Is DC Universe Online Worth Playing in 2021?

Is DC Universe Online Worth Playing in 2021?

DC Universe Online is a superhero-themed MMORPG that honestly ended up being a better game at its core than I had ever given it credit for. It has its shortcomings, but they didn’t hinder Mrs Stix nor I from enjoying this as we played through it.

Now they say that being a superhero isn’t for everyone… but they’re wrong. And I mean being a superhero means having super strength, speed, flight, invisibility, manipulation of elements… the options are limitless.

Now welcome back to another episode of “Is it worth playing” – where we sift through every MMORPG available right now in an attempt to find the best MMORPG in 2021. Today, we’re taking a look at what is arguably one of the only superhero MMORPGs left legally playable without private server: DC Universe Online.
And yes, you get to play with DC superheroes like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, along with supervillains like The Joker, Lex Luthor and… uhh, Harley Quinn?

DC Universe Online wasn’t what I expected it to be. I played this game back 4 years ago, and invested about an hour, hour and a half into it.
I toyed around with the gameplay for a little bit, saw the world, but ultimately closed out of it and never went back. And I’m not against saying that I’m disappointed in myself that I did, as the more I played of this game, the more fun I had.

DC Universe Online is like.. Grand Theft Auto. No, actually, it’s more like Saint’s Row than GTA in all honesty. It’s dark, it’s goofy, and it doesn’t really take itself all that seriously.
The world, much like both GTA and Saint’s Row is completely open. You’re given various different cities to navigate, to explore, to take and complete missions in. And you’re capable of doing all of this with your super powers of choice.
The game is highly narrative driven. There are side-quests – plenty of side-quests. But from what I experienced, we could mostly avoid them while leveling.
Sure, eventually, if we wanted to be able to utilize our characters to their fullest potential, we’d have to complete as much of the game as possible, but while leveling? We could take things at our own pace.

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Leveling is about what you’d expect. You take missions from one of two factions: Either the heroes, or the villains. Depending on who you choose as your Mentor, you’ll have a slightly different story. But most of the quests remain much the same until they converge much further down the line.
You run missions around the city, mostly helping your faction best the other faction. This is all driven by a very strong narrative. One of the strongest I’ve seen in the MMO scene, actually. And the story being driven by voice acting from legends like Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill? Dude, how is this not one of the greatest games of the last generation?
Over the course of our.. 12 hours streaming DC Universe Online, we never did much other than pursue the narrative, though, unfortunately. Sure, it was plenty of fun seeing all of our favorite heroes and villains come to life, and to be a part of their story.
But running around the city for 15 to 20 hours repeating very similar quests left the experience feeling a little tedious at times.

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Thankfully, exploring the city and completing missions was easy. On the one hand, you possess various super powers at your disposal. Mrs Stix chose flight, and I chose speed.
I could run up buildings, I could propel myself literal miles across the city after leaping from one of said buildings, and duels with my waifu were actually kinda funny.
While the basic super powers weren’t really much aid in combat, you had a plethora of abilities you could learn. Melee abilities, magical abilities, super abilities. You had the freedom to truly build your character however you want, which was admittedly a little overwhelming.
I opted to go for a dual-wielding badass that could move at the speed of light and heal themselves. It made encounters fairly easy, and allowed for me to defeat Mrs Stix in a duel to the death.

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The game utilized a unique hybrid action combat system. You had the ability to use your normal abilities at will – so for me, that was my dual-blade slashes, and even energy beams, but when engaging enemies you’d lock on to a specific target.
Combat itself, especially given when this game came out, felt pretty good quality. I mean if you compare it to an Eastern MMO like Black Desert or Blade & Soul sure, it’s going to come up short.
But given this is a Western MMO, and other Western MMOs include games like New World or… uh, The Elder Scrolls Online? I guess? The game holds up well.

One thing that really sold me on this game is the freedom you have over your character.
Not just your abilities, as I noted earlier. Rather, your character’s appearance. Your skin color. Outfit. Super power. Fighting style. Weapon. Mentor. Faction allegiance. This is a depth that I have not seen done anywhere else, and I cannot stress how important it is in terms of providing players with a unique class identity.
It allows for us to become more enveloped in the game than ever before. The more we have to customize, the more we can relate and the more unique it feels to us.

pros

✔️ Overall, DC Universe Online still looks surprisingly good.

✔️ It has some great quality combat with a lot of class customization.

✔️ It has a lot of customization overall, more than I’ve ever seen anywhere else.

✔️ The world – or cities, rather, are large and filled with life and players.

✔️ Seeing some of your favorite superheros and villains, and hearing the absolute god-tier voice acting is one of the best parts of this game.

cons

❎ Yet even though it had an absolutely killer cast of characters, the game still felt – at times, repetitious and slow. Having us repeat the same “defeat x bad guys” or “loot x items” type missions repeatedly.

❎ The world, even though it was large and open, was largely copy-pasted and uninspired. Which might offend some people but I had to say it.

❎ And finally, the game, graphically, definitely shows its age. If this were remastered – overhauled entirely, not just with regards to some characters, this would be absolutely stunning.

Ultimately, DC Universe Online was an absolutely fantastic, enjoyable experience.
I can’t believe I never invested more time into the game in the past. Playing this for 12, 13 hours was some of the most fun I’ve had in an MMO recently. Again, yes, it definitely had some issues – issues that I think will definitely become much more irritating the further we push through the game.
But I mean no game is infallible.

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