A few weeks ago, I explained my background as well as provided a review-in-progress of Daybreak’s DC Universe Online MMO on the Nintendo Switch. You can check out that article here as this full review will build upon what we already know and discussed there.
Since the preview, I’ve managed to hit the maximum “level” of 30, did some grouping, participated in the current event and opened some capsules, among other things. Welcome to our review of DC Universe Online for the Nintendo Switch.
If you haven’t played DC Universe Online (DCUO) on another platform, consider it one of only two superhero based MMOs still on the market today. It’s based on the characters found in the classic DC Comics universe. DCUO on the Switch can be considered the second MMO to arrive for this platform behind Warframe.
DCUO is free to play but of course a subscription option exists. The game is persistent and is played entirely online, i.e. connected to some “server(s)” in the cloud, along with other players in your game world.
Playing DCUO on Nintendo Switch does not require a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online. There also appears to be no traditional “server list” to select from. It is assumed you will play on the US server or the EU server based on the profile used from your Switch.
Due to the size of this established game world an SD card is recommended. The initial download is 24 GB and it took me nearly 3 hours to download via wi-fi on my 300 Mbps Internet.
If you’re an existing, experienced DCUO player on another platform then you might just want to skip to the conclusion as the rest of this article will be things you most likely already know.
Life After Character Creation, Becoming A Legend
In the Review-In-Progress I created an initial Sorcery based hero. You do have the option of playing as a supervillain as well so the game offers both sides of the coin. You can also play both sides on what appears to be the same servers unlike a lot of faction based MMOs.
Since the review-in-progress I worked on quests, mostly handed out by our “mentor”, to attain the maximum of level 30. Being magic based my mentor is Wonder Woman. It’s the same main storyline as on the other platforms. It’s a great storyline even after seeing it several times.
I also took part in the current “event”, to mean latest episode, which currently is the latest episode that features the Justice League Dark.
When new episodes are released in DCUO the content is initially accessible by level 10 characters and remains generally accessible for a limited time. Events usually include themed dailies, weeklies, a raid, group-based missions, and exploration missions. After a limited time, the content is then locked behind a specific “combat rating” (CR) which can be considered a gear score in DCUO. Events typically earn you event-based currency which can be used to by event-themed items, costumes pieces, lair decorations (yes DCUO has housing), etc.
One thing regarding these events that was disappointing was that it was tough to get a “chat broadcasted” pickup group for the 8-player daily event. Perhaps it was the time of day, 6 PM EST on the US server, or just a moderately low player base. Yes, the game is new but with no cross-platform play supported currently diminishing player base must be a concern.
The Nintendo Switch platform also made text chat cumbersome, perhaps why global chat seems relatively quiet. Even with a USB keyboard you need to hit the “-“ button on your controller then hit the “A” button which brings up the virtual keyboard. Once the virtual keyboard is plastered on your screen you can then use your external keyboard to enter text.
What Seemed Old Seems New Again
The game has many options of play including PvE and PvP. While in-game it seemed like the PvP “Ring War” event was popular. This is one of the global events that is broadcasted. It’s heroes vs. villains to see who can collect the most Lantern rings.
There are also plenty of solo missions and grouped instances to join. Exploration is encouraged as well by finding crafting supplies, investigations, briefs, etc. These form collections which reward you with feat points. So many feat points reward you stat points that you can allocate to continue to grow your character in specific optional areas.
While the maximum level is 30 that’s just the beginning. Hitting level 30 to many players is considered finishing the “tutorial”. At that point you join grouped / pick-up group instances to earn marks to buy better gear. Buying better gear raises your “combat rating” (CR) a.k.a “gear score”. Raising your CR opens up more content and episodes. DCUO is currently on Episode 34 so there is a lot of content to play here.
If you’re a costume style junkie there are also plenty of style pieces to earn and collect. Many are awarded through missions some are attainable through the current “capsule” (loot box) drops. Capsules require a “stabilizer” (key) to open either bought through the Marketplace or for free via continued play. DCUO’s capsules are unique in that, when opened, you get to choose from what you’d like from typically three different random items.
DC Universe Online on the Nintendo Switch is a solid, stable MMO that will continue to grow with regular updates (DC Metal has already been announced for September). The development team continues to improve graphics and sub-systems. The controls via the Switch were as impeccable as any other console platform (I can attest to the PlayStation 4).
The Switch version adds nothing new as far as game content is concerned. So, if you’re an existing player on another platform you must decide if starting over is worth the portability gain. For me the answer was yes, added with the fact that everyone on the server(s) are starting from scratch. This makes me feel less behind the normal content curve.
The game nicely supports “sleep mode” as well as you can disconnect from the servers and leave the game at the connect screen while in sleep mode. It makes getting back into game quite quick, even after pulling it out of the dock.
If you’ve never played DCUO and being a superhero or supervillain sounds appealing, then you run no risk of trying this game at the free to play level. Honestly, I think you’ll find enough appeal to keep playing, especially if you spend the extra five dollars USD to attain Premium Membership.
Sure, the game is aged but Daybreak continues to put development dollars into the game. Bottom line, it’s the perfect portable MMO for the Nintendo Switch!
Note: We were allowed early access of the game by a code provided by PR for the Nintendo Switch.