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Chad's DC Universe Online Impressions, Part 3

Posted by: Chad at 12/27/2010 8:05 PM
Note: You can read the first two parts of my impressions if you'd like.  Here is Part 1 and here is Part 2.

What you really want to do after gaining a level is finding the newest way to increase the abilities and power of your character.  DC Universe Online makes this a bit more difficult than necessary, though.  Each new level grants a certain amount of skill points to use; however, I found the skill trees for character upgrades spread out across a myriad of sub-menus.  Much improvement can (and should) be made in this aspect to make it more user-friendly to be aware of all available options.

Another aspect of the interface that needs some polish is the inventory.  As with any inventory system where you want to look for more powerful armor, it is imperative to compare new loot with your current gear.  Many games will automatically display the stats of your current item when you hover over a similarly-slotted item in your inventory.  That's not the case in DCUO; you can only view the stats of one item at a time.  Hopefully this will get some attention before the release next month.  

There is a lot more to talk about from my brief time with the game.  The in-game map is helpful by displaying key locations and helping you navigate to them.  Players also have the ability to change the appearance of their character from inside the game, after you've started your character.  That's a pretty awesome idea.  I could go on for many more pages of impressions but I'll stop here. 

Overall, I found the experience to be not too unlike an X-Men Legends or Marvel Ultimate Alliance without a squad.  It's that focus on action and well-crafted fun that made the few hours I played it enjoyable.  The menus need some work as does character movement, but these almost always get fleshed out and streamlined with time.  Plus, I consider it a good sign if those are the biggest gripes I have with the game at this point.

One suggestion to the married gamer:  Have your wife design her ultimate lady superhero.  Show her all of the available options in skins, style of clothing, hair styles and color.  My wife took nearly 10 minutes to create a sexy heroine modeled after Poison Ivy.  She felt involved in my game and I was able to play with a sexy female character without feeling guilty!

Look for more impressions from Jeremy in the near future.