Wednesday, January 18, 2012

DC Universe Online Is Free To Play

Damnation: Criminals Be Damned!
MMORPGs are like crack to me. I can get addicted really fast under the right conditions. And, on the surface, DC Universe Online seems like it would fit the bill. What geek worth his Master's degree hadn't ever dreamed of being a superhero fighting alongside iconic heroes like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman? With DC Universe Online offering a free to play option now, I downloaded the game onto my PS3 and prepared to skulk in the shadows of Gotham City.

I started out creating a hero modeled after Batman whom I tried to name Damnation. That name was taken. "Damn Nation" was ruled invalid because of the word "damn". Really? I'm not allowed to use a word that is used fairly often in DC comic books? Fine. I went with Danmation, but felt pretty cheap about it. Gameplay is light and breezy and, although combat is repetitive and predictable it's still a lot of fun. I really enjoyed playing through the Scarecrow quest line and was jazzed about getting an assist from Nightwing at the culmination of the Bane quest line. The quests don't offer much that's different from any other MMORPGs. I do wish that there were randomly generated events that would let me stop a mugging or a bank robbery or something like that. I want to patrol and stumble upon random crimes. Maybe that sort of thing exists, but if it does, I have yet to run across it. I would chalk that up to the crowded world. DC Universe is overrun with wannabe heroes which causes its share of problems.

My biggest complaint with DC Universe Online is its craptacular interface. In order to access my inventory, I need to hold START, roll over to the icon, hold X (while still holding START) and then roll over to my bag. That sort of motion has me holding the control like a spastic. I shouldn't have to hold START. What's worse is that you cannot pass through other players. Other players can actually stand in front of corridors and keep you from getting through. This happens often enough where it has become an issue that needs to be addressed.

As much fun as DC Universe Online is to play, the above issues are what keeps me from wanting to play often. At the moment, I'd call it a nice change of pace, something I'd play maybe once a week after getting bored with rampaging through Fallout 3. I suspect, once I buy Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, I won't have any desire to play DC Universe Online.

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