Not ones to let the recent MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) surge pass them by, Turbine (the makers of the hit Lord of the Rings MMO) have teamed up with DC Comics to bring the first superhero-centric take on the well-versed genre. Just coming out at the end of January, the game is a tad light on content at the moment, but still packs enough of a punch to please veterans of similar games like DOTA and LoL. However, it still has a bit of things it needs to polish if it expects to stay for the long-haul. Is this an arena worth battling in, or would you be better suited pillaging on Summoner’s Rift? Read on to find out.
Infinite Crisis (PC) will be very familiar to those of you that have played League of Legends and the like, as it is essentially the same but with a couple of different flairs to set it apart from the rest. You and a team of 4 other heroes/villains compete against another team of 5 in different locations to either defeat the enemy team or complete some goal placed on the map. Instead of having random characters with traits/powers they have instead opted to let you play as characters from the DC universe like Shazam, Superman, Joker, Darkside, Wonder Woman and so on. In addition to the ones you all know and love are several new heroes that you may not be aware of, like a radiation-infused Hal Jordan Green Lantern or a Batman that shoots people with a sonic gun instead of bat-hooks. Each character fits a specific archetype like damage dealer, support or healer that can better help the team depend on your own strengths. For example, you can use Superman to fly around and pummel enemies silly or the Lantern Knight to protect allies with buffs while debilitating the opponents.
Once you and your team of 5 have selected your character, you are then set on a map (currently 1 of 3 choices) where the goal may either be a capture-the-flag type of affair or destroying the enemy base. Either map you play on will be bursting with units to smash, hidden enemies to defeat for added bonuses, or enemy turrets to take down on your way to victory. Defeating minions gives you money that you may use to buy equipment to power up your character in addition to the experience you earn for each kill or assist. Each level you amass (1-19) grants you one skill point that you can use to either grant your character a new ability or power up a current ability that you already have, leading to five moves per character (1 passive ability, 4 more you learn through the match). The experience/money rate comes fairly frequently such that I never really hit the ‘I can’t do anything for a little while because I have no money for an upgrade nor enough experience for a level’ issue that I have in other MOBA’s. Likewise, another good feature is that when I have enough money to buy an item, I can buy it whenever I want to, instead of having to run to my home base to access some store.
Win or lose, after a match you and your team are each awarded experience points for your player level and character level, in addition to some in-game currency. These levels grant you amplifiers that increase your stats in matches like having more health or harder hitting super attacks.
Outside of battle, there is a chat feature that allows you to speak with both friends and random people online. There is also a store that you can use the in-game currency you’ve earned (or real world money) to purchase new characters or skins for current characters you own.
Bottom Line: This game was a lot of fun to play, but it is clear that it still has some work ahead of it if it wants to keep you from coming back to other more successful MOBA games. The combat is fun, fast and chaotic. It is much better than others that I have played mainly because Turbine made sure that since you are a super hero/villain, you feel like one. Even when I was outnumbered, I could still hold my ground. Battles last longer than just one or two seconds, even when surprised, and your character’s abilities can usually turn even the worst situation favorable if you are quick enough about it. Similarly, making it so that I can buy things from anywhere on the map means I can spend more time in the mix of battle, instead of running back and forth, which means more time actually playing. There are a decent number of characters to play as now (23) but just as in LoL, this will increase over time. If you want to get another character for keeps, you have to pay for it (and some of these prices are rather high). All in all, for a new free to play MOBA, this is definitely one you should check out, as it will only get better from here.
Next Review: Thief
Bonus Game Article:Daniel-Peter Adjetey’s One Sentence Game Reviews!
This Week’s Game: Kingdom Hearts 2.