DC Universe Online Isn't Like Other PS4 Launch Titles

DC Universe Online Isn't Like Other PS4 Launch Titles

DC Universe Online is not a PlayStation 4 original. It's not a recently-released big budget third-party title. It's not an indie darling. It's a nearly three-year-old, free-to-play, massively multiplayer online role-playing game — a different sort launch title, with a different set of issues.

First off, let me say how excited I am to finally see an MMORPG show up in a game's launch lineup at all. We've seen plenty of console MMO games, from 2000's Phantasy Star Online for the Dreamcast to Final Fantasy XIV on PlayStation 3 and soon PlayStation 4, but they don't generally make it out on launch day. Servers need to be tested, stability needs to be maintained — there's a lot to do.

DC Universe Online, however, was already running on the PlayStation Network. All the ties were in place, so all Sony Online Entertainment had to do is make the game run on the PlayStation 4. And run it does, eventually.

Unlike other launch tiles with large downloads, DDC Universe Online isn't taking advantage of the PlayStation 4's ability to play games while download them, at least not completely. Players can create a new character, go through the tutorial, and then enter whichever player hub is dictated by their choices, but they can't leave. Not until the game's full 28 gigabytes is download. Existing characters cannot log in unless they were camped in one of those hubs.

PlayStation 4 players, utilising the same servers as PS3 and PC players, seem to be taking the wait in stride. They wander about the home base. Sometimes they follow complete strangers around for no reason.

In case it wasn't clear (it isn't), here's how to check your download status for a PlayStation 4 game. Go to the home screen, highlight the game, hit the 'OPTIONS' button and then choose 'Information.' That's where you'll find how much of DC Universe Online's 28 gigs you've gotten so far.

DC Universe Online Isn't Like Other PS4 Launch Titles

It took me around 8 hours over wireless, but eventually I got in and wandered about a little.

The game looks great on the PlayStation 4, thanks to the combined efforts of Sony Online Entertainment's recent graphic touch-up for PC and PS4, and the new console's graphical prowess, pushing PC-quality to my television at 1080p.

There are still issues, as one would expect in an MMORPG for a sytem that didn't have a real player base until today. For instance, all of my characters share the same name on the select screen.

DC Universe Online Isn't Like Other PS4 Launch Titles
DC Universe Online Isn't Like Other PS4 Launch Titles
DC Universe Online Isn't Like Other PS4 Launch Titles

I do not remember naming a character Biotch at all.

New players can expect a little ribbing from the PC and PS3 crowd as well, who seem to be having a good time laughing at the know-nothing antics of a fresh batch of newbs.

Like I said, it's a different sort of PlayStation 4 launch game — a title with an established audience who suddenly have an all-new way to play. It might not be the freshest game, but it's the first in what's sure to be a long line of MMORPG games to grace North American this generation, paving the road for an even more connected console experience than ever before.


Comments

    I played it on PS3 it was okay for a mmo but really empty. Only Metropolis and Gotham as main locations. Once you get to level 30 (highest when I played it) nothing new happens, you replay the same missions on a harder difficulty. Did a few of the raids, they were fun but I don't plan to download 20+gb for this game.

      It's a great game if you commit to the endgame stuff, but it requires a decent timesink to get to that point.

      Was it before the server merge/free-to-play updates? The game had months of being almost completely empty and next to no updates. Now it's past that there's a pretty big/healthy community. It's a pretty fun game now. The level cap is still 30 (really 1-30 is just the tutorial), but there's a lot more to do at end-game where you progress up the ladder in terms of equipment in order to unlock new content.
      Only major downside is that when if you want to play for free you'll be locked out of a lot of stuff. You can buy the DLC individually but it's easier to just subscribe (unlocks all DLC as long as the subscription is active) and treat it like a pay to play MMO.

      Also they recently ran into a pretty game shattering problem with their end-game content. They released T5 with raids attempting to please the 'the raids are too easy, I'm so great, make hard content' crowd and it totally blew up in their face. The new raids attempt to play more like World of Warcraft but the team made a lot of small mistakes on the designs so they're just awful to play. Ie, there's a raid that ends with you fighting three variable bosses, each with their own move set and special abilities to watch out for. In a Warcraft raid that would go one boss does his special attack, 30 seconds of tank-n-spank, another random boss does his special attack, 30 seconds, repeat.
      In DCUO encounters don't run like clockwork, which is what makes them great, but it also means when they try to do those technical encounters you end up dying to stupid things. You'll find yourself looking back on a Nexus wipe and thinking 'well, we died because we weren't stacked when boss one did his special attack, but we were only spread out because boss two's attack would have killed us if we were stacked'.
      It doesn't help that the damage/heals/power output is very dependent on power set, weapon choice, latency and skill. There's a massive difference between a decent player and a good one. A good player in T4 gear will do T5 damage, but the T5 raids require T7 output. So you need full T5 gear just to try them and if you're not playing the right power set/role you probably won't make it to the end. It's a real mess.

      It's actually sort of sad. They finally got the game back on it's feet after a totally botched launch, started to release good content at a steady pace, really cracked open community relations, formed a solid plan of how they want to progress over the next two years and then they accidentally broke T5 and made everyone hate end-game.

      One other thing worth noting is that it's not PS3/4 and PC players on the same server. There is a PC server and a PSN server. The PSN server houses players from both PS3 and PS4, linked to your PSN account so you can go back and forth between the two.

        Early 2012. I could still team up with 1-2 people on the harder missions. I just have no intention of playing it.

    Being able to quickly move from game to do other stuff and the fact it runs faster will really go a long way towards adoption. But this came still feels uninteresting to me. i like the idea of it but not the gameplay I've seen.

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