Infinite Crisis Review

Just us league.

Unlike the superheroes of comic books, Infinite Crisis makes no effort to hide its true identity. It is, through and through, a clear play for the lucrative MOBA market featuring familiar DC Universe characters as playable champions. While no one can fault Warner Brothers for wanting its franchise to be represented among the ever-growing population of MOBAs, you might have expected to see more effort to mask the face of gameplay we've seen regurgitated over the past few years.

Infinite Crisis follows a formula similar to most of the DotA and League of Legends knock-offs that have sprung up over the years. Each team has a nexus--er, power core--connected by lanes to the enemy’s power core. Those lanes have towers that need to be destroyed so you can reach the enemy’s core. Your champion starts out at level one and levels up by defeating wave after wave of minions--er, drones--and unlocking access to more powerful abilities and items that will help you combat the enemy champions.

Attempting to kill the Raider alone may attract enemy heroes.
Attempting to kill the Raider alone may attract enemy heroes.

If you only play the standard maps in DotA and League of Legends, you will find Infinite Crisis' default map a bit different from what you’re familiar with due to the objectives beyond defeating towers and neutral monsters. At a certain point, power relays unlock that players capture by standing on them. Controlling two of the three relays enables stronger drones for your top lane, while controlling all three powers the drones in both lanes. The inhibitor/rax interaction of other games is completely absent in lieu of this territorial control element. The extra level of strategy involved in controlling the relays greatly affects gameplay: Getting your teammates to help you force away the lone enemy jungler trying to capture his own territory can mean a huge swing in power early on in the game and catalyze a wave of momentum leading to victory.

Although the majority of combat is intended to take place in the lanes, I found myself to be much more effective in the game's poorly-tuned Urban Jungle, where it is far too easy to get massive leads in credits (gold) over other players. It isn't clear at the outset, but the two camps near the center of the Coast City yield far more experience and credits without much more risk--controlling those two camps alone can slingshot you ahead of allies and enemies alike that stick to farming the lanes instead. As long as the game isn't particularly bloody, your jungler can find herself thousands of credits ahead of everyone else in the game, even without interacting with other players. This discrepancy in the expected balance sticks out like a sore thumb, and in my own play time, I was able to abuse that feature to drastic effect.

Need a break from lane? Take down the Urban Jungle!
Need a break from lane? Take down the Urban Jungle!

Infinite Crisis does have its own carbon copy of the DotA/LoL map along with a few others, but matchmaking queues for all of these are disabled due to population concerns, thus ensuring that everyone is funneled into the Coast City queue for fast matchmaking times. If you wish to play the other variants, you must have friends willing to join you in the custom lobbies. The queues for these maps could return in the near future if the game's population rises again, but in the interim, it's frustrating to see player choice diminished by players abandoning the DC Multiverse.

Champion design in Infinite Crisis is overtly familiar, with some skills being almost direct ports of their League of Legends counterparts, though no kit feels like a direct rip-off. The game does a good job of making each champion’s skill set make sense for that superhero--even the alternate universe versions of those heroes. The Flash is overloaded with mobility, as one would expect from the Fastest Man Alive. Green Lantern comes with massive magical nuke powers thanks to his ring. The Joker's play style can be summarized with the word "trickster." IC even brings out Superman's trusty canine, Krypto, whose entire gameplay kit revolves around him fetching a bone to empower his support abilities. Infinite Crisis also enlists the alternate Earths of Arcane, Atomic, Gaslight, Mecha, and Nightmare for champion designs. Gaslight's steampunkish designs and Nightmare's monsters both managed to output my favorite characters.

Checkboxes help to sort the shop for faster navigation.
Checkboxes help to sort the shop for faster navigation.

