With so many Marvel titles on the market, for quite some time now there is a distinct feeling in the air that it is now time for DC to honor their fans. DC characters actually have a strong presence on the market with titles like ‘Injustice’ 1 & 2, but when it comes to mobile games the audience kind of felt left out. Sure, there are DC characters included in Arena of Valor, but there are so many cool games featuring Marvel characters published in the past few years, that DC fans probably started wondering ‘When are we going to get a peace?’
Undoubtedly meant to be DC Comics’ take on the Marvel Future Fight, DC Unchained is a free-to-play brawler mobile game, featuring heroes and villains alike. The developer, FourThirtyThree Inc, made an effort to integrate some innovative ideas to make up for the prolonged waiting for a DC title in this genre.
The first thing noticed, of course, is how this game looks. It has that Comic book style of modeling, with characters’ appearance taken from The New 52 story arc. You will often see DC character portraits presented in panels like in the comics, with them sometimes even standing out of the border. It is just an example of the stylish new-wave looks DC went for in all of their efforts and presentation.
It certainly seals the deal for any lovers of their new generation stuff.
Even cinematic and story moments are presented in comic book panels, which gives the game an immersive atmosphere and is a pleasure to look upon and read. The characters talk with chat bubbles around their heads, the panels intersect in different angles…it’s a comic book fan’s delight.
If you read anything from The New 52 story arc, or you watched any of the animated movies from DC, you must have heard their multiverse plot point. Actually, ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ animated movie has its plot centered on Owl Man finding Earth Prime and wanting to blow it up, ending all existence. In DC Unchained, you fight for the fate of Earth Prime, and it is for that reason that heroes and villains all work together. They are brought together by a common goal – survival.
You can put together a team of your favorite heroes and villains, but also neutral characters from the DC Universe. Characters like Cat Woman, Ocean Master, and many others are set as neutral.
While being a hero, neutral, or a villain does not affect the character’s progression in gaining levels, it does affect story points.
Also, all these characters belong to their respective families. For instance, there is the Flash Family, which, besides Flash, has Gorilla Grodd, Captain, Cold, and others. Green Lantern family has characters like Sinestro, Larfleeze, etc… So, characters inside their own respective families can be hero, neutral, or villain alike, but they still belong to the family, and while their nature doesn’t affect their progression, if you put together a team with all characters from one family, you may have a certain bonus activated.
Your selected team can have 3 members, and you then go over Earth Prime and annihilate enemy forces. You control one character at a time and you can switch to others from your team by clicking on their portraits. You can do this mid-combat, allowing for some really cool action, but once you switch to a character, the switching ability will go on cooldown for a while.
You control your selected character in a standard brawler manner, moving him with your one thumb, and using his abilities with your other.
Characters have 5 abilities in total. Punching and special movement are a default for all, as punching will make the character perform special attack combos, all bearing signature moves. Special movement is also a representation of the character’s comic book abilities, like the Flash will run fast or Superman will fly. The other three abilities are special powers the character has, like Heat Vision, Throw Batarang, and that kind of stuff. You start off with one and unlock other abilities as you level up.
As you progress through the game, you will naturally unlock more characters, but this won’t happen very often. In fact, the game will have you mainly focus on the characters you already have, instead of giving you more all in a short time frame. This allows you to unlock the abilities and experience a certain character to its fullest, rather than spreading your focus and attention, and only experiencing a small sample of it.
You can perform combos, critical hits, dodges, and since this is an online game, you can play with your friends and really make some epic power combos.
The style and the visuals of this game will be a comic book fan’s delight, as the special moves characters make look amazing and really true to their origins. The atmosphere will bring you into the comic book world, but the sole brawler gameplay is precisely what it is. You go about your way and beat up enemies. This may become a bit monotone if you expect a more rewarding experience, but other than that DC Unchained will prove to be quite fun, and if you are bored with grinding, you can set auto-play. Sure, many people are against the auto-play function, and frankly, there are some good arguments they make, but if you want to see your comic book hero developed to its fullest, and enjoy its abilities, without having to grind experience for hours, it does come in handy.