DC Universe Online

 By Maurice Lewis

Published by: Sony Online Entertainment (SOE)

Developed by: Sony Online Entertainment (SOE)

Number of Players: MMORPG (online) or 1 Player

Release Date: January 11, 2011

MSRP: $49.99 PC/ $59.99 for PS3

Rated: T for Teen

For: Mild Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence

Also Available On: PC/PS3

Rating: It’s ok.

 

DC Universe is a MMORPG, but don’t be fooled by the genre;  it has certain elements that may surprise you. As most MMO style games, you start off at the character creation screen.  You have the choices between being a superhero or a villain, which in a sense is choosing a faction. Character creation actually gives you templates of your favorite hero or villain, such as Superman, Batman, Joker, Catwoman etc…  I personally created my superhero to look like Magneto (I know taboo !).

When it comes to choosing factions I think DCUO lacks certain characteristics that made choosing factions a big part of your mmorpg experience.  There is a neat little option where you’re able to choose your characters personality. This determines your characters idle stance (animation your character does while you just stand there). The most part in character creation is choosing your mentor. He/she is esentially your quest giver. So choose wisely.

After choosing your character’s looks, you can choose its abilities and characteristics. You can select from a variety of things, such as having your character have frost abilities, fire abilities, mental, nature abilities etc… You also have secondary abilities, such as being strong physically with punches/brawler guns, kungfu, and even gadgets.  You can also duel wield certain weapons.  I really believe Sony did a good job implementing all of these abilities, giving you control of making your character balanced and well rounded.  Time to choose your super human ability.  Your choices are, flying/Superman Acrobatics/Batman, super speed/Flash, these are your modes of transportation.  Hey it beats riding the bus right?

 Gameplay

You start off in the newbie zone which turned out to be confusing.  If I wasn’t a veteran MMO player I would’ve been stuck in Brainiac’s ship for hours.  Another question, Why do both factions start off in the same basic training mode?  Basic training consist of you learning your hotkeys and practicing your abilities. 

Time to quest.  After making it through your basic training, you meet up with your quest giver/mentor. For example, if you’re evil and you chose The Joker, you will be placed in your home city, which is Gotham.  You grab a quest or a few, then you’re on your way. You have your basic start up quest, Locate Mr X, or kill X amount of enemies.  I didnt enjoy questing at all. Every quest felt so cramped.  Many  people tagged my mobs on pure accident, not only that but some quest were bunched up right next to each other causing multiple NPC interference.

Targeting enemies was also a major issue for me.  The AI tries to auto-target mobs but it fails miserably and is only 100% accurate with mobs that are directly in front of you. The fighting system makes up for the lackluster questing experience.  You have so many combinations you can use, I found myself actually interacting, and having more character control than im use to.  If the going gets tough, you have tons of escape routes.  I found flying to be the best ability, because you were basically unable to be touched by acrobatics, and super speed. I’ve noticed after every long quest chain, you go into a dungeon, and you’re fighting enemies from that quest chain, sometimes fighting a mini boss that you may remember from certain DC comics. DCUO has an alert system, this takes the place of having a instance group.  Alerts are for groups of 4.  I tried giving the PVE another chance because I love doing group dungeons.  Doing this also felt like I was just doing one big quest chain, and the experience was also lack luster.

PvP is very entertaining; its a breath of fresh air pulling off lethal combinations leaving your enemies wondering what hit them easily makes world PVP exciting.  You feel like you’re in a comic book.  With all that said, leveling seems to be a breeze, my only gripe is the skill tree seems to be pointless, as I rarely saw any real benefits.  The level cap is 30, and you will quickly realize the game play was created with nothing but pvp in mind.

My final thoughts

Character Creation was my favorite part of the game, as its every childs dream to be a superhero and while you may not  actually be that superhero, you get to control one and interact with all of your favorite comic book heros.  The rest of the gave leaves a lot to be desired.  There is lots of room for improvement but right now it’s just a break from the monotony of another MMO.

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

By Angie Quidimwrath-of-the-lich-king

Developed and Distributed by Blizzard Entertainment

Number of Players MMO (ALOT)

Platform: PC only

ESRB T (rating changes depending on online play)

Website World of Warcraft:Wrath of the Lich King

 

Blizzard returns with its long awaited expansion to the ever popular “World of Warcraft” Series with Wrath of the Lich King.

The story continues with the awakening of the lich king, Arthas, in Northrend. Northrend is a cold fridgid territory reminding one of the Icelandic countries and Russia in others (ie Borean Tundra)

Characters that have reached the edge of their leveling from the last expansion, Burning Crusade, can now look forward to 10 more levels increasing their skills and weaponry.  This time Blizzard Developers promised the new equipment that gamer would obtain will last longer and not become useless with every expansion.  As for traits and skills, Blizzard added a new Glyph feature to characters.  Players will able to enhance specific spell properties such as mages’ evocation to improve performance.  A number of other changes to abilities can also be found on the World of Warcraft main site that go into further detail.  If you are a power player and reached the max in a day or so, a new hero class is available for you to play.  

 

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 Death Knight opens a new chapter for those interested in the Warcraft Lore and offer new areas and quests for those that want something new.  Also referred to as the “dark paladin”, this casting plate class opens up new opportunities for PVE and PVP with abilities such as death grip ( Simulates Scorpion’s Spear move in Mortal Kombat).  This hero class is limited to one per server on an individual account starting at level 55 with a horse and all rare (Blue) gear.

The instances and battlegrounds are all varied and also include the usage of siege weapons such as tanks and catapults. Players will now be involved in epic warfare using everything in their arsenal.  The environments are always beautiful with a soundtrack that is quite eclectic ranging from classical to trance techno.  Mobs are a bit more intelligent and not as limited on their AI.  

Trade skills go up to 450 now so you have much to do in the ways of raising  those professions.  Materials for some professions don’t come so easy as items are concentrated in the central part of Northrend.  The different factions have many differnt item sets that do some major buffage.  Also the sets that drop in Northrend will not go out of style so quickly.  Blizzard has vowed that this time items will last a bit longer after the next expansion.  

Mounts have changed where they are able to carry more than 1 person. Mammoths that are available for those who have 18K gold can carry up to 3 people a vendor and repair/reagent person.   There are epic war bears and cold flying mounts available as you go up in reputaion with certain factions.   For a death night a skeletal mount is availble when you reach 70.

Evo Factor

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There is much to see and do and see on the new continent and there are always new ways to exploit the expansion.  So what are you waiting for.  Please note that you must have the first World of Warcraft game and the Burning Crusade expansion in order to play.  There is much more to the game that the basic stuff that was written here so stay tuned for updates!