Surprising, well, everyone, Warner Bros. came right out of the gates this week and announce Infinite Crisis, a free-to-play MOBA from Turbine. Releasing this fall, Infinite Crisis will capture one of the most memorable time periods in DC Comics history and feature a roster of... eclectic heroes and villains including Nightmare Batman, Wonder Woman and Doomsday.
Infinite Crisis isn't going to simply follow in the footsteps of giants like League of Legends and Dota 2, however. Turbine has years of online gaming savy and they're going to add their mark to the MOBA market or die trying. Features including environmental objects that can be used as weapons or create obstacles for enemies and map-altering events will be sure to give Infinite Crisis its own unique feel.
Also, a storyline. Turbine is working hand in hand with DC Comics to create an ongoing and evolving storyline -- though exactly what that means in terms of gameplay... who knows. With DC's 52 world multiverse, there's certain to be no lack of material for Turbine to have fun with. Just thinking about how Turbine has brought the Lord of the Rings to life in Lord of the Rings: Online is evidence enough there's huge potential here.
A large part of every MOBA is a unique and exciting roster, and Infinite Crisis is no slouch in this regard. Here's the list of currently announced "Champions":
- Nightmare Batman (Nightmare): Having succumbed to vampirism while hunting Dracula, Nightmare Batman’s unnatural speed and strength make him one of the most formidable and terrifying assassins in the Multiverse.
- Doomsday (Prime): Repeatedly slaughtered and revived by a twisted scientist's experiment to create a weapon capable of killing whole worlds, Doomsday is a living weapon of adaptable mass destruction.
- Flash (Prime): Beloved by the people of Central City and gifted with a brilliant mind, the Flash uses super speed to dash from threat to threat.
- Gaslight Batman (Gaslight): Living in the Age of Invention, Gaslight Batman uses his amazing sonic weapons to strike from the shadows in his never ending war on crime.
- Gaslight Catwoman (Gaslight): Skirting the edge of Gotham's snobbish Victorian society, Gaslight Catwoman uses her assassin training and razor sharp claws to protect the weak by tearing apart the corrupt.
- Gaslight Joker (Gaslight): The prosperous Age of Invention's most infamous serial killer, Gaslight Joker butchers his opponents with bloody cleaver and swarms of starving rats.
- Green Lantern (Prime): The first human to join the interstellar peacekeeping Green Lantern Corps, Hal Jordan serves and protects Sector 2814 by using his indomitable will to control his alien power ring.
- Poison Ivy (Prime): Infused with plant toxins in a dangerous biomedical experiment, Poison Ivy exerts surprising control over plants to dominate the battlefield from afar.
- Shazam (Prime): Gifted with the strength of ancient gods, Shazam wields amazing magical power to defend the weak.
- Joker (Prime): A homicidal maniac who terrifies even Gotham's worst criminals, the Joker cavorts into fights blasting opponents with explosive dolls and boxing glove-adorned RPGs.
- Wonder Woman (Prime): Born of Zeus and Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons, Wonder Woman protects those in need with sword and shield.
- Zatanna (Prime): A stage magician with impressive magical powers, Zatanna makes intelligent use of spells to help allies or fight opponents in her crusade against mystic threats.
A majority of the roster, as you can tell, comes from the Prime universe, thought both Gaslight and Nightmare are represented. It's likely that this is because the champions, as they're announced, will come as much more of a surprise. Hype, hype, hype! There awesome odd omissions from the announced roster, too. A screenshot showing off Prime Batman is on the site, yet he remains unlisted. Oh yes, three Batmans... and potential more coming.
Infinite Crisis immediately lands on my list of anticipated games of 2013. Turbine is an amazing developer and while going up against League of Legends and Dota 2 is daunting, with the brand and power of DC comics behind them ... there's just so much potential here. Hopefully they really dig to the back of the closet and make some really exciting champions to play.