game an 8... he says despite its flaws it's the most fun he's had in years.  It's an opinion folks, treat it as such.

     

    And honestly I would have to agree with that opinion 100%...I've never had so much fun on a Game that is admittedly flawed...There is a lot I would like to see improved (UI, another toolbar, Chat, TARGETING!!!...lol), and it's crystal clear this Game was mostly Developed with the PS3 in mind...Still it's a freaking blast...Especially when you learn your Combo's and get into the bigger fights...it's just REALLY fun...Not sure how long it will last...But right now it's a blast...image

  • ToxiliumToxilium Cambridge, ONPosts: 905Member

    This is one of the games in my vast library on Steam I enjoy a lot. That itself warrents a high score. I don't care if chat is broken or the UI sucks. If I have fun then I am getting my money's worth. They're video games not video jobs.

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  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel houston, TXPosts: 7,277Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Robsolf

    Originally posted by MikeB



    Actually the last paragraph explains why he gave the game an 8... he says despite its flaws it's the most fun he's had in years.  It's an opinion folks, treat it as such.


     

    Oh, I think he's sincere in that opinion, don't get me wrong.  I just don't think he'll see that number 8 a few months from now.  Without crafting and other downtime activities, something has to take its place, or else your investment in that world will start to float away.  I'd agree with his first statement about it being "all about the monthly content".  But I'd wager it's not gonna be enough to justify a $15 sub.

    Fallout 3 is one of my favorite games, and it is loads of fun.  There are tons of easter eggs to find, and plenty of replayability.  It's a 9 as a game, in my book.  But you know what?  I'm not playing it right now.  I played it for about 2-3 months, and I moved on.  And if I had to pay $15 bucks a month to play it?  I wouldn't have played it THAT long.

    But that wouldn't change the amount of fun you had in the game,  and you can always go back and play it later monthly fee notwithstanding.  

     

    People seem to think that an MMO has to be based on a scale of playing it for a number of years at a certain number of hours a week for these games to be worthy of any kind of merit.  That isn't so,  and that is equally why so many games end up doing poorly as they constantly add "downtime" activities to compensate for poor mechanics, or a similar underlying system borrowed from other games.

     

    Other genres don't worry about this so much,  and games get rated on how much fun they are as well as overall lasting content,  and sometimes even the extra cost of that content when comparing DLCs.

     

    MMOs have become largely stagnant,  and DCUO shakes it up just enough that it deserves the accolade.  I don't have to play DCUO for years for the game to be worthy of a good score,  I just have to play it long enough that I feel I get my moneys worth.   I feel many out there don't need this game to be a second job for them to be satisfied with what it is,  and I think the review exemplifies that point of view in others as well as with myself.

     

    ::edited for clarification and random editing::

    "Loan me a Dragon I wanna see space"


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  • kirak2009kirak2009 fredericton, NBPosts: 541Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Teala

    Based on your own cons this game is not great.  It garners a score of like 6.5 to 7 at best.  But an 8 and you guys call it great?  Really?  ::sigh::

     I Play  as well,  and I think it's great  also,  sure it has anooyances,  but still overall  it's friggin fun

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I hear they are adding well rendered squirrels  in a couple months, that will be the icing on the cake

    "All expectation leads to suffering" Buhhda

  • mrw0lfmrw0lf LondonPosts: 2,269Member

    Originally posted by Robsolf

    Originally posted by MikeB



    Actually the last paragraph explains why he gave the game an 8... he says despite its flaws it's the most fun he's had in years.  It's an opinion folks, treat it as such.


     

    Oh, I think he's sincere in that opinion, don't get me wrong.  I just don't think he'll see that number 8 a few months from now.  Without crafting and other downtime activities, something has to take its place, or else your investment in that world will start to float away.  I'd agree with his first statement about it being "all about the monthly content".  But I'd wager it's not gonna be enough to justify a $15 sub.

    Fallout 3 is one of my favorite games, and it is loads of fun.  There are tons of easter eggs to find, and plenty of replayability.  It's a 9 as a game, in my book.  But you know what?  I'm not playing it right now.  I played it for about 2-3 months, and I moved on.  And if I had to pay $15 bucks a month to play it?  I wouldn't have played it THAT long.

    It's not a traditional mmo, I've had very little downtime due to the nature of the world and play time. You point out all the IF's, then you predict he'll regret the score in a few months, he can only judge the game as it stands and on his experience. If he had given a lower score listing one of the cons being "no crafting and a few months from now I'll be bored in the down time" would you have critisized that?

