Wednesday, January 04, 2012

DC Universe Online

It's good. Damn good. Especially for being free-to-play since November 1st. Available on PC and PS3, you should check it out if you love the fast action and constant instant gratification offered by MMOs, superheroes, and things that are free. It's not going to topple WoW anytime soon, but it doesn't have to. Can't beat the price tag, either.


Let's see, if Oblivion debuted in 2006, I probably started it on PC in 2007, couldn't get into it, tried again a year later on PS3, still couldn't get into it, but NOW -- a mere four years later -- having forced myself to spend a few days just pushing through and trying to make sense of the openness and dealing with janky, stiff animations and niggling issues (and no longer being spoiled with certain MMOs conventions I'd grown used to, like selling anything to anyone, learning all spells from one person, having a much clearer path to success, etc.), I'm finally starting to see the light. When I started, it was while I was still playing WoW, which I still think is a more accessible experience, but not necessarily better. I also realized MMOs are designed for constant instant gratification to keep players subscribed or staring at ads, but titles like Oblivion and Morrowind (which I also struggled with initially) can be more deliberately paced and deeper, more subtle experiences.

Having said all that, as someone who found Oblivion terribly boring and unfocused for quite some time -- not realizing it has more in common with Sid Meier's Pirates than anything with Warcraft in the title -- last night I found myself purchasing a home in the game, savoring the experience of exploring my new digs, being able to store items and gear safely there at last, and learning that the reason I got it for such a "steal" is because there's an ominous sealed portal on a wall in the basement. Do I open it and risk filling my new house with demons or something worse? Do I ignore it and focus instead on the 20 other quests I'm buried beneath? The choice is entirely mine! I had to save my progress and resist the urge to open said portal since I desperately needed to go to bed. And this was AFTER stalking the seller halfway across the continent on foot, hoping he'd get mauled by a mountain lion so I could get my 5000 gold back, guilt-free. :) No such luck.