Lots more DC Universe Online

1 12 2010

by AngryPanda

Continued from here.

So I decided to screw the Eula. Let them ban me if they like, I won’t buy the game anyway. Here’s what I can tell you from the beta.

Equipment: is defiantly WoW based. You can customize it which works a lot like Aion with theability to put any skin over any piece. I think this is a pretty cheap solution and honestly don’t know why they went that way but it isn’t a gamebreaker. In a way it at least lets you collect new costume looks since every piece you collect adds to your selection, even if the stats are useless to you.

Customization: Unfortunately this brings me to the next point: Customization at character creation is a sad joke compared to COH. And I don’t even mean that you can only choose between 3 body types. There are no different color pattens, no jackets, no trench coats, no shoulder pads. The number of pieces that are available for the rest is very limited and always comes with a set color pattern. Coloring itself is an absolute pain since you have to do it in a separate menu in which you select the costume pieces again. If you haven’t played a superhero MMO yet both City of Heroes and Champions Online have free trials. I’d recommend trying one just so you can see what a real character creator looks like. Champions sucks and COH is old so you might not end up there. But you will have a way better base to compare the DC customization to.

Animations: This is both really cool and really cheap. You get to pick and attitude that decides your basic stance and movement so it isn’t the same with everyone. Very nice. Unfortunately there aren’t emotes to change them. You always stand the same way once you picked your style. You always fly like superman even if you just try to hover around a little. You always run with the yellow speed blur of the Flash. There isn’t much variation after the initial choice.

Interface: Speaking of pain the whole interface is absolutely awkward and clearly made for console players. It can’t be customized and I hate using it.I still didn’t find out how to add friends in your social window.

Superpowers: are the most weird thing of all. They only made 3 classes (Tank/Def/Controller) which all can switch to an offensive DD stance and I love that concept. Strangely your role is decided by what sort of powers you have. That’s right, no ice defender for you. Defense is magic. Fire and Ice are Tank. This gets even stranger if you consider that this game is made for DC. If I see Fire or Killerfrost the word tank is not the first thing that comes to mind. I think the most easy example to show how broken this system is would be by example:
You can choose the “inspired by” option at character creation. Instead of building your own hero from ground up you make one based on one of the DC iconics. If you pick inspired by Superman you get a costume based on his and powers that should be in his style. Should be. Because what you get are ice powers. Because superman is tankish and elemental powers are the tank powers. I have no idea how they screwed that up. You can make better DC characters with the COH system than with theirs. I just don’t get it.

Weapons: Weapons are a main part of the game. You can choose brawl which is pretty much the only way to make sure your character doesn#t use weapons. And even that didn’t work. I recently ended up with two mini chainsaw strapped to my hands. I haven’t found out how to make the look disappear yet. Thank you easy to use interface…The way superpowers work is amazingly strange. They are not your defining attack, that comes from your weapons style. You dodge, block, use combo attacks and all sorts of stuff. You also have energy which you use up to fire your superpowers. It feels a bit like Streetfighter or Mortal Combat, in the way that you are a melee fighter who has some sorts of special powers that can be fired of now and again. Under this system you are less Iceman and more Sub-Zero.

Balance: I only have two characters and I don’t think my experience is giving a good overview yet. What I do know is that my magic user got his first power and it was some sort of purple glowing debuff that would swirl around a single enemy (out of like five even in the tutorial) and debuff them (I think. I didn’t notice an effect except for the fx). My let’s call is fire-tank (because remember: Superman has elemental powers!) got a first power that destroys anyone and anything within five feet of her. I mostly played that one…

Gameplay: Here we get to the upside. The gameplay is very interesting. It doesn’t feel all that superheroic but it is fun. It is fast and skill based. I pretty much suck at it since I’m so out of practice but it is great to be able to roll under an attack to punch your enemy in the face instead of just going through attack chains. I’m curious how it will turn out because it seems you get a dazzling array of special moves mixed with your superpowers. Again, it isn’t very DCish, but it is fun. The boss fights are scripted events, more like classic single player action games than MMO bosses.

Gameworld: Well that is just awesome. Everything is voiced over, the iconics are everywhere, the villain missions are real villain stuff instead of kill some gang members. I infect a bunch of students with a genetic virus for Lex Luthor and ended up beating up Power Girl. Or rather I let a bunch of henchmen run against her while I threw explosive barrels since she tended to smack me. She didn’t have ice powers by the way…

I wouldn’t say this is a bad game and I absolutely love how they moved away from classic MMO combat. But it is a bad superhero MMO, at least from what I saw so far.

To quote: “I mean, you and your friends get to fight alongside heroes and villains like Batman and Lex Luthor. It would take a colossal screwup to mess that formula up.

Well, if you need someone to deliver something big Sony are the people to go to. It was a challenge but they managed to do interesting graphics, innovative gameplay and completely fuck up their intended game. Colossal screwup indeed.

 

No you can't be a Green Lantern. What do you think this is? DC Universe?!

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2 responses

22 12 2010
What the fuck wordpress? « This would be more awesome with lasers

[…] feel like writing it again so unless it magically shows up again you’ll have to settle for the last one. Of course it had to be the one post with some actual content I wrote all […]

22 12 2010

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