Saturday, November 5, 2011

DC Universe Online: No Wonder It's Free to Play!

I have always wanted to play the Personal Computer version of DC Universe Online by Sony Online Entertainment but since it was one of those massively multiplayer online role playing games, I was not willing to pay the monthly subscription for it because I may not be able to maximize the use of the paid gameplay time. As of November 1st however, the game has adopted a "free-to-play" model and despite that claim of free access being nothing but an elaborate illusion due to the limitations imposed upon non-paying players, I still decided to finally check out the game.

Don't make Castrata angry... You definitely would not llike her when she is angry.

I have played superhero-based MMOs before like City of Heroes and Champions Online but the main difference between this game and those titles is that DCU is more of an action RPG and I found that playing it with the X-Box 360 controller is the way to go instead of using the keyboard and mouse. Having DC characters in the game also makes things a lot more exciting. The character creation is not that impressive but better looking costume pieces can be acquired by playing the game and you are given full control over how you want your character to look - you can lock specific gear pieces if you don't want new equipments altering your overall costume design. The game looks great and the button-mashing gameplay is fun but I can't play much of the game right now because it is buggy. Like it's extremely buggy. Sometimes, you can't proceed to the next area because the option to exit the area is missing. Sometimes, you get stuck on the loading screen. Worse still, closing out the game and logging back in means a five minute login queue time. This game was first released in January 2011 and the user interface itself is still buggy. When you minimize the size of it, they move towards the center of the screen instead of staying at the corner of the screen where they should be. The funny thing about this UI bug is that it occurred on the recently released Dungeon Defenders but after I reported the bug to Trendy Entertainment, it was fixed almost immediately. Well, at least I know now why this game has become FTP: It is one hot and steamy pile of mess. Perhaps this is all caused by the recent surge of new subscribers? SOE should have been ready for it. I am going to give this game a week and if nothing changes, I am out!

Update Note: 11/06/2011 - If you keep getting stuck on the loading screen at the beginning of the game, try this solution I found on the Steam forum.

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