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Into Metropolis

November 6, 2011 2 comments

So after a bit more than 22 hours of download time DCUO was finally in place on my PS3 and I could log in. Since I bought the game for PS3 shortly after it was released (January it seems) I entered the game as a premium player and had 6 character slots in total. Three of those had my old characters and these had been renamed with _JFA appended to their names, which I guess is an indicator of my previous server before they merged the servers.

First I tried to login to one of my old characters, selected him and waited to enter the game…and waited…and waited. Finally I gave up, aborted, entered the game again and started a new character. The character creation seems to be pretty much as I remembered it, which on the whole has fewer choices than the other Superhero MMOs (City of Heroes and Champions Online) and a bit more confusing interface. Still, I found it easier to make a somewhat cool looking character than in Champions.

Running through the tutorial was pretty much the same as before, except that I noticed some changes in the user interface and that the controls in general felt more responsive than I remembered them. This was one of my main annoyances with the game when I first tried it and there seem to have been some improvements here.

Still, there is a bit of experimentation to figure out what is there and what you can do, since there is not much help or explanation beyond the basic combat interface. There is a help section, but that only tells you to contact the game support. In some parts there are texts explaining the differences between the three different player account levels (free, premium and legend) for that particular part though.

I did find how to take screenshots in the game – maybe the original version of the game had that feature also, but if it had I never found it. While some feature/functionality may take a bit of time to find, the interface is manageable.

The game itself looks quite good I think, although it would have been nice if it has used a bit higher resolution than 1280×720. I tried adjusting the screen scale option by increasing that to max, but that essentially just moved the UI elements further towards the center for the screen it seems, or at least screenshot sizes stayed the same.

I ran through some of the early missions up until I reached level 7, which is pretty much as far as I goit with some of my old characters. Not entirely comfortable with the controls yet, but significantly less of an annoyance from back in January.  One line of missions led to beating up a guy named Faust, who was some soul-catching villain. The other line was beating up some minions this Brainiac guy who is the main enemy in the game for both heroes and villains.

These missions were pretty ok. A nice thing is that some of the mission objectives were updated just by being nearby the place where it happened, if another player did it – which is good when there are objects and resources to interact with. It makes it more encouraging to cooperate on the objectives.

Faust's final stage

I did have a look at the market place for the game – most of the things that were sold were cosmetic and “fun” stuff, plus a few things to expand space (inventory, bank etc), or to get attachements and money from email (if someone sent that). Premium players can get attachments from email, but not money – for that you need to buy the ability to withdraw the money. One could also buy some legends stuff, which included fighting with and against certain DC characters. Since I am not a DC fan and fairly ignorant about most DC characters that was not an area that interested me.

The costume pieces, styles and toys that were available felt a bit on the expensive side to me. A single costume piece cost either 10 SEK or 20 SEK for me, with corresponds roughly to 1.50 and 3 USD, respectively. Since we on this side of the pond usually end up paying more when there is some currency exchange in place, I suspect they might be a bit cheaper for US players.

There was nothing in the store that jumped to me directly as something that I felt I must buy and the things I could consider did not feel cheap – which is bad, since I think a good balance for the game to work commercially is to have things that makes you want to buy it, but not feel forced to do it. But I may not be the primary target audience for the game.

If there is a major annoyance with the game right now, that is the waiting time as mentioned in the beginning when trying to get into the game. It seems to be a bit of a hit&miss whether you actually get into the game itself. If there is a queing mechanic it is not indicated and I think it is just a matter of the game not quite coping that well here. I have had a couple of play sessions now and typically have had 2-3 attempts before I actually got into the game for each session.

Other than that, it feels pretty ok. Not overly excited at this point, but good enough that will probably continue to play a bit. But so far I have only played missions similar to what I played before, so there might be more and better stuff down the line.

Beating up Brainiac minions

Categories: DC Universe Online
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