DC Universe Online

Reviewed by Tilce | 28 January 2011
Genre: MMORPG | Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment | Developer: Sony Online Entertainment
TOG Score
Members (av.)
The Good
  • This game oozes immersive DC Universe lore. Right from the amazing cinematic introduction, right through to the way the story unfolds and missions are introduced
  • Great attention to all the finer details
  • Diverse character customisation, that allows for further looks and styles in game
  • Fast paced action oriented combat
  • Great step forward for MMOs on consoles.
The Bad
  • By far the worst chat system ever conceived. EVER!
  • Limited classes. Would have been nice to see more variations
  • The PC version needs a bit more polish as so far it still feels VERY console like.
  • There needs to be more of a reason to do PvP. At the moment its limited to just ganking or arenas. There is no real repercussion or end-game goal to PvP.


Reviewed by Kess
This game is a refreshing change to a lot of the grind-fest MMOs

Name: DC Universe Online

Homepage: http://www.dcuniverseonline.com
Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy
Style: MMO RPG
DC Universe™ Online is the only next-generation massively multiplayer online action game that delivers unparalleled physics-powered combat set in the DC Universe™. This genre-defining game puts the power of the DC Super Heroes and villains into the palm of your hands…

The next legend is YOU!

Combat Style: Button mashing/combo/tab targeting
This game uses a careful blend of FPS control scheme and regular MMO control scheme. There is no point and click like a lot of MMOs out there. It controls like a FPS in 3rd person perspective. The game automatically soft targets your closest and most forward facing target, allowing you to then completely lock on using the TAB key.

Combat unfolds using either pre assigned powers (you can have up to 6 powers from your selected build at any one time), and attack combos using your equipped weapon. Attack combos can be a combination of mouse clicks/holds and direction movements.

Learning Curve: Moderate. The hardest thing to master is the chat/social system.

Crafting: None. There are collectible in game easter eggs that allow you to unlock more exclusive costume pieces.

PVP:
- Legends PvP (where you take the form of your favourite iconic DC Character and battle against others). Map types include: king of the hill, capture the flag, and capture and hold.
- Arena PvP (where you take your character into an arena to battle it out against the opposing faction. Map types include: king of the hill, capture the flag, and capture and hold.
- Ring War PvP. An open world PvP match that is available regularly in the world at a certain location. Objective based combat where both factions fight to complete certain missions first.
- Open World PvP (only on PvP servers). This is free for all combat. If you exit the safe house then you are free game to anyone on the opposing faction.

Leveling style: 30 character levels. Each level gives you either power points (to select and/or improve powers) or skills points that allow you to select new weapon combos or movement skills (like ‘swoop’ if you fly).

Server Pop: Moderate to heavy

Stability: Server Lag isn’t very apparent. So far there havent been too many game breaking bugs. However that doesn’t mean there arent a lot of holes that need to be filled in.

Immersion: 5/5
Graphic Quality: 4/5
Sound Quality: 3/5
Content Quality: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Subjective Comments: This game is a refreshing change to a lot of the grind-fest MMOs out there. Sick of collecting quests, killing 8 rats, going back to the quest giver and doing it all over again? Well perhaps this game is for you.

Yes there are fetch and kill quests in this game, but they are presented and completed in such a way that it doesn’t feel like a grind. If you enter a quest area, then your mentor will contact you via radio and tell you what you need to do. Missions are continuously going and people can jump in and help you out as they feel. The mission areas in this game feel more like public quests in games like Warhammer. But in this case they don’t stop and reset. They are continuously going, which makes the game feel alive!

Alerts (this games version of group instances) are fun and feel like they have a purpose. They are objective based with several stages before you get to the final boss fight. It makes the mission feel more natural and gives the instance a purpose. I for one grew very sick of other games where their dungeons where just simple “move through this pre assigned path, clear everything in your way until you get to the boss”.

The PvP in this game is fast and furious. On a PvP server you have to be on high alert and ready to jump into combat at any second. The arena’s are constantly popping and allow for a quick PvP fix even on PvE servers. I would however like to see more game types and cross server arena queues.