    Personally, I love the game, I would probably score it a 7 but any score is subjective. My reasons would that no game is a 10 (at least not yet) and I would knock off 2 points due to the poor world pvp incentives and over promotion of instanced pvp, the game for me lives or dies on it's comabt why stiffle it by sticking it in a box? (and a loss for the chat, but tbh I play on ts with guildies so that doesn't bother me too much).

    -----
    “The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species.”

  • TUX426TUX426 Madison, WIPosts: 1,907Member

    Originally posted by Toxilium

    This is one of the games in my vast library on Steam I enjoy a lot. That itself warrents a high score. I don't care if chat is broken or the UI sucks. If I have fun then I am getting my money's worth. They're video games not video jobs.

    You should update your xfire to reflect your DCUO playing time, especially if you played EVE for 13 hours last week...I'd love to see what you logged on DCUO!

  • joeballsjoeballs Boston, MAPosts: 161Member

    I think it's a good score. In fact, I'd probably give it a bit higher score because it's tough to overshadow fun-factor. If a game has flaws but the fun-factor is where it shines, then it deserves a really good score. There are no cons that can outweigh high fun-factor because if they did, then it wouldn't be fun in the first place. Sounds to me like it's a game that's only going to get better.

  • TealaTeala SomewherePosts: 7,430Member Uncommon

    You know, I don't have an issue with a person having an opinion.   What annoys me most about people that get paid to actually write reviews is that when you are not completely honest and upfront with your scoring(and many do not read reviews they just see a number that is posted) compared to your words you wrote about a games short comings...that is a form of dishonesty.   It misleads players to think they are getting a "great" game! 

    Did any of you play AC2?  It's chat servers were flacky.   In the end after months of this it helped kill AC2.   This game not only has chat issues it seems, but it's UI is unresponsive and there are many bugs(reviewers own words), and yet he tosses all these issues(some sound more than just annoyances - they actually sound really bad) and says...game is fun so I give it an 8.

    If that is the case a game like CoH should have scored a 10!  It had none of these issues.  It launched almost flawlessly.  It had not chat issues, or UI issues, and had as I recall but maybe, maybe half a dozen bugs...none game breaking.     Yet MMORPG gave it an 8.3 back in the day.   Funny that.

    See I have no issue with peoples opinions.  If the guy wants to give it an 8.  Give it an 8, but back that 8 up with more than it is just it's fun.   I find Rift fun, but I would not call it great.   I use to find WoW fun, but I would ahve never called it great. 

    I guess my other issue is, it seems some people just don't give a crap about quality any more.  If a game like DCUO can garner an 8 with all it's problems it sends a message to developers that - "Hey...look at the score MMORPG.com gave us!  An 8!  We did a banging job.   Well done boys and girls.   Time for a vacation. "   Not!

    This also means other game designers will see this and go.   Awesome.   We can deliver our own game replete with bad game design, faulty chat, and UI's and gamers will not care.  

    Yep....good job.   Thanks for the review.  

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  • SpatterCatSpatterCat Seattle, WAPosts: 80Member Common

    It has flaws, but most of them can be overcome by Vent and a regular group to run with. Since release, I have nearly 200 hours logged (I know, I know), because I just can't get enough of it. True, I come from a heavy comic book background, having owned my own shop for awhile, etc., but it's so engaging that unless you play it (and find that you can handle the combat style) you really have no idea. Downtime? There really isn't any, unless you choose to have some. People looking for crafting, etc., need to realign their sensibilities. In this game, crafting is called "Investigations", for example. It doesn't have the same result, but it fills the same aim. Something to do when you don't want to quest or run instances. In that regard, there are plenty of "downtime" activities.

     

    The sheer joy of the combat, and the opportunity to bump into iconic heroes and villains is what does it for me. I think I'll live in this world for a long time... it's totally sapped any interest I had in Rift, for example.

  • SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News Manager The Land of AZPosts: 16,619MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

    I would love to see the demographics of male vs female gamers in DCUO. :)

    Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
    Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel houston, TXPosts: 7,277Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Teala

    <snip>

    I think you're looking too far into this.  In the end games are meant to entertain,  and MMOs in particular MMOs entertain in-spite-of.    For example,  WoW may entertain in spite of its community which many people say hampers their enjoyment.  The levels of which can change the outcome of someones opinion immensely.    

     

    Poor UI and Chat issues could easily have attributed to the 8.0 score just as well as a great UI and Chat system - along with the fun factor- could have yielded a 9.0  - 9.5  or possibly higher.

     

    No game will be perfect,  but being able to entertain in the face of many issues should garner some sort of badge of accomplishment from those that enjoy the game.

