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GDC 2013: When universes collide in Infinite Crisis

Posted by: Mike at 3/27/2013 10:05 PM
I killed Batman today; over and over and over again.
 
In Infinite Crisis, Turbine’s recently announced MOBA game, several versions of classic DC characters are thrown into the ring to battle over objectives and kill anyone standing in their way.
 
Each character has his or her basic outfit, but also alternate forms like Steampunk Batman or Nightmare Batman. The disparate versions of each character aren’t just cosmetic, though. Each one has a completely different skill set. Whereas Steampunk Batman uses his gadgets for ranged attacks, Nightmare Batman thrashes his opponents in direct melee combat.
 
This amalgamation of different universes is a result of the eponymous infinite crisis, an event that brought different realities together in a massive collision of time and space.
 
I opt to play as Steampunk Catwoman, someone creative director Cardell Kerr promises is ideal for players who prefer assassins in other MOBAs. His promise rings true.
 
After spending starting currency and experience prior to the battle, I set out under a cloak of invisibility, masking myself on both the opponents’ screens and their maps. Seconds later, I notice an enemy Green Lantern trying to take one of the relegated areas that decreases our point total, leading us toward defeat. With a quick dashing and slashing maneuver and a few follow-up strikes, I save the day.
 
And then a meteor fell on top of me.
 
Infinite Crisis has destructible environments, something that seemed necessary given the super heroic nature of the fighters, Kerr said. This means tank characters like Doomsday can affect the world around them by throwing cars or using powers around certain objects.
 
The meteor that’s just flattened Catwoman is one such example of how the environment affects matches. The other team activated special beacons that drop a meteor directly on top of our base, severely halting any progress we thought we were making.
 
Turbine says this is an attempt to deviate form MOBA norms, but also a chance to impart an epic sense of scale. My Catwoman doesn’t affect her surroundings given her precise approach, but with Wonder Women and Supermen toppling street lights and blowing craters in the pavement all around me, it really feels like a superhero brawl.
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