Infinite Crisis' main problem is that it lacks snappiness. It's hard to get a good grasp on just how much damage you're going to do, even after practice with certain champions. Playing Gaslight Catwoman, I only knew my assassination attempts would succeed if I engaged with someone low on health or massively overextended. If the target were at full health, it was a coin toss whether I would get the kill I was going for. This problem is exacerbated by underwhelming visual effects that don't deliver the justice one would expect from a clash between superheroes. Apart from a few exceptions, such as the Green Lantern incarnations' ring manifestations, the game's spell effects don't pop from the screen and encourage engagement in combat. The visuals fail to evoke excitement; Much like the drone minions, interacting with Infinite Crisis feels robotic and mechanical, turning the combat into the game’s biggest drone.

Another setback is the user interface. The main menu features an imbalanced presentation of relevant information versus auxiliary information. Achievement progress takes up nearly a quarter of the screen, while the game's shop, where players can unlock champions, skins, and stolen powers, is tucked away in the right-hand corner. Once in-game, the item shop is no easier to manage. Granted, the recommended item builds are easy to use (the game includes a button to auto-buy the next recommended item any time you can afford it and are near the shop), but the full list of items is displayed as icons, with no names showing unless you hover over the icons. You can sort items by what stats they give, but hunting down a specific item's passive effect gets tedious and slows down your gameplay. Learning how to use the item shop made me feel like I was memorizing vocabulary for third grade all over again, and it wasn't a pleasant experience.

Controlling power relays can turn the tide of battle.
Controlling power relays can turn the tide of battle.

By design, items also have their own problems; because Infinite Crisis doesn’t include any component items and each item must be upgraded from its base form to its final form to unlock its passive effect, changing your item builds midgame to accommodate your team's needs or adjust for any new situations is much less efficient than it is in similar games. Items don’t have branching upgrade paths, so once you've started an item, you're stuck with that path unless you sell it or start a new item.

The game is friendlier for newer players than some of its in-genre siblings, however. While League of Legends keeps rune slots locked until certain account levels, Infinite Crisis gives characters completed Augment/Mod kits they can use even at level 1. Players can purchase augments and mods to customize a character to their liking, but no player is at an outright disadvantage simply for being at a lower level. In this sense, Infinite Crisis improves upon existing MOBA conventions. Unfortunately, the game otherwise lacks the Old English finish it so sorely needed; Where's Alfred when you need him?

The Good

  • Familiar cast of franchise characters anyone can relate to
  • Innovations made to common MOBA mechanics are improvements
  • Shorter match durations compared to other games in the genre

The Bad

  • Only one game mode available for matchmaking
  • Nebulous UI is difficult to navigate and decipher
  • Certain game elements are massively imbalanced

About the Author

Tyler Hicks could be labeled a MOBA connoisseur if such a thing existed, he has tasted and sampled a full array of the DotA-cloned games. For the purposes of this review, he reached account level 12 and dominated several Coast City games from the Urban Jungle.
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XxAcceptanceXx

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another worthless "PC exclusive" lol the platform should just die so the talent can focus on rela gamers!!

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dylandr

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@xxacceptancexx: yeah because this was the only PC exclusive

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theji

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"Some skills being almost direct ports of their League of Legends counterparts"

Implying League of legends skills arent direct ports of their Dota counterparts

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BlindmanNL

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@theji: I don't think they're implying that. League of Legends is just a better known title amongst most GS users.

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andmcq

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"Just us league"


Zing!!

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MonkeyFritz

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This review reads more like a criticism of the entire genre than an individual clone. lol


I kind of enjoyed it, first time I actually cared about the lore and characters not being "generic hero #84 from some place we just made up a week ago." But in the end, it's still a moba and loses all appeal after the fifth or sixth repetitive match.


I should add that it actually has a decent tutorial, much better than most. The only one I know of that might be better is prime world, which has kind of a mini single player campaign.

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Aval0ner

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I am quite enjoying this game which has improved considerably since beta. Its much more accessible than DOTA2 and overall more fun than HotS.

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jok3rxfear

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@Aval0ner: You sir are an idiot. Change your name from Aval0ner to Anal0ver. Stupid fagg0t.

