From the ground up the game feels like a console based MMO and not just a port. Make no mistake this is not your typical mouse clicking MMO. Attacks are done by holding down one of the triggers to target and mashing a couple of face buttons for melee and ranged (if applicable). Special attacks are initiated by holding down a couple of the other triggers while pressing the face buttons. The controls take a little getting used to and the camera can get flakey at times. For the most part the gameplay feels smooth. I never once felt like the controls got in the way of my experience.
The character customization is where the game shines. You’ll probably be spending a lot of time here as there are so many options to choose from. Once your character is created you have the option to keep your look for the duration of the game. After many hours of trial and error I finally went with a dual pistol wielding hero who can fly. At the time I believed that if you could fly you would have a distinct advantage since you could fly away from danger. However I quickly found out that the game does a great job of thwarting this by having NPCs ground you during battle.
The game presents to you four main areas. Three of these are cities that represent each of the main characters (mentors). For the heroes your mentors are Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. The villains have Joker, Lex Luthor, and Brainiac. These areas are connected via the Watchtower (heroes) or the Hall of Doom (Villains). The maps areas are the perfect size for this game. If they made the cities too massive it would feel dead and if it was too small everything would feel cramped.
What keeps the game interesting is that as you are completing quests you will see the opposing faction doing similar quests in precisely the same area. Since I am playing a hero on a PVP server, there is plenty of fighting going on between heroes and villains. One of these epic battles had about 25 vs. 25 and I hung around for a few hours! The only penalty for death is damaged equipment. The cost to repair is so miniscule that unless you repeatedly die you won’t need to constantly get it repaired. With such a little penalty for death the PVP in this game happens very often. I barely recall a game session where I didn’t get into a fight and boy are they fun. Prior to this review I barely defeated two lower level characters who tried to jump me.
One of the best parts of the questing is that if there are heroes around you fighting the same enemy, the quest kills are shared. You don’t have to worry about someone stealing your kills. This actually makes you want to (gasp) help people. If you manage to walk into a group of 10 people questing around you, you will complete quests in no time. You don't have to worry about setting up a group as you get credit from allies around you. Plus this also helps strengthen the numbers in case a pack of villains start claiming turf. I can’t tell you how many times I have been saved and I have saved others.
With a level cap of 30 many have said that the game is too short. If you rush through it (and you have a lot of time) you could probably cap in a couple of weeks. But if you’re like me and you want to enjoy the game by immersing yourself in the world and taking your time, you will have a much brighter experience. The game is casual enough to where you can play for an hour or less and still feel like you got something accomplished. Since I am playing on the PS3 I thought having a keyboard would be a necessity, but this is not the case. I am playing this as a solo player and so far I have had no issues with forced grouping. If you are looking for a more social style of play I suggest you get a wireless keyboard or a messaging pad.
There are so many good things about this game. Every time I log in, the world feels so alive. I really have to recommend playing on a PVP server. I have tried both server types and the PVE so boring in comparison. Even though there is a lot to enjoy you will get through most of the content fairly quickly in comparison to World of Warcraft or Lord of the Rings Online. This doesn’t make the game terrible; it’s simply the way it was designed. If you have been waiting for a console MMORPG or something that is a little different, it doesn’t get much better than this. I can only hope that future MMORPGs on the consoles will try and follow this successful formula.
Review is a segment about my opinion on things. I like things, and you like things too. Before you run off and buy something, you should check out my review. Chances are if I like it, it’s probably awesome.