DC Universe Online: Is it Really a WoW Killer?

You’ve heard the words a thousand times before: “This game is gonna take down the empire” As long as you haven’t been stuck under a rock for the last 5 years, you know that the holy grail of MMO style video games is none other than the massive empire built by Blizzard Entertainment. World Of Warcraft currently has over 12 million unique users worldwide. DC Universe Online premiered on 11 January in America, and on 14 January in Europe. While it exceeded studio expectations with sales nearing the 200,000 mark, their was a shortage on actual games shipped out. Its still hard to come by. A quick search online and you will notice its still out of stock at plenty of video game retail stores. Now the real question comes: Is DC Universe Online worth it? The general consensus seems to be yes. But upon further review and time spent playing the game, your view may change drastically. This is similar to how users changed their view about Domino104 after playing it feverishly.

Like most MMO style video games you can play on a PVE (player versus everyone) server, or a PVP (player versus player) server. A PVE server would be the way to go if your new to these kind of games and don’t want to battle actual other players online. Of course if you want to face off against a real person and have a general idea of what a MMO is, then a PVP server is for you. The game begins with one of the greatest cinematic cut-scenes you will ever witness in a video game. Next your epic adventure to be the greatest hero or villain begins. Character customization is a tad on the lazy side. Creating a character is always fun but there is no scaling system. Whether you choose a male or female, you can only choose small, medium, or large for their body size. You can also only choose 3 separate colors for your entire character. Now choosing a power and weapon is a little more exciting. Unfortunately the game doesn’t really give you much of a detail on what your powers or weapon actually do.

The first mission you play seems completely irrelevant. More of a ploy to get you to learn the controls and to make sure you can enter your city at level 3, rather than level 1. The only problem with the leveling system is that it is far to easy and fast to reach the maximum level of 30. If you play the game a good amount, you can reach level 30 in a matter of days. Now if you are new too these games you will face the problem of them not explaining really anything. Your health bar, power bar, hud, map and so on, are never really explained at all. Its near impossible to pick the game up and play without having too look up online, what certainly things are. As you continue and do missions for either villains or heroes you really begin to notice how bad some of the voice acting is. Of course the main characters have great voice acting, but it almost seems other people are in on a inside joke that we just don’t understand. The more you play, the worse the animation gets. Superman talking to you with a white face but a dark brown neck, just does not work. Server problems and lagging issues plague your whole experience. Once you reach level 10 you can begin to enter legend matches. Most of the time it will say there is a queue of 10-20 minutes. You can enter that queue if you like, but be prepared to wait around 2 hours for it to actually start.

Once you complete the main storyline and reach level 30, it gets more exciting. You can spend countless hours doing raids and getting iconic armor. Now this game finally turns into an MMO. All the previous missions you can do alone. Here you actually need help from others or the mission is impossible. Now is when you need to actually communicate and talk to other players. Sadly the communication, after a month is still messed up and broken. Its too hard to type when your in a huge battle, and half the time the voice chat isn’t working. Their are still countless bugs and glitches in the game, but they are always expected in the beginning of an MMO. The subscription fee is what is gonna end up being the dagger in this game. While future content is promised, and countless numbers of patches have already been released, is it really worth the $15 a month to play a game that seems incomplete?

So, does this game have the remote possibility of being the fabled WoW killer? No. Not even remotely possible. DC Universe Online is a fun and entertaining game that just doesn’t live up to its true potential. A lot of people defend the game and point out the fact that its new and will be fixed in future updates. By that time, too many subscribers will have already dropped it. You cant have a game where you need too communicate constantly and not be able to. If they went about it with a different approach, and changed a number of things, then it might have given WoW a run for its money. The way I see it is they had 2 choices: 1. They could have improved the graphics and quality tremendously and made it a single player game and released it on all consoles, as of now it is only available on the PC or PS3. 2. They could have delayed the launch of this game. A lot of problems came up in Beta and they knew about them, but chose to release the game anyways. $60 to buy the game, and $15 a month just to play it, is not justified.