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Infinite Crisis Beta Preview

If you’re like me, you probably grew up wanting to be your favorite superhero. Maybe you wanted to pretend you could fly in the air and use super strength to fight bad guys like Superman or perhaps use cool gadgets like Batman. But maybe superheroes are not your thing and you wanted to be the villain in the likes of Joker or Doomsday. Then Infinite Crisis is the game for you.

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Brought to you by DC Comics, Warner Bros. and Turbine Inc., Infinite Crisis is the newest offering to the world of Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) with games such Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) and League of Legends (LoL). While there are other popular choices out there, this game brings to the table to ability to be able to play some of histories finest heroes from the DC Multiverse.

The game is currently on closed beta so you’ll need to go to the website at http://www.infinitecrisis.com and sign up and wait for them to confirm your application. Once in, you will need to download the game itself which mind you is a bit big as the client installer is around 132MB and another 1GB of patching.

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To Start Things of

Now as a big DC fan myself, I was quite keen to find out the available characters that you can choose from. Unlike DC Universe Online which is DC’s offering to the MMORPG genre, Infinite Crisis lets you get to play your favorite DC characters rather than creating your own superhero or villain. Personally, who wants to create a your own superhero or villain when you can BE the superhero or villain. There is a wide range of characters to choose from now, although I would have to say it’s still a bit limited compared to fan favorites like LoL.

There are currently 22 available characters with new ones being added as the game continues to update. While you have fan favorites such as Batman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman there is a notable lack of Superman from the available roster. Sorry folks, as of this writing, there aren’t any Kryptonian heroes at the moment so this was a mild disappointment on my part. It begs the question, “DC how can you not have Superman as one of the starting heroes?”

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The Various Versions

However, since this game is based on the DC Multiverse, there are several versions of some of our favorite characters or villains. Joker is of course one of the villains you can choose from as your champion in the game. Joker here is pretty much a power play person as he doesn’t have a high attack or health value but does have a very strong Power value. Alternatively, you can choose Gaslight Joker which is more of a tank character as he does have a pretty high health value so it can really take a couple of hits before going down.

Green Lantern is also a very interesting choice for a character as he has 3 versions: the Classic, Atomic and Arcane Green Lantern. All three have different roles and could really work depending on the type of gameplay you want. If you want to be more of a support tank type role you can go with Arcane Green Lantern with his huge health or maybe a Bruiser is more your thing so you can go with Atomic Green Lantern. But maybe you want to use the classic ranged shoot-em-up champion, then go with the Classic Green Lantern.

There are multiple versions of Batman, Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy and Catwoman as well to name a few of the choices available. I do earnestly hope that they bring in more characters soon (especially Superman!) to make this a more enjoyable DC experience.

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The Rundown

Graphics on this game is pretty good. The design for the maps and the champions look a bit more mature and darker and less cartoony than its other popular counterparts like LoL or DOTA. Since the game is fairly new, the game is also visually stunning and looks pretty good even in High Definition. The details on the map are beautiful and the characters are nicely drawn and fit well in the game. What I like is that from the concept art to the actual game, the art and graphics create that whole feel of being in the DC Universe.

There are currently two maps in the game that carry that whole DC Universe feel as well. Hopefully, the game designers decide to put more familiar locations in game like Bludhaven (and maybe throw in Nightwing as well, hehe). Though one cannot help but draw some comparisons with League of Legends due to some similarities in design. One of the maps in the game, Gotham Heights, looks a lot like the Dominion map in League of Legends.

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I do have to advise anyone who starts playing the game for the first time that one might have to change settings of your DirectX drivers from Dx11 to Dx9 or Dx10 as you might experience a black screen and nothing else. A search in the forums revealed that this was an ongoing issue and so far tech support has not provided any real solution to this issue other than changing the settings of the DirectX drivers. This may prove to be a hassle for some and may even be a turn off to some casual gamers.

The musical score for the game is superb and just like the art and the graphics it really gives the whole DC feel. In fact, I feel like it’s an intro music to a Justice League show and could possibly even be used for a live TV series or movie series. The soundtrack and the game’s ingame background effects add to a more immersive gaming experience which neither sounds redundant or annoying. I would certainly keep the volume up to hear every little thing.

The Game

Since the game is still in closed beta there are many functions that are not yet enabled in the game although it is already visible in its game interface. Now if you want to start a game, first you just need to click on “Play Game” button. This will bring you to the next screen where you get to select the map that you wish to participate. As mentioned, there are currently 2 maps available. Once you select the map, you have the option to do a solo game or a group game if you are playing with friends. Once you make a selection, the game will find other players and then you will then be brought to the character select screen.

Infinite Crisis follows typical MOBA fashion where games are composed of 2 teams, with 5 members each. On the character select screen you will be able to select what character you want to use from the available list. This game does not discriminate between heroes and villains, so you can have a team with a mix of both. Though, honestly I would like a team that is only composed of just heroes or just villains so it’s inline with your DC storyline.

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As you decide on the character that you want to use, you can see what skills and abilities they have and what they are suited for such as if they’re melee type or ranged characters and if they’re more as healer or bruiser type of characters. You also get to see what characters your team mates will choose but you will not be able to see the enemy’s team until everyone has selected. I like the UI for this game as it is presented fairly simple enough and you can get into a game right away.

Once everyone has selected a character you will then be able to see who you are up against. As there are few champions to choose from at the moment, you will probably encounter multiples of the same champion in your enemy’s team composition.

The map that you play in is very interactive. When you use powers and abilities ingame, it has a direct effect on the world that you move around in. As you use your skills, you will see streets showing damage and cracks or you would even see things like cars and other vehicles blowing up as you continue in your match. Each champion that you use will have their unique set of powers and abilities that are either used for attack or utilities for the team. The game relies heavily on team work and being able to synergize on the field map to achieve the best results in gameplay.

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What I like in the gameplay, is that it is refreshing and does not simply rely on destroying the enemy base. While this is still the main objective in the game, like any MOBA game for that matter, the game is different in the way how you can achieve this. Like in the Gotham Heights map, there is a set of control points and devices that will help you achieve this end. Throughout the map as well there are many power ups such as speed boosts and health packs to help you chase after enemies or run away. The urban jungle (which is the area in the middle of the map) is usually devoid of any creatures but is a good waypoint to get a jump on enemy champions. The middle of the map typically has a device that will either wreak havoc at enemy bases or put additional pressure on the enemy team which can ultimately win the game.

Final Thoughts

The game is still in closed beta and it seems to still have a lot of things that have yet to be implemented. But as it is, it is already a pretty good game that combines the elements of a good MOBA game. It may not necessarily become as popular as DOTA 2 or LoL but it definitely has its own unique charm. Personally, one of its biggest draw is in being able to recreate the DC Multiverse and be able to play your beloved DC characters. I just wish they can fix that graphical problem soon and update their tech support to answer any ingame related issues encountered. This is definitely a game to look out for and sign up and I am expecting big things once the game fully launches. Unfortunately, no exact date for the launch has been provided as of yet.