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This thread is for ongoing impressions and thoughts while playing through the game. I’m not some professional reviewer. I don’t expect you to be. I’m just average Joe game player like most of you with all due apologies to Jane. We can talk about the game as desired let’s just avoid veering too far away from topics involved with actually playing and participating. I expect disagreements but let’s stay respectful of one another to avoid trouble.
My Initial Expectation:
I kind of enjoyed the last superhero MMO game I tried and was looking for something similar but different that might occupy me for two or three months. I liked the promotional cinematic and the gameplay video looked fluid. So, I have hopes for fun story and fun combat. Yet, there is a cloud over Sony and DCUO that leaves me wondering if I just made a bad deal with the Devil.
Purchase & Download:
I bought the game cheap through Amazon’s Digital Service. It downloaded the game launcher (8 MB) which took over. I had to create a subscription plan before downloading the game. I will not be charged for a month and can cancel before then. Yet, after the security breach I felt irritated at being forced to enter credit card information before I really needed to. It’s a large 13.4 GB download. From a simple user perspective, the launcher is a polished bit of software in comparison to those of other MMO companies. I had good connection speed and let it work overnight.
Tidbit: I received free in game items and 500 station cash on sign up. I’m not sure if it’s the result of being a former customer for EQ2 before the hack or a current promotion.
I searched through the official forums seeking information on server population but all I could find was out of date. Actual data for the PC side of things has been supplanted by an idea that all of the servers were kind of empty. There are six PVE servers and three PVP servers on the current list all noted as low population. I settled at random on Zero Hour. Make no bones about it. That’s one awesome intro movie!
The character creation includes: gender, body type, hero or villain alignment, mentor, power type, and fighting style selection. I got LOL tickled at the character personality section in that the options all seemed so exaggerated. I just couldn’t make myself play a male flirt. I went for serious. After that you can customize a costume if desired or use one of the presets. You have more options than the typical fantasy MMORPG but nothing comparable to the games actual market competition in CO or COX.
The most useful feature for a “new player” was the ability to create a character inspired by a popular DC Comics hero or villain. You can edit a preset to suit your individual desires. The scroll bar blends too well to stick out from the alien bio tech skin artwork surrounding the screen. It took me a moment to figure out I could scroll down for more options.
Tidbit: The game client went black screen after I windowed keyed out to take notes. CTRL – ALT – DELETE brought up the task manager allowing me to shut it down.
It will immediately become clear that you are playing a console game ported to PC. You have a target reticle on screen to select opponents with and can lock onto one specific enemy with the TAB key. It’s straight forward and similar to controlling a character in most other MMO’s with the glaring exception of a mouse cursor to interact with the environment. You will have to rely on keystrokes. That will irritate many potential players but at least they allow use of the cursor in the game menus.
At first you will see a chat box very much like the one present in every other MMO in the lower left corner of your screen. However, the UI doesn’t make immediate allowance for its easy use or the selection of alternate tabs. I finally found the command list. Activate it with / or ENTER. I would not expect to rely on the chat function during combat or missions as it is slow to access and use.
Tidbit: During my initial play session, I never saw a single player message in the typed chat window.
Built in Voice:
There isn’t even an auto attack. DCUO is firmly in the action game category. To work with team mates during missions and interact with other players in the world you will want to use the game’s built in voice chat system. It’s simple enough to configure in the settings panel. This is the first game where I feel like voice chat will be a must have and must use for playing enjoyment.
SOE got this much right in DCUO. The graphics are superb, in particular the environments, for an MMO. The voice acting, sound effects, and general ambient audio are top notch. The full on CGI movie clips are excellent and the comic panel slide shows acceptable. I am playing at good quality and as yet the game hasn’t strained my system (ATI 5870 / AMD II 1045T / 8GB Memory) out of cool and quiet while less graphically appealing games such as those by Cryptic would make it blow. I admit, I've wondered why my hero doesn't look as good as some of the bad guys here at start. lol...
It’s a serviceable romp through one of Brainiac’s invasion ships that ends with an appearance by one of DC’s icons. It does the job in teaching you the basic controls and how combat will work. I wish it had included notes on some of the other functions you’ll want to know how to use in play. The enemy robots were well modeled and I liked how the overseer bots charged.
Survival of the Fittest:
This is the first story arc available to metahuman characters after completion of the tutorial. It focuses on confronting Gorilla Grodd and preventing the invasion of a Metropolis city district. The gorilla opponents are modeled well. Their dialogue is repetitive and in one mission they will throw mission objective items at you which count toward fulfillment. The mission objectives are fairly typical of an MMO during the story line. The open world opponents are set on a very fast re-spawn and you can get overwhelmed by a repeat fight a second after finishing the first. Certain opponents have crowd control ability. I got owned a few times and that’s not a bad thing as it shows some challenge is present.
The first super villain fight and lair was a step above what I am used to in the directly competing hero games for a “first outing against the bad guys.“ Gorilla Grodd was tough.
I saw perhaps 20 other players in total tonight over two and a half hours, mainly in the police station and aboard the JLA Watchtower. The game world felt empty of player activity and quiet. During my play through of the first story arc, I only saw one other player fighting enemies in the game world.
Tidbit: Watchtower seems huge on a first visit. It’s easy to get lost but if you use your map and take advantage of the ability to set a waypoint then you should be fine navigating it.
My Character & Screens:
I ended up creating a: Metahuman with Ice Powers, Hand Blaster fighting style, and Flight for travel. I was inspired by the classic flying brick with energy beam type heroes. I named him Adrian Awesome.
I took a few screens and you can see those HERE. I’ll add to those with time and note when I update. These were just quick grabs.
All for Now:
That’s all from me for now and I am off to play more in a bit. Then, I'll continue if you're interested. How’s it going with you in game?