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‘DC Legends:’ RPG Review

Author's Note: This game was played on Android.

Mobile games are one of the fastest growing forms of entertainment in today's gaming marketplace. Most people have smartphones, using them to check the internet, social media, and spend a few minutes at a time playing a game to keep them occupied. Comic books and their related media are also one of the biggest pieces of the entertainment marketplace, and their entry into the world of mobile gaming has been not only extremely popular, but with the introduction of micro-transactions, incredibly lucrative.

That brings us to DC Legends. It's a relatively new game, and because of that, it's significantly behind in many areas when compared to other games on the market. Games such as Marvel's Future Fight or Avengers Academy, games in the Star Wars universe, and many other have large followings and dedicated players willing to devote massive amounts of time to their respective games. While DC doesn't have that just yet, this foray into this gaming space is a good start.

DC Legends takes all of the beloved characters from their vast catalog and wraps it around a well-known story - that of Blackest Night, a storyline that took the members of DC Comics and put them on a collision course with Death itself. This focuses on the fight with Nekron, a terrifying villain. As you continue through the levels, you gain experience, level up gear, and gain access to more and more of the game's roster of heroes and villains.

It's pretty straightforward: Take on a few foes, get better, build up your characters, get a few more, and play some PvP, pitting your roster against players from all over the world. It's a good formula for a mobile game, and one that allows for hours of entertainment as you have to get stronger and stronger to get further into the game. Each mission has a reward, with everything from in-game currency and experience tokens to level-up fragments to continue to improve your characters.

While the base of the game is solid and very entertaining, there's still a lot of room to grow. Because it's new, it's still pretty bare-bones. The main menu of the game depicts this very obviously, with several stages in the game under a “Coming Soon” banner. With that, there are various mission types to keep things interesting, with story missions depicting the fight against Nekron, a heroic mission section to gain powerups for your heroes, and a timed daily mission to gain more experience for your fighters.  The PvP mode puts you in a group of similar players, giving points towards a weekly goal for beating their team in battle with yours. The rewards put you in ever-competitive tiers, each with a greater reward and more challenge.

The mission modes are much like many others, but there are a few drawbacks. The energy costs for these types of missions are generally pretty low in games so that players can feel like they're accomplishing things while playing. But here, the cost of mission vs. energy generation are pretty steep, so after only a few missions, you're out of energy and have to wait a long period of time to do it all over again for only a few minutes. That is a huge detractor for continued use. If I can only play for five minutes and then have to wait for two hours before I can really play again, why even bother?

After playing the game since just after launch, I can say that it's solid, but needs room to grow. The mission systems are simplistic, the PvP system is decent but could use some refinement, and the biggest issue with the game is actually the micro-transactions and shop portions of the game. As you get stronger, the challenge grows at a scale that is hard to maintain without some help from the marketplace. The issue with that is that there is really no good way to do that without putting in a large amount of money. The options for in-game purchases are significant and don't feel like they offer enough to really do anything of use. There are special deals and changing options, but mostly, they all cost too much for not benefiting the player enough. If these prices were to come down or if they were to offer some more interesting options, it might be better suited for casual players.

That's where it stands with this game. It's fun, but too new to really make it stand out from the crowd. A weak shopping system really detracts from the game, and with energy costs high, it's a lot of money to keep playing for any significant amount of time. I think with some tweaks to the system, this could be one of the more popular games on the marketplace, but there's not enough to keep it from breaking through as it stands now.

I will leave it with this: DC Legends is a fun, if thin, mobile game. There is some major promise here, and I like it at its core, but without some major changes in the way it's designed, it likely won't keep players engaged. Fans of the DC line should really enjoy it, but I can't recommend it for casual players as it stands right now.


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