     

    There are plenty of games that have come out prior to this, and I'm sure plenty more that will come out after that will have the same bugs, if not worse in some cases,  and lack that same ability to entertain the reviewer in the same way and reflect that in the score.   Its apparent that some bugs are terrible enough that you can't look past them to enjoy the game, and others can be bypassed easily so you can happily enjoy yourself.   

     

    Reading over the review and then looking at the score I think its clear that the writers enjoyment surpassed the hindrance of the bugs enough for the score dictated here.

    "Loan me a Dragon I wanna see space"


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  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,249Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by maskedweasel

    But that wouldn't change the amount of fun you had in the game,  and you can always go back and play it later monthly fee notwithstanding.  

    Actually, yes it does.  Because doing the same thing over and over again gets tired after a while.  Even a push-button orgasm button would get tired after a few... years. :)   For DCUO beta, it was about 2 hours before I started asking myself why I continued to play.  There are many single player games that do what it does better, and surprisingly, have more content.

    People seem to think that an MMO has to be based on a scale of playing it for a number of years at a certain number of hours a week for these games to be worthy of any kind of merit.  That isn't so,  and that is equally why so many games end up doing poorly as they constantly add "downtime" activities to compensate for poor mechanics, or a similar underlying system borrowed from other games.

    No, I expect them to have many levels of gameplay to where I can choose from a number of different things to do when I'm playing.  NOT just combat, combat, or PvP combat.  It doesn't have to be crafting, or waiting in line for a buff.  But there has to be SOMETHING.  STO had some fun gameplay, and about 3 weeks of content.  That doesn't keep it from being a crappy MMO; because their was NO reason to stay subbed!

    Other genres don't worry about this so much,  and games get rated on how much fun they are as well as overall lasting content,  and sometimes even the extra cost of that content when comparing DLCs.

    Of course they aren't.  They aren't asking us to pay $15 bucks a month.  When you claim a genre, along with its exact pricing model, you should expect to be held to its standards.  An MMO should be designed with the idea that players should want to log in time after time, from day 1 to year 3.  If they don't have that, they won't have a game that will survive.

    MMOs have become largely stagnant,  and DCUO shakes it up just enough that it deserves the accolade.  I don't have to play DCUO for years for the game to be worthy of a good score,  I just have to play it long enough that I feel I get my moneys worth.   I feel many out there don't need this game to be a second job for them to be satisfied with what it is,  and I think the review exemplifies that point of view in others as well as with myself.

    Perhaps not.  But you(and the average player) DO have to play for more than a few months in order for it to survive.

     

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,249Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by mrw0lf

    Originally posted by Robsolf


    Originally posted by MikeB



    Actually the last paragraph explains why he gave the game an 8... he says despite its flaws it's the most fun he's had in years.  It's an opinion folks, treat it as such.


     

    Oh, I think he's sincere in that opinion, don't get me wrong.  I just don't think he'll see that number 8 a few months from now.  Without crafting and other downtime activities, something has to take its place, or else your investment in that world will start to float away.  I'd agree with his first statement about it being "all about the monthly content".  But I'd wager it's not gonna be enough to justify a $15 sub.

    Fallout 3 is one of my favorite games, and it is loads of fun.  There are tons of easter eggs to find, and plenty of replayability.  It's a 9 as a game, in my book.  But you know what?  I'm not playing it right now.  I played it for about 2-3 months, and I moved on.  And if I had to pay $15 bucks a month to play it?  I wouldn't have played it THAT long.

    It's not a traditional mmo, I've had very little downtime due to the nature of the world and play time. You point out all the IF's, then you predict he'll regret the score in a few months, he can only judge the game as it stands and on his experience. If he had given a lower score listing one of the cons being "no crafting and a few months from now I'll be bored in the down time" would you have critisized that?

    Personally, I love the game, I would probably score it a 7 but any score is subjective. My reasons would that no game is a 10 (at least not yet) and I would knock off 2 points due to the poor world pvp incentives and over promotion of instanced pvp, the game for me lives or dies on it's comabt why stiffle it by sticking it in a box? (and a loss for the chat, but tbh I play on ts with guildies so that doesn't bother me too much).

    When it comes to the overall score, and having a 30th level character, I think I would at very least be asking myself, "do I see myself continuing to grind feats for the next 3 months?  Will that be worth 15 bucks a month?".  And I think I can play a game enough in 3 weeks to know the answer to that question.

    Honestly, I SPECULATE he scored it an 8 because 7.5 and below are considered "average", and he doesn't consider it an average game. 

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