Infinite Crisis, a joint venture between Warner Brothers and Turbine, is the newest game to seek out a piece of the free-to-play MOBA genre market currently dominated by League of Legends. Infinite Crisis offers players a chance to take on the role of their favorite superheroes and villains from the DC Comics Multiverse and also offers some new and unique changes to the MOBA scene. The game is incredibly fun, but since it only recently entered its open beta phase, there is still work to be done. Even though the game hasn’t been finalised yet, Infinite Crisis is already showing it has the potential to become a truly legitimate challenger to League of Legends.
The immediate appeal of Infinite Crisis is being able to play as characters from the DC Comics Multiverse. Players who have grown up admiring Green Arrow and Flash can now play as them in a MOBA setting, and those who have always preferred the villains like Joker, Poison Ivy, or Doomsday will not be disappointed. Additionally, players have access to characters from alternate DC universes, such as Gaslight Batman, Atomic Wonder Woman, and Nightmare Superman.
At first glance, the gameplay is very similar to League of Legends. Players queue up to join a 5v5 team battle in either Gotham Heights, a Dominion style map where players fight over five objectives, or Gotham Divided, the traditional three lane classic battle mode. Characters gain coins and experience by killing NPC drones, urban jungle robots, or other characters. Players then use coins to purchase new equipment, and experience is used to gain levels, increase attributes, and level up skills.
The Infinite Crisis gameplay does offer some fun and interesting changes from other MOBAs. The first, and probably most unique, is the use of environmental objects, destructible terrain, and catastrophic events. Certain objects around the map, namely cars and fallen meteors, can be picked up and thrown at enemies. Once those cars have been destroyed, they no longer block the ground where they originally stood, meaning new routes can be opened between lanes by interacting with the terrain. Additionally, when some turrets are destroyed they explode, causing environmental objects to be destroyed as well. The mayhem of thrown cars and exploding terrain is not only fun, but it also adds a new layer of tactical play to the map.
The urban jungle and buffs to be gain from jungling is another area where Infinite Crisis has taken steps to stand out from other MOBAs. Instead of players immediately getting a buff for killing a certain jungle camp, the game uses a series of deployable beacons to give advantages. At the start of the game, each team has a healing beacon, a speed boost beacon, and a surveillance camera available at their base. Any member of the team can pick up these items for use, but only the surveillance camera will automatically respawn to be used again after a few minutes.
Securing new buffs for the team is the job of the jungler. As camps are cleared, the healing and speed beacons appear back at the team’s base, and after the appropriate camps have been destroyed enough times, the buffs become more powerful. On the center line of the map in each of the outer lanes, two EMP buffs can be gained by defeating another camp. The EMP beacon can be especially powerful as it deactivates all enemy turrets and drones in an area for a few seconds, making EMPs especially useful for tower diving. This newer, more tactical system of jungling and gaining buffs makes the jungler a much more rewarding role than simply ganking lanes.
While Infinite Crisis is a lot of fun to play, the game only recently started its open beta phase, and there are some issues holding back the game. Queue times and the matchmaking system appear to be two of the bigger issues, and they go hand-in-hand. In order to make matches more competitive and enjoyable, Turbine has set new parameters on matchmaking to keep player levels closer together. The downside of doing this for a new game with a low population is that players can spend much more time, between five and ten minutes, looking for a game. Without these queue time delays, players would often find themselves on mismatched teams. As it is, many teams still suffer from at least one feeder, afker, or leaver, and the game does not have a surrender mechanism yet, another issue that needs to be addressed.
The game can also be very difficult for someone new to the MOBA genre. The game lacks any real tutorial mode; a few YouTube videos are the help only Turbine gives players. This means that brand new players are thrust into a PvP match where they have to learn the game for the first time. This can lead to new players feeding the enemy team, which can be very frustrating for them and their teammates. While this can be annoying for some, this problem does get better as players gain overall protector levels and move up a tier or two in the matchmaking system.
Turbine is aware that a better tutorial mode is needed, and they have made it one of their top priorities. In fact, Turbine appears to have a very good handle on all of the issues in the game, and they have provided plenty of information on their forums to let players know that all of the major issues are receiving attention. From movement and targeting issues to a better afk/leaver system, the developers understand what needs to be addressed, and they make regular progress on these issues.
While a tutorial may still be in the works, the amazing community of Infinite Crisis players has provided plenty of information, guides and videos to help players of all skill levels up their game. Dawnbase.com is an independent, player-created site with hundreds of guides on champions, items, stolen powers, and amplifiers. Pro gamer Krashy, a member of the professional VexX Gaming team and one of the top Infinite Crisis players in the world, has put together many helpful videos on his YouTube channel. Infinite Crisis is already showing that its community of players is dedicated to disseminating useful information to enhance the enjoyment of this great game for all players.
While Infinite Crisis might still be incomplete in its open beta phase, the game is still tremendously fun to play. Maybe it’s because players can take on the roles of their favorites DC Comics personalities, or maybe it’s because cars can be picked up off the battlefield and thrown at enemies. It might be the more tactical jungle and buff system, or it just might be the great players in the Infinite Crisis community. It might even be that this game is new enough to not have an ultra-competitive ranked focus, but whatever the reason, Infinite Crisis is the most fun MOBA online right now. It may not have the full polish or 100+ champions of League of Legends, but right now, I’ll take the pure enjoyment of Infinite Crisis over League, DotA, or Dawngate.