|Post Date: 01:57 12-05-2012
Comment: This Review covers both PC and Ps3 versions but most gameplay was done on the Ps3, PvE Server. Everything was done as a premium player (Free to Play but spent at least $5 in cash shop, bought one DLC). On to the Review.
Let’s start with the differences between PC and Ps3 versions. I could not find any differences between them content wise. I found the Ps3 versions graphics to be slightly sharper but that could be my PC. Otherwise they are identical. Gameplay wise, I find the game a lot more enjoyable with a gamepad. It works fine with a mouse and keyboard but it’s just not quite as good. The PC version is compatible with a USB controller and works just as well as the Ps3 version. The biggest differences is in accounts and community. Community wise Ps3 seems to have a bigger population but they don’t chat as much, chat is hard to read when on a HDTV if you aren’t sitting simi-close to it, on a SDTV the Chat is partly cut off, still usable except for the fact it’s really tiny. PC Community is a little more chatty but has less players, the world feels a lot emptier at times.
My absolute biggest gripe with the Ps3 version is the pop in, it’s not quite as bad on PC but textures still fall behind. The fact it’s jarring and hurts the immersion sucks but the real issue is enemies often fall behind too, especially when moving with upgraded movement powers. Sometimes it can take up to 30 seconds before they finally appear… all the while they are attacking and you can’t do anything about it. This can be “patched” by slowing down a bit or by landing on buildings where they can’t get you when first get into an area, then wait for the enemies to load in. On a smaller note, the game’s UI is made for a gamepad. It works pretty well on a gamepad but is far from perfect. On PC it’s just weird. It works and is usable but it’s not gonna win any awards… or even fans.
Accounts, this a biggest difference. The PC version is managed by SOE but the Ps3 version is managed by SCE. The Ps3 versions customer service isn’t as good, as it’s apparent SCE doesn’t know what it’s doing… they will help you with anything hardware related to the Ps3 but anything Software and you’ll most likely be sent to SOE… who will send you back to SCE as they don’t cover the Ps3 version. However this isn’t the biggest difference. PC version being SOE uses Station Cash for the cash shop, Ps3 version uses PSN market and dollars… On PC if you subscribe you get a loyal reward of 500SC a month which can be used in any SOE game, spent on any item in the cash shop or used to buy DLC. On Ps3 you get loyalty points and a limited store to spend them in… which doesn’t include DLC and most of the cash shop items. It’s not really fair at all and kinda lessens the benefits of subscribing on the Ps3 side. PC also gets regular sales and at one point had lifetime subscriptions. Ps3 side didn’t/doesn’t get either.
Ok on to the game itself. SOE really tried to be different and improve. Think Guild Wars 2 before Guild Wars 2… but not taken quite as far. First the game is fully voiced. Some of the voices are a little cheese but it’s an impressive feat and works really well. Next you don’t always have to return to the quest giver when a quest is completed, instead they contact you via a radio, magic, satellite etc and get your reward right away. This a nice feature as it saves a lot of time and it’s done well enough to make sense. Another really cool feature is you don’t have to be grouped to work together. If another player comes along and starts attacking the same enemy as you, you both get credit for the kill. This makes it super easy to work with other players and speeds up questing. This makes fighting World Bosses super fun too.
Combat is fun and different than the typical hotbar MMOs. Everything is physics based so you can knock back enemies, throw stuff at them and they react. Combat is largely based on combos, like click click hold, or click right click hold etc… with a controller it’s similar, it sounds boring but works well. It allows you to do the attack you want and adds a nice level of depth. The game also features blocking and dodging, which both work well enough for a lower level player who knows what he’s doing to beat a higher level player. Power wise, you can unlock quite a few as you level but you can only have 6 on your hotbar at a time, no multilayer hotbars here but you do have two roles which you can switch between on the fly, allowing for a separate 6 powers. However while these roles aren’t limited they offer pretty big bonuses to powers that match the role so don’t try to use it as a second hotbar.
