ZAM takes a look at the second map added to the DC Comics MOBA
In the DC Universe—pre-New 52 that is—Coast City was home to one of the most horrific outrages in Earth’s history. The entire city was destroyed, leading to the eventual corruption of virtuous Hal Jordan, causing him to become the monster Parallax—well, it turns out he was actually infected by…oh never mind.
Whatever the historic significance of Coast City in DC comics, the place has special significance in Infinite Crisis as it is the second map to be added to the game. I took part in a dev playthrough of the map with Cardell Kerr, Turbine’s creative director of the MOBA-in-tights.
For a quick overview of what to expect, watch the video below. It’s OK, I’ll wait.
After playing Coast City Construct it becomes immediately apparent that it is a jungler’s dream. The two single lanes are, of course, vital, but you can really change the course of the match running around the center of the map.
In addition to the pockets of mobs for you to destroy for gold and xp, there are three Power Relays which are of huge importance. Each side gets a Power Relay in the jungle near their own base after the first phase of the match then a third unlocks later in the game—this one situated at the crest of the map between both sides.
Taking the point is straightforward, just stand on the pad until the concentric circles fill in with your color—red or blue. As it is a new map, players are still figuring out the meta-game, but Cardell mentioned that the consensus among the community at the moment is to go with two junglers.
The logic of that approach became clear when I broke off from my lane—I was playing Cyborg—and my partner in crime playing Doomsday joined me in capturing the two Power Relays early. I took mine with no resistance then headed over to give Doomsday a hand in stomping into the ground an enemy Batman who had tried to stop him from capturing the opposition’s Power Relay.
With both locked, the Relays began upgrading our minions and the advantage was distinctly with us, even though our side had lost a couple of early deaths—for League of Legends fans, think of having the Inhibitors in the jungle.
Each time the Relays came up for grabs again, we made a bee-line for them and eventually, when it unlocked, I ignored the fights in lane and went to capture the third with no resistance—we had two of our champions in top lane, having pushed it hard early, it meant we had territorial advantage for access to the third Relay as it came online.
Though my KDA was a bit underwhelming, I captured six Power Relays and made a distinct contribution to the win—as outlined in the comprehensive stats breakdown at the end of the match.
Having two junglers also makes sense against the Doomsday Device. Sitting in the center of the map, the Doomsday Device becomes active after the game has progressed a while and is protected by a turret. At no point did my blast-happy Cyborg have the power or defense to take the turret down alone—he wasn't the ideal jungler—so having help when the device becomes active will be important.
If the Doomsday Device’s protective turret is destroyed it will release the firing control beacon, an object you can carry then unleash at the destination of your choice—if you can get it there. The blast from the Doomsday Device is enough to either take a turret down to half-health in one shot or wreak devastation on a group of enemies.
The catch is if you are defeated while carrying the device, it’s then up for grabs again on that part of the map, giving the possibility of an impromptu game of Rugby to break out as Batarangs and heat vision lance around the area.
Most likely because of the freshness of the map, there was little engagement with the Doomsday Device in the games I played. That will likely change dramatically as its importance becomes more widely understood and utilized by players.
The variety of objectives adds a lot of permutations to the tactical approach of each side. I can see some interesting variations on the meta coming out of Coast City when it becomes more widely available in beta—it was up this week briefly, from the 14th to the 16th.
Coast City is a fun addition that promises some variation on standard MOBA maps. It was also noticeable that Infinite Crisis’ gameplay feels much tighter and more responsive than my early play sessions, though at times some of the abilities need a little ramping up to make them feel more visceral and powerful.
For a game still firmly in the iterative stages of beta, Infinite Crisis is coming along nicely and looks to offer a different flavor to the MOBA scene, as exemplified by Coast City.
You can grab a preferred beta access key for Infinite Crisis right here and be sure to stay tuned to ZAM for more news, particularly as we await the arrival of a certain Man of Steel.
Scott "Jarimor" Hawkes, Editor in Chief
Follow me on Twitter @Jarimor