SOE did a great job of the nuances of being a superhero or villain in the DC Universe. As an example, other than the quests to advance the storyline, as a hero you can roam the city and occasionally come across a thug robbing an ATM, or a purse-snatcher or someone contemplating suicide and you can talk them down. My favourite (and I thought this was brilliant) is coming across someone buried or trapped amongst some rubble and you have to dig them out. The villain side as it’s own play on that too, you can beat down the guy robbing the ATM and take his loot, rob citizens yourself etc.

Payment options: $49 US for standard edition with monthly subscription fee (please note this amount varies for your particular region)

Download Size: 12 GB

What do you think of DC Universe Online?
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Popular DC Universe Online Videos

Videos courtesy of GameTrailers.com

Member reviews

Hordes too easily pleased - Ghoull |
| 28 January 2011

The best thing about DCUO was its cinematic. What makes this game so interesting? They way the legions of fans are willing it to be good, and almost convincing themselves of it. Now that they have reached level 30, they realise there really isn't anymore to it. Everything else from there on in is just very ordinary, run of the mill gaming for anyone who would consider themselves ever so slightly a gaming 'enthusaist'. The game works, the little they have done is polished in presentation, but it seems there the effort ended. I could rave on, but I have already found a review that sums up my thoughts fare mo cohernatly than I could, and with goo humour too. Sony, there is already too few hours in the day, and too many better products to fill the time with. If you are going to do a game, do it well, or not at all. For now, I have uninstalled the game, with two weeks of game time left, and despite wanting a comic book game to go back to, this isn't it. Sony Online lies next to the smouldering wreck of Cryptic Studios ( Champions Online & Startrek ), and NCSoft ( maker of all things of Korean grind shtick ). See here for a better review than I: http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2011/01/27/12-things-that-need-to-be-fixed-in-dc-universe-online/ See here:

it's a good game - Terrik |
| 28 January 2011

if you're looking for the next WOW killer, this game is NOT it. if you've ever read a comic book and played a computer game, and would like to kick some bad guy's butt in Metropolis or Gotham, this game is a helluva lot of fun. it plays a bit like a console game, not like a traditional mmo. but, frankly, it works. the scenery and the cut scenes are all totally comic book immersive. if you like anything to do with comic books, you'll love the cutscenes. it does feel a bit light in the shorts, and the longevity of the game is in question, no doubt. it's a lot like an ice cream sundae, a short term pleasure that tastes REALLY good on the way down :) yes, the chat suxxors, and yes, end game needs help. in the mean time, playing all six mentors to L30, gives a GREAT story into comics, and is well worth the price of the game.

A rough diamond - Cheeseman |
| 29 January 2011

Are you too busy to dedicate an entire evening to achieving one goal? do you have better things to to do than duel out the front of a centralized location while waiting for groups to form? This could be the game you've been waiting for. From the moment you load into the tutorial, you're greeted with something not readily available in most MMO's on the market, truly engaging combat. There is no auto attack, no macro combat or autoshot pew pew, but the tactile combat system has it's own rewards, and you'll quickly find yourself timing combo's to try and finish off opponents with style. There's no traditional economy in this game, everything is paid for in kicks punches and projectiles. You wont be stepping around auction bots, trade spammers or casino alts, and whilst there are some forms of currency used for rewards, it's not something you'll find yourself focusing on. For all it's shortcomings with the social interface, DCUO delivers something that seems to be overlooked in many newer releases, genuine entertainment, this game is actually fun to play. Ever wanted to kick Batman in the guts for being such a goody two shoes, or punch the Joker in the face just because he's the Joker? well here's your chance to do it it in the most immersive cityscapes you're likely to find in an MMO. This is probably not a game for the hardcore MMO'ers looking to dedicate all their spare time to loot runs and gear score building, but if you're little like me, and want to load into a world where you can feel satisfied with a 1 hour gaming session, DCUO just might be the game for you. The next legend is not you, it's me. ;)

- Ghoull |
| 29 January 2011

No, the next legend is you, it can't be me! hehe. Im not there dummy. :)

Grand fun - dday_0612 |
| 29 January 2011

While I do agree that there are some downfalls (Chat and social in game functions), this game is a blast!! I respect your opinion Ghoull, but I have found life after 30 to be overwhelming with things to do and accomplish. My quest log is so full I can't keep track of it, and I have a lot of work to do if I want to get into raids. Very fun gameplay. Good stories. Good people. How long will the fun last? I don't know, but I will be finding out.

