DC Universe Online    PC, PS3 (Reviewed)  9/10

Slow, tedious, grinding, and frustrating.

None of those words describe DCUO.For it's place in the genre, it holds its own in a World of Warcraft dominated market.It's quick to learn, easy to get into and overall, very user friendly.You could say it's a bit of a casual gamers MMO and it is, in some aspects.Easy to level up, bosses throughout the storyline can easily be taken out on your own, hell, the whole entire storyline can be done on your own.Not much to do in terms of grinding for gear, exp or money.It all comes to you effortlessly as you complete missions and side-missions.

Thats not to say the game can't appeal to the hardcore MMO addict.At the start of the game, you choose whether to be male or female, hero or villain, movement modes such as Super speed (run up buildings, run super fast etc) Acrobatics (double jump, scale building with a grapple line etc) and of course, Flying.Unlike WoW where you need to be a high level with an epic mount to be able to fly, all these awesome powers are yours from the get go.

Other choices include  picking one of three "mentors" each with their own exclusive missions, armor and two power classes, with two to choose between that.For example, If you chose Super man, you get the Tank role powers.Which are Fire, or the other power, Ice.A run down of hero mentors and villain mentors, with the class role they play is as follows,

Hero
Superman - Fire/ice - Only powers able to become Tanks
Batman - Mental / Gadgets - Only powers able to be Controller
Wonder Woman - Nature / Sorcery Only powers able to be Healers

Likewise, the villains mentors are Lex Luthor, Joker, Circe.

Basic rundown of each class role is fairly similar to other MMO's.The Tank, who is supposed to rush in the middle of all the enemies and taunt to pull aggression, or "Aggro" if you will.Tanks need high defense and high Hitpoints to be able to take all that damage.Especially from the bosses, they hit hard, trust me.Controllers are the utility class so to speak.Using their powers of control to stun mobs of enemies, buff allies and debuff enemy stats.They are also incredibly important for one simple reason, they are the battery pack of any group or raid group.They have high vitality that lets them regain their powers faster then others, which in turn, they can give out power to allies.So tanks can keep tanking and healers can keep everyone alive.

Healers are pretty straightforward.I mean, what is there to say? they heal.Tho there is quite a difference between the two classes of nature & Sorcery.Some on the game argue that Nature is the better healer due to being able to burst heal everyone for high amounts compared to the Sorc healer who is slower and needs everyone to be close for maximum effect.Both have their pros and cons.As a Tank in the game, i prefer rolling with a Sorc healer.One circle of protection under me while im tanking a boss and i am safe until it's gone,with slow, steady sustained HP trickling up.Compared to Natures occasional burst heal to full health.


Missions play out in a fairly linear manner.Talk to person A, complete mission, Talk to person B to accept reward.With a few exceptions, of course.However, the main story arc missions you do as you level up are essentially training missions until you reach level 30.(Max level) Then the game truly opens up and the challenges begin.One you hit 30, you may start to partake in Duos, which are two man instances with tough enemies.Rewarding loot, chance of rare gear and most importantly, Marks of triumph.The currency of sorts, needed to purchase Tier 1 gear.
Duos reward 2 marks of triumph per-duo.With most Tier one gear being 40-100+ Marks, and only being able to do each duo once a day, it can take a while.

Thankfully, there`s is other methods such as Alerts.Challenging four-man missions that range between 20 minutes to and hour for the more tougher ones.It`s critical that you use your roles when you first start out, more experienced and geared players can run through the alerts with ease but for the noobies, you need your tank tanking, healer healing, and most important.Controller giving out power constantly.Alerts offer much more marks of triumph than duos and are generally more fun overall, with the demand of skilled teamwork.

Tier 2 armor, currently the best available, is purchased with Marks of Distinction.`MoDs`` As i call them, are earned only by defeating raid bosses with an 8-player group.Raids are long, tough, and generally frustrating when you see that epic weapon you need, ninja looted by someone else.
As is with all MMOs i suppose.

Where DCUO truly shines in my opinion, is its PVP combat.Everything from 2vs2 Batcave matches, 4vs4 star labs fights, and 8vs8 epic battles play out so quickly with a sense of heart pounding adrenaline in every fight.No cast bars or waiting around here, press a button, get an action.
PVP is not restricted only to the arena matches either, there is quite of bit of rivalry and trash talking between the villains like myself, and the heroes.It`s not uncommon to get sucked into huge 50vs50 wars through the city when fellow villains or heroes are shouting for backup throughout metropolis or gotham.

Both are large cities in their own right, each feeling distinctly different from each other.Metropolis, a bright, sunny city with citizens bustling about on their daily routines, cars flowing in traffic, all back dropped to sky scrapers and iconic building like the Daily Planet or the Superman statue.Gotham on the other hand, is a dark, smoggy haze with searchlights spanning the night skies, criminals causing havoc throughout the streets and a general sense of intensity that Metropolis sorely lacks.

A positive review so far indeed.Simply put, it`s a fantastic game that is just getting in its prime.With two official updates so far, adding new missions, gear, and things to do.It`s on the fast track to becoming a top contender MMO.The minor issues remain, glitches, and players abusing those glitches in PVP & Raids preventing me from giving this game a solid 9.5 but i know it will all be ironed out in time.Until that time comes however, it gets a respectable 9 our of 10 from me.









 

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