In this digital age gaming has become a collaborative effort on a massive scale, whether it be a team developing a game, or a person playing the game with friends. Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games allow people to play games with many people across the internet. These games are designed to be played alongside others, but players can coexist without ever interacting with each other. It’s a unique experience that demonstrates the widespread effect video games have on people all around the world. MMO games can be a bit intimidating though, especially if you’re a beginner. How does one approach a game that utilizes so many different keys? Well, I’ve picked out two games that are user friendly. DC Universe Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Both games, though utilizing some advanced features, can be played seamlessly by a beginner. I’ve outlined the pros and cons of each so that you can find a good place to start!
DC Universe Online
DC Universe Online is a game on the PS4, PS3, the PC and now Microsoft’s XBOX One. For the purpose of this article, I’ll be talking about the PS4/PS3 version because the controller is an easy substitute for the keyboard and mouse. When you first start up the game you’re prompted to create a character. On a free to play account there are a few choices you can make regarding your character’s skills and weapons. Ultimately, you get to choose your character’s look, their stance, their powers, and their superhero or super villain mentor. You can choose from characters like Lex Luthor, The Joker, Circe, Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman. Creating your own superhero or villain is DC Universe’s strong point. You travel around different areas working for your mentor and other heroes or villains from the DC Universe comics. The controls are easy to use and power upgrades are pretty self-explanatory. The game does a good job setting up a mandatory tutorial in the beginning so that you’ll know how to play.
- Not too many controls to learn.
- Large open worlds to explore.
- PS4 players can play alongside PS3 players of the game.
- Interaction from well-known superheroes and villains.
- Many opportunities to join groups and Guilds created by other players.
- The full game is free. You can buy extra add-ons but they are not necessary.
- There are a lot of side quests and instances.
- No superhero knowledge is needed to enjoy the game, but a basic understanding helps.
- Both PVE and PVP servers available. I recommend PVE for beginners.
- You can’t skip the tutorial and must play it with every new character you make which can begin to feel tedious after a while.
- Repetitive quest tasks.
- Cross platform from PC to Xbox, or PS4 is not available.
- More emphasis on gameplay than story.
- Because there are so many players, you sometimes have to wait for enemies and quest objects to respawn.
- If a group member walks into the boss battle by themselves it can lock the other players out.
- You can only create two characters on a free account (upgrading your account to premium is $5. It will give you access to six total characters and the green lantern power).
- Home bases are available but remain generic for free accounts.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Star Wars: The Old Republic is a game created by BioWare. It is arguably one of the most ambitious MMO games created to date. BioWare has opted to create a heavily narrative experience that one can share with a group of friends or strangers that they are joining a game with. There are eight distinct stories to choose from. True to Star Wars lore, you decide whether your character is on the dark side or the light side. Star Wars: The Old Republic is a spiritual successor of the Knights of the Old Republic series. Though it does not resemble the two hit Star Wars games before it, The Old Republic stays true to the gameplay mechanics that we’ve come to know and love from BioWare RPGs. This game is unique in the fact that you are following structured storylines. Unlike many other MMOs before it, The Old Republic allows you to make choices that determine how missions play out. What’s better is that these decisions can be made with group mates.
- Free to play until Level 50. This allows you to play full story lines for all eight origin stories.
- Ability to join groups and guilds.
- No Star Wars experience needed.
- 8 fully voiced storyline with cinematic cutscenes.
- Branching dialogue and mission choices.
- Ability to engage multiple people in group cutscenes.
- Legacy feature which allows you to create family trees for multiple characters.
- Fully customizable strongholds.
- Quick travel and vehicles so you do not have to walk everywhere. Traveling can be really annoying otherwise.
- The game can be played as a solo story despite it being an MMO.
- Both PVE and PVP servers.
- Only two characters can be created per server with free accounts.
- Many species are locked for free accounts.
- Many features are only available to subscribers including certain customization options.
- Because the game is online, you cannot save between choices and are stuck with the decisions that you make. If you want to see alternate versions you have to either start over or watch it on YouTube.
- Like DC Universe, because there are so many players you sometimes have to wait for enemies and quest objects to respawn. In my experience, this is less frequent in SWTOR.
To sum it up, DC Universe and Star Wars: The Old Republic are great starting points for the MMO genre. If you have a PS3, PS4, or Xbox One, I’d recommend playing DC Universe Online first. Star Wars: The Old Republic does have some similarities in game play which will be easier to adjust to. Plus, the controller is a much simpler option for beginners who don’t use the keyboard too much. If you’re looking for a game that feels like single player story despite being online, try Star Wars: The Old Republic.