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nomadie

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Guess people are too stuck on League/Dota 2 to notice a good Moba when it comes, this game is pretty great compared to the others out there at least it does things more differently and it does them well. Also Only one game mode available for matchmaking? Guess the one who wrote this didn't play more than one game being there is more than one mode lol.

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Geminel

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Just once I would like to see a review say "Yes, this is a MOBA. LoL and Dota are also MOBAs, so there will be similarities"


...And then just fucking leave it at that!! It's a genre! There are going to be similarities! Are we still calling every first-person-shooter a Doom clone? NO!!!


Shit like "nexus--er, power core--", "similar to most of the DotA and League of Legends knock-offs", "minions--er, drones--", are needless jabs at the game that judge it purely on its place in the market and not on the actual quality of the actual fucking game.

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tommynj

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The MOBA genre doesn't need to be saved. Not sure where the author is getting his information from. Seems like people just love to make up stuff just to prove their points.

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Dcyple3000

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I played this game for in beta for a few days. and immediately knew what this game lacked. it has way too many items to purchase from the shop and know tutorial on learning this items and what they do. also the over the top camera make the games boring when they should be exciting considering they are using really known characters. To solve this is to go back to beta and go 3rd person like Smite and Gigantic for a more action oriented gameplay and give players the feeling of being these great characters. A Arena mode with help in player testing and the community is pretty much dead after all they do is put out new skins/heroes with really no in game way to get them and no balancing. Maybe after a few updates ill try it again, but i don't think that it will last that long. To bad its a great idea tho just bad execution.

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Hippystank

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I tried this game, it was infested with ultra trolls that made it so unbearable to try to get into the game it was practically an instant uninstall.

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CleeverGreen

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You should in The Bad that the game is currently populated mostly by young tr0lls.

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rasdel

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This game had GREAT potencial, but it was doomed from the start. DC universe is huge, they could have abused that to literaly have thousands of characters implemented and a fresh feel all together. The main problems I see:


Each champion should have been a specific character and then releasing SKINS for every "alternative earth", i know Nightmate Batman is not tecnically human, but still... i think it would have been a better use of the universe and in that way they could have add more "obscure" champions, abusing completely new mechanics for every character. Have "transformer" versions of some character leaves out the posibility of using "Lex in armor" for example or Metallo, the universe is big enough why not abuse that.


The other main problem i see is the idea behind the combat itself... it makes no sense that Superman stands as a "strenght/might" champions an so does Batman... for me the best Batman implementation would have been a "Nidalee" clone, meaning it uses gadgets first to weaken the oponent (Nid's human form with spear and traps) and then goes for the kill with martial arts (Nid's cougar form with melee attacks and skills), this would have made Batman closer to it's concept. Leave the "strenght/power" attribute to the "super strength" characters that normally are more straight forward and look for alternative mechanics for other champions.


Great POTENTIAL but it turns out as "just another MOBA", a good one still, but it could have been great... at it's actual state there are better alternatives... just my 2 cents.


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skipper847

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It needs a name change. it got the title Crisis in it and infinite. I thought this was something to do with bioshock and crisis. :P

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EarthFrog

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I guess its hard to review games like this, this person obviously played in low level pubs without good understanding of the game and tried to review it.

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advocacy

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Bring back Gotham Heights! That map was so much fan, back in the beta.

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Fartman7998

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Tried it in the beta phase, was not impressed.

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EarthFrog

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@Fartman7998: Its a lot better after beta, they improved a lot :)

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BatchofNumbers

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I have no clue why they literally only have the worst game mode available

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B0NES96

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@batchofnumbers: Because it's the most popular?

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CalDavey

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the beta was better, too many afterthoughts packed in the final

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dellis66

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quality review :)

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Infinite Crisis

First Released Dec 31, 2014
released
  • PC

Infinite Crisis is a multiplayer online battle arena game where a sudden assault threatens the DC multiverse. All realities stand on the brink of annihilation, and the last hope for Earth lies in the powers of the DC legends.

6
Fair

Average Rating

16 Rating(s)

7.3
Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
Teen
Blood, Violence