Not everyone's cup of tea... - Sirac1981 |
| 29 January 2011

Let me begin by saying that DC Universe Online is a game that's not for everyone; it's not everyone's cup of tea, but thankfully this game is more like a shot of fresh coffee brewed from the beans of a Brazilian jungle, flown directly to your local barista who makes your brew with a big cheesy grin as he says "Ecco!". If you're an avid player of MMORPGs and are used to the more "traditional" setup and gameplay mechanics, then you'll find DC Universe Online a significant leap from your comfort zone. But here are something that you might like about the game: - it's the DC Comics universe, and this means you'll be fighting against or alongside iconic superheroes and supervillains like Superman, Lex Luthor, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Gorilla Grodd, Nightwing, Power Girl (hubba, hubba!), plus a whole lot more; - a fantastic story line with your hero or villain mentor (Superman, Lex Luthor, Batman, the Joker, Wonder Woman, Circe) guiding you along the way AND you're able to complete the missions offered by other mentors - again: it's the DC Comics universe (almost 80 years' worth of canon to sink your teeth into); - No grind: getting to level 30 in DC Universe Online won't take you nearly as long as it will for you to get to say level 60/70/80 (what's it up to now?) in WoW - there's lots to keep you busy; - Fast paced PvP with tangible rewards that are relatively easy to earn depending on how far you want to take yourself and your can of whoopass; - Focus on raiding and end-game: there's lots to keep you busy once you hit level 30, and like a bunch of hungry seagulls waiting for a kid to drop a hot chip on the ground, SOE entices you with end-game rewards to enhance your game, style, and sense of personal prestige, and to be perfectly honest: if raiding is your thing (whether it's on the small or large scale), then the game really begins at level 30... everything else prior to that was just a milk run; and - Character customisation: apart from character creation (i.e. costume), how you make your character stand out from the thousands of others is how you assign powers and skills to them - every power is useful there's always a power that going to make your opponent ask "What the heck did you just do to me?!?" DC Universe Online will be SOE's golden child (and dare I say "cash cow") in the time to come, and while there are still a few things being ironed out post release (18 days in and counting), the game still is a lot of fun and I don't think anyone's got anything to lose (apart from 50 odd bucks) by trying the game for a little while... and if you DO happen to try the game, we need more Aussies on the 'Death and Glory' (PvP) server. ;-)

- zetadeltar |
| 29 January 2011

cheapest playing to buy it from online and download?

