DC Universe Online recently made the transition to a Free to Play business model and allowed the world to take a crack at being a Hero or Villain themselves, without any upfront payment. Set in the DC comic universe, players must side with either Heroes or Villains in the fight against brainiac, who now threatens the very future of mankind. Players will stand alongside their favourite characters and iconic figures in epic battles featuring a combination of targeted skills and action based combat.
Free to Play MMORPG DC Universe Online Hero Review
This review in particular will be focusing specifically on the experience of a player who chooses the path of a Hero. While Villains were my first choice, Cody Hargreaves decided to squash all hopes of such things by stealing it from me. If you are of the Villain persuasion then head on over to his Free to Play MMORPG DC Universe Villain Review and let him know I hope he suffocates in all that latex, this isn’t Metal Gear Solid Cody, and Snake wasn’t a Villain. I am going to be completely honest here, I am not really a comic fan. Super Heroes seem rather childish, Wonder Woman is just a redneck she-hulk and the new Batman was the only one worth watching.
Oh yes, I am one of those douchebags. This does however (I believe) put me in the perfect position to review this game, I have no fanboy urges and I entered this game with absolutely no expectations. I was already aware of the odd addiction people had to this MMORPG and the recent increase in players showed a lot of gamers wanted to play, but just didn’t want to pay. This leaves one question, how does the game shape up?
Beyond choosing a side to fight for, players will also be given the opportunity to pick a mentor. For a Hero, a player has the option between Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman. Your choice of mentor unlocks specific abilities based upon the mentor, such as Batman’s gadgets or Wonder Woman’s godly powers. The choice of Hero or Villian and which mentor you pick doesn’t have a great effect on your experience, however different mentors will alter your starting zone location. Character customization allows you to create your own costume, which at the end of the day is just the ability to mix and match pieces from a collection of pre-made costumes. There isn’t any real depth in the customization and your characters can turn out to look like hand-me-downs of other heroes. To be positive about it though, you can create some pretty cool costumes, there just aren’t many ‘cool’ options available and everyone tends to pick the same few popular sets.
Upon reaching the first quest hub players will be given a quick tour and tutorial before being set on their first missions from their mentor. Quests aren’t anything flashy and generally just consist of killing infinite spawning mobs or collecting objects from the surrounding area. The only thing that made this bearable was the combat, which I must say holds a certain degree of badass style and execution. Once you combine your mentors abilities, the specialization of flying, acrobatics or speed and the action based skills, you have one hell of a combat system. Swooping in between the city buildings, dropping from ceilings on unwary foes and running up the side of skyscrapers are features that open up a whole new way to fight.
I got bored of quests very quickly to say the least, but I was still having a ton of fun. If you are looking for a PvE centric MMORPG then I am sorry to say I can’t recommend this game to you, because the most fun I had was roaming around this big open city and hunting down Villains. I highly recommend players pick a PvP enabled server, because this side of the game is what truly makes this an enjoyable title. While players may be united in the fight against Brainiac, it doesn’t mean Heroes and Villains are putting old feuds aside. Combat may not be complex but it definitely opens up new tactics when players are coming at you from all directions. The fact that most players don’t look up means it is quite easy to get the jump on them and take down even a higher level player with little effort. If I wasn’t busy playing new MMOs every week, SOE would have gained a new full-time player purely due to how awesome Open World PvP is in this game.
DC Universe Online doesn’t scream innovation, its charm is in the high quality presentation and the realization of a highly popular collection of comics becoming a virtual world. If the idea of fighting alongside your favourite DC Super Hero excites you, I can’t say you won’t enjoy this game. I am somewhat conflicted as you may have noticed by now, the game still needs some major improvements but at the same time still stands to provide one of the highest quality Free to Play MMORPGs I have played to date.
This brings me to my final thought of the day, DC Universe Online is not exactly what I would call ‘Free to Play’ as it aligns more closely with the ‘Free to Try’ games we have seen popping up such as Lego Universe and World of Warcraft’s free access to level 20. At some point sadly, your going to be forced into paying cash for extra content or features. Free players are heavily restricted and receive no DLC content. I definitely recommend you try out DCUO, it’s free so you have no excuse but be warned, if you decide to invest more time in this game make sure your wallet is nearby.
Visit the DC Universe Online Game Page to find out more!