DC Universe Online: First Impressions

If you’re planning to play DC Universe Online anytime soon, then it’s time for you to chuck any remaining modesty out the window. Your hero or villain character will wear flashy costumes and display awesome feats of strength on a grander scale than most MMOs have to offer from the get-go.

That’s the biggest appeal of DC Universe Online for me, the ability in its first few hours of playing to make you feel special instead of just another generic orc or pilot or wizard freshly plucked from the normal life. The storyline quests of DCUO are engaging and place you at the center of the action, especially at the starting areas of Metropolis and Gotham City.

DC Universe Online indulges your ego–as it should as a superhero-themed game–and fleshes out the grand scale of events we previously only imagined in comic books. The snappy combat pace helps a lot in this regard, giving you a taste of the urgent, almost 24/7 pressures of being superhuman.

Character creation options are not as varied as those in Champions Online, but it has a polish that makes you want to see all the various combinations available. It’s easy to spend an hour creating a signature look for your toon, not to mention deciding on his or her combat skills.

Combat skills are determined mainly by three categories: Power type, weapon specialization, and movement type. Power type are like classes in DC Universe Online, and your choice will dictate the abilities you can perform in combat.

There are also 10 weapon specializations available, from long-range dual pistols to close-combat martial arts. What you pick will determine the combo sequences shown on screen. For example, staff users can unleash quick swipes and jabs while hand blast users can charge up and fire concentrated attack bursts.

Lastly, the movement type dictates how you traverse the world of DC Universe Online and adds bonus tricks in your combat arsenal. Speedsters can dash through streets and daze enemies, acrobats possess grapple lines for quickly swinging between constructs and ensnaring enemies, while flying toons can roam the skies and drop bombing attacks to foes on the ground.

The mix-and-matching of these three elements make it harder for you to encounter a copycat spec, which counts for a lot if you’re the type to want unique characters. The gear and costume choices available are quite limited though once you get out of the starting gates, balanced only by the promise of the Appearance Collection system which can potentially fill thousands of appearance gear–but that’s still in the not-so-near future.

All in all, the first few hours of DC Universe Online captures the feel of an action-packed comic book world, but the experience stops short of blowing you away, not counting Superman’s freezing breath.

Stay tuned here at EpicToon.com as we release more impressions on DC Universe Online, and get ready to launch our DCUO Gold services.