Not for everyone - Pinkeh |
| 29 January 2011

Hiya, Joined at launch via D2D preorder (USD$35). In less than a week i got my third character to level 30. The DC lore is entertaining... but there isnt much of it. DC cinematic cutscenes are neat. But you'll go through most of it quite quickly. Then comes the hard mode instances/cut scenes... see below. Levelling/instances: You can solo until Level 30 on Hero/Villian without too many repeat attempts. But you literally can take a character from level 1-30 in 6-8 hours on the first attempt. My second and third toon took under 6 hours. Grouping is actually quite difficult. People just dont group in a superhero game. They want to do it on their own. So you'll travel through entire zones where people are just doing their own thing. It's sort of annoying, unless people are ganging up for bosses. Once you reach level 30, you start these things called "Duos" "Raids" "Arena" and "PVP". They are literally hard instances which you'll be doing 150+ times over several months to gain faction points for epic gear. If you have 4-man raid parties, you can jump into hard instances straight away, but depending on the server/region time, Aussies without a guild/raid group can expect wait times of 30-45 minutes for a pick-up group. And you can never expect the PUG to live through the next 30 minutes - 1 hour of torture watching people run into a large group of mobs. Did we mention that world chat sucks? It's SOE's joke to pad out an otherwise really short game for people that are not attracted to PVP/gear. Epic gear will give you boasting rights, and advantage over other players in PVP. I dont see any point to it if you are going to join this game for DC Lore / PvE. Look at it this way. You've spent months using inferior gear, grinding faction points for your first set of epic gear. Now you've got epic gear. What for? You've already done the hardest instances in the game without it! DCUO will last you 1-2 weeks then you run out of *new* things to do. You end up repeating the same instances. Sorry, this works for chumps. 2011 is a year of new game releases... SOE wont be getting my subscription. They had their chance and lost it. The open worlds (Metropolis and Gotham Cities): are massive. They are pretty, but it's not a city. You can literally move through parts of the city with nothing around. The level designers spent a long time building the city, but didnt spend nearly enough time populating it with things to do. You'll run through zone after zone of the same pattern of mobs. 1-2 side quest givers. A bunch of mobs centered around a few objectives. Quest objects in the middle of "walkers". World chat system is terrible. Profanity system is intrusive. You cant turn it off. The dumbest things are filtered. There is an area called "Suicide Slums" in Metropolis. You guessed it. Try to organise a group and type in world chat. "Guys come to ####### slums." I played 1-4 hours per night over the first week and it only took 6-8 hours to get my first character from level 1-30. You'll read that this game is "action RPG". What does that mean? Instead of pressing hotkey buttons / macros, you'll be executing combos manually. It's tedious, repetitive, and frustrating in actual combat. The combos for my melee dual wield character are: (1) Left Click, Left Click, Left Click, Left Click, Left Click, Left Click, Left Click, Left Click, Left Click, Hold Right Mouse Button (2) Left Click, Left Click, Left Click, Left Click, Left Click, Hold Right Mouse Button (3) Left Click, Left Click, Hold Right Mouse Button (4) Left Click, Hold Right Mouse Button Seriously? How is this an improvement to pressing a few hotkeys? I can tell you.... these combos get tiring FAST. For my main ranged character (Rifles/Sorcery/Speedster): Mortar (1) Hold Right Mouse button, Tap "S" (Back) Once, and hold down the back button. Repeat 3-12 times for normal mobs, depending on range of agro, and number of agro. Otherwise, repeat this combo all the way throughout a boss depending on HP / hard mode (100-1000 times). Short range stun (2) House Right Mouse button, Tap "W" (Forward), Tap "W" (Forward): Do a forward roll and shoot 3 times to stun. Repeat this as required until mob is dead. You'll be combining this with the next combo.... Mid range stun (3) House Right Mouse button, Tap "S" (Back), Tap "S" (Back): Do a backflip and stun lock the enemy. Repeat a thousand times as required. Combine with combo (1) - Mortar for splash damage. Controls: Yuck. Summary: If you are looking for a subscription game where you could just relax, chill, or enjoy this game is not it. Nobody talks. Nobody hangs around in meeting places. To me it felt like a single player game with the occasional co-op. For $35 it was cheap entertainment with the occasional chance for co-op, but as a subscription game... it didnt last me more than a week to consider DCUO "finished". Did i mention the AUD$20/month sub fee that I didnt find out until after activating the game? All those advertisements on the pricing in USD/EURO.... nothing about that special fee for Australians!

