Infinite Crisis, the free-to-play DC Comics-based MOBA from Warner Bros. and Turbine, is on the verge of opening its doors to the public. After a nine-month closed beta, the game will begin its open beta on March 14, celebrating the launch with three new characters and a new map.
The Infinite Crisis open beta will toss in some more Multiverse chaos at DC Comics fans by welcoming Mecha Superman (from the Metal Men universe of Earth-44), Earth Prime's Green Arrow, and Aquaman to the playable roster. It will also feature a new Gotham Divided map, which is a merging of the modern Gotham City with the Gotham by Gaslight Gotham City that furthers the game's 'Crisis' motif. It also resembles more of a traditional MOBA map, featuring three lanes, as opposed to the two featured in Coast City or the control point-based Gotham Heights. Shacknews was given the opportunity to try the new map out.
I was pleased to find somewhat of a friendly learning curve to Infinite Crisis. While selecting Green Lantern may have implied an offensive juggernaut, I was able to switch out his power set in order to make him more of a support character. Among the powers I switched in were a healing field that utilized GL's power ring to recover allies' health and an attack that would siphon health from drones to me. While I wasn't going to be a killing machine, I was able to customize my hero so that I wouldn't need to be.
As the round progressed, I was spared the indignity of not knowing how to upgrade my character through a friendly "recommended" icon indicating which skills I should level up. The problem here was that I'd often find the icon placed in multiple areas, making it easy to lose track of which attacks or skills are being neglected.
As for the map itself, Gotham Divided takes advantage of destructible environments, such as cars, to help add to the traditional three-land map formula. As towers were destroyed, new paths would open up, offering opportunity for new strategies. I was on the wrong end of this strategy, as opposing team members would take advantage of a new path to surround my team on all sides and quickly dispose of us. Skilled teams will be able to exploit this design more handily as they get accustomed to the layout, which should fit into the learning curve for newcomers later down the line.
With Gotham Divided helping build up the Infinite Crisis narrative, DC Comics also announced that they would further push the game's story forward with new tie-in material. The weekly Infinite Crisis comic by Legion of Super-Heroes writer Dan Abnett (not to be confused with the 2005 DC event comic of the same name) will be released in May. DC Collectibles will also be creating a line of statues based on the game's characters, including Atomic Wonder Woman and Renaissance Batman, running from fall 2014 through 2015.
While it may not appeal to hardcore MOBA players that have already cemented themselves in the League of Legends of Dota 2 communities, Infinite Crisis's grasp of MOBA fundamentals and comic book fan service makes it feel like an acceptable alternative.
Infinite Crisis is set to continue on its pace of releasing one new costume each week and a new playable character every three weeks. The open beta will begin with 27 playable characters in total.