Quests are the typical affair of go here kill x and/or pick of these bring them here… they work well though. It’s never kill 100 of these and usually they take place in smallish areas, along with the voice overs, it helps with repetitiveness. Every Quest line is capped off with a instanced dungeon that ends with a boss fight, either against a villain or a hero. Then every dungeon is capped off with a nice 20-30 second voiced over clip with comic art that explains more about the hero or villain. It’s a nice touch.
Character customization is sorta limited at the start but the sheer amount of options as you level makes no two characters the same. Faces and body builds are quite limited. Costume wise, you have some options at the start, it’s not a ton but enough to make sure no two characters look a like. Tons of different armor drops in game though and you can lock your appearance so you can equip better gear but keep the look of your old stuff.
Content wise, the game is smaller than most MMO’s but it’ll still last you 100-200 hours easy. They’ve been releasing regular free content updates and paid DLC too. Paid DLC seems to come every 3 months or so, the price is $10 each. The game is pretty solo friendly but it’s easy enough to find groups… although the game is somewhat lacking in finding groups features. Advanced Guild features are also somewhat lacking… no Guild Halls here.
PvP is one of this game’s strong points. On PvE servers, PvP can be toggled on and off (5 minute cooldown) and you can switch to and from the PvP server with just a loadscreen for free in game. It’s not hardcore PvP in the sense you’ll lose items, although I think in some instances you can but the game features open world PvP, Hero vs Villain. Open World PvP is nice but ganking can happen, where high level players prey on lower level ones. Quests are setup nicely to bring similar leveled Heroes and Villains together. Usually Heroes quest is to protect somethings or someones and villains destroy them, or vice versa. This adds a nice random element to Quests on the PvP server. The game also features arena PvP, 2v2,4v4 and 8v8. Arena PvP has legends version where you can play as real Heroes or Villains like Superman or Joker… but you can also do Arena with your own character. Characters and Legends are separate modes. You can easily join these via the On Duty menu by joining a queue, you’ll get a notification when the match is ready, so you’re free to do whatever until it finds other players.
Speaking of On Duty, the game features a number of 4 man instances that can be joined via a queue or in a party. These feature one or two bosses and can take anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour. They start out pretty easy but later ones take a group effort to win. The game also features a number of 2 man missions and a few other modes that I haven’t had the chance to play yet.
Last but not least is Free to Play vs Legendary (subscription). As a Free to Play player I’m not finding it overly restrictive like some of SOE other games. You get pretty much everything minus DLC, Subs get access to DLC as long as they are subscribed. The game features the typical restrictions like limited character slots (2), inventory, bank slots, can’t use auction, no voice chat and can’t create a guild. I’d recommend spending $5 or more to get premium, this will get you 6 character slots, voice chat, auction, more bank and inventory space… basically still restricted but mostly not restrictions you’ll run into. The biggest restriction on Free and Premium Players is cash, you’re limited to 1500 free and 2000 premium, Legends don’t have a restriction, if you go over it keeps it all in escrow that you can pay real money to withdraw out of. It’s not really a issue until higher levels as it’s still plenty of money to buy good enough gear and repairs. It’s pretty ridiculous but other than this as a premium user it’s not that bad at all when compared to some other games.
Well that’s about it, DCUO offers fun action based combat, along with public like questing. A variety of PvP options, two full cities Gotham and Metropolis and more content on the way, at the a decent price of $10 each. Fully voiced, with gorgeous visuals and art direction. Restrictive but not too restrictive Free to Play and the first MMO on Ps3. It’s not without it’s issues, Questing can get repetitive, pop in is rampant and PvP does have cheaters. Customer Support could be better and the game is relatively short for a MMO. Some would say this is a single player game mashed into an MMO world… and honestly they’re probably right as it can easily be played like a single player game mashed into an MMO world but it’s the MMO side that give this game life and for comic book fans, especially DC fans, it doesn’t get any better than this.