Work needed, but solid core - Mombo |
| 30 January 2011

I understand that not everyone is into the combo system, but I noticed that while Pinkeh mentioned some of the dual weapon combos, he (or she, I'm sorry I don't know which is correct) didn't mention the super powers that you use and how it's necessary to use a varying combination of different super powers and weapon combos to really do your job in a group or raid. And what the group needs will vary from moment to moment in what is a faster paced kind of action than I've noticed in most other MMOs I've played. There also is a rather large amount of theory-crafting going on right now, debating the nature of some of the mechanics and what combination of powers works better for different situations. I read more theory-crafting breakdowns and debates in one day than I ever did in Champions Online, for instance. I would offer that this points to more depth in the content than some of the other reviewers have noticed, at least once you scratch past the surface of solo play. When you're alone, Pinkeh is absolutely right that you can get by with just mashing a few mouse buttons. Though I can get by in the Warcraft or Champions Online solo play with even fewer buttons (depending on the class). Flame shock, then lava burst is all I'd need on my shaman for it to be over. But where solo play and grinding on Warcraft makes me want to take a cheese grater to my head, I find the solo play in DC Universe to be both faster paced and even to be pretty fun for the most part. Though the point when this game shines is really when you have people to play it with. Again, I would say that's true of any MMO. Unfortunately there are still a few bugs with the Alert joining system if you're pugging and trying to find those people. Also, if you don't have Teamspeak like TOG does, you have to rely on the chat system, which people have already pointed out needs a lot of work. That being said, the chat system and the bugs seem to me like things that can very much be fixed. If the core gameplay didn't work or wasn't fun, those wouldn't be things they could reasonably fix. But the things I like about DC Universe, like the smooth, quick gameplay, the voice acting and characters that tug at my geeky heartstrings, and the high attention to art quality, are exactly the things they needed to have right from the get-go. Like everyone, I think it remains to be seen how far the legs on this will carry it, and I eagerly await to see what they deliver with their promises for monthly content. But I do think DC Universe is worth taking a chance on.

MMORPG Sugar Rush! - Lurch |
| 2 February 2011

<iframe title="YouTube video player" class="youtube-player" type="text/html" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/MqTH5ll1StI" frameborder="0" allowFullScreen></iframe> Stewie's drinking the soda is how most players will respond to DCUO. It's the "OMG, this game is AWSOMESAUCE!" for the first 30 days, followed by feeling sad once they've got a handful of characters to level 30 and have nothing left to do.

State of Play 1 Month On - Vip3r |
| 6 February 2011

Things are looking up. There have been a myriad of small (but potentially game destroying) problems that plagued the launch of DC Universe, many that persisted for nearly a month but definitely wore on people nerves and strained the social aspects a bit far that many were prepared to go. The bad news is that social interactivity isn't designed for PC play, promises of improvements are on its way but in an industry where the customer has very high expectations (compared to the early days of MMORPGs), how fast you deliver means much. The good news is many of the problems have been fixed, the game itself launched more than playable (and for an MMORPG, that is lightyears better than most), the combat is sublime, the graphics while not drop dead gorgeous are perfect for the setting. The brilliant thing is that it has pretty minimal hardware requirements (if you own City of Heroes, you can run this easily). Audio is brilliant (minus the voiceacting which is a little bad in areas, but made up for by the lore - you're speaking to Batman for heaven's sake!) As we edge further into February, the focus is shifting slightly, from problem resolution to content. What that means is problem resolution like any goal of an MMORPG is still and always will be a major presence, but SOE are thinking it's now time to get back on track. February will host the Catwoman content, a Green Lantern expansion is on the cards. It also seems that SOE, DC Comics and Blur have deployed a superb marketing strategy. The first DC Universe Comic has been released (DC UNIVERSE ONLINE: LEGENDS #1), the first Blur trailer (LAUNCH TRAILER), the second Blur trailer (IN LEX WE TRUST) and judging at the frequency more are to follow. Things are definitely looking up, I just hope that given customers high expectations and low tolerances don't mark the end of the game for them, barely scratching the surface doesn't lead to a truly informed opinion of the game, as with most things time will tell.

Game is bust IMHO - C64Gamer |
| 21 March 2011

I am not going to go into details except I am just expressing my opinion. The game was fun for a couple of weeks, but I hated the chat system and the level 30 cap, in addtion the limited options in designing my character. If the chat system was more user (pc) friendly and the level cap was raised to 50+ then to heck with the limited char design (I will deal). The game has promised, but needs more work. To those who are enjoying the game, my best to you.

/has more appeal to teens - Target Drone |
| 2 September 2012

This game has kept my fourteen year old sons attention and must be doing something right at targeting it's core market and does not hold my interest. That said he loves the game. I'm happy for him to play, as it is a good in in MMO playing. Yes he does get frustrated witht he boss fights, but there is always a resolution available via the web on how to use a stategy to beat the boss. Currently my son ia approaching level 30 and I think overall it is good at maintaining reasoning and strategy to overcome adversity that will hold any player in good stead over their coming years. Wish I had this game myself thirty years ago.

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