The MOBA scene is rapidly becoming as crowded as the fighting game scene, and with upcoming releases like Dawngate and Core Masters, things are only going to get worse. With so many MOBAs out there vying for your attention, how do you know which one to play? There really isn’t enough time to try them all, but luckily for you, I can give you a bit of insight into the differences between some of the more popular MOBAs. In this particular article, I’ll be comparing and contrasting the current MOBA King, League of Legends, with the upcoming DC Comics MOBA, Infinite Crisis. I’ll pay particular attention to performance, playability, and community in order to give you the best possible idea of which MOBA title is better for you. So without further ado, here are the differences between League of Legends and Infinite Crisis.
A crucial part of any free to play game is making sure it performs well on nearly any computer, but also that it doesn’t look like absolute garbage. This is the primary reason that games like Star Wars: The Old Republic and even World of Warcraft have such a cartoony look when they could feature much more sophisticated visuals. For any MMO, particularly free-to-play titles, developers want to reach the widest audience possible. Oftentimes, this includes players who have very basic computers with low processing power and integrated graphics cards. Developers can’t afford to alienate these players by making the system requirements for their games too great, so they create visuals that look good without requiring too much rendering of detail. League of Legends features a very cartoonish style, but it still looks good, and even lends itself to the fantastic universe in which the game is set. Contrasted with this cartoony style is Infinite Crisis, which still renders simple visuals, but pays a bit more homage to the comic book roots of the characters. The visuals are slightly grittier, and everything is a bit darker. Where League of Legends features bright, lush landscapes in Summoner’s Rift, whereas the environments in Infinite Crisis are usually darkened city streets with rubble and debris scattered throughout. Beyond the environments, the characters and their abilities are much flashier in Infinite Crisis, requiring a bit more processing power and a stronger graphics card to view the game in its highest settings. However, if your computer is capable of running at max settings, Infinite Crisis will have a more epic feel, particularly when a Doomsday device drops right on your entire team. Ultimately, both games perform well, but Infinite Crisis has a much more sophisticated, mature ambiance to it. If you’re too “hardcore” for League’s childish graphics and silly yordles, you might be interested in giving Infinite Crisis a try. These heavier visuals of course come with a price on your computer’s specs, though, so if you don’t have a strong graphics card and want the most bang for your buck in terms of visuals, stick with League of Legends.
League of Legends: 7/10
Infinite Crisis: 9/10
One of the biggest problems that MOBAs have is there significant barrier to entry for high-level play. The sheer amount of raw data in any given MOBA requires hours of investment to get down, and to become proficient, all of the data must be assimilated. Currently, League of Legends has 115 champions, each with four abilities and a passive. That’s a total of 575 abilities that you have to learn in order to compete at any reasonable level of play. Otherwise the enemy team is just going to lock in Shaco and complete roll you over as you wonder where he is and how he’s doing so much damage. In addition to these 575 abilities, there are almost 200 items that players must learn the function of, and it certainly helps to know what each item builds into so that you can tell what late-game items your opponents are likely building up to. Tack on learning buff timers, team comps, and cooldowns, and the amount of things players must learn before they even think about mechanics like positioning and csing is astronomical. With new champions releasing every month and balance patches as well, the longer players wait to pick up League of Legends, the farther behind this data train they will fall. This can be extremely daunting to new players and even veterans who are seeking to take their game to the next level, however, once you get the data down, there’s not much else to concern yourself with. As long as you keep yourself up-to-date with the patch notes, you can stay relevant, and with the frequency of tournaments thanks to Riot Games’ League of Legends Championship Series, players can almost always know what the strongest champions and builds are in a current patch. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have Infinite Crisis. The game is still in beta, so there isn’t nearly as much raw data to assimilate. The game currently features less than 20 champions, though there’s still a healthy amount of items to learn. However, Infinite Crisis introduces many external elements that League of Legends does not feature, such as Doomsday devices and the ability to throw objects such as cars from the environment. In any given Infinite Crisis game, there will be more to keep track of than in a League of Legends game, all other things being equal. If you’re new to MOBAs, picking up League of Legends may be an extremely daunting task, but if you dedicate yourself to learning everything, League of Legends is actually much easier to play than Infinite Crisis. If you’d rather jump in and peak out quickly, or if hectic, fast-paced gameplay is more your forte, you should definitely wait for Infinite Crisis to launch.
League of Legends: 8/10
Infinite Crisis: 7/10
I shouldn’t need to say much here. League of Legends is notorious for how toxic its community is. Out of ten games, you will likely have at least four miserable experiences with other players being angry or violent. It’s unfortunate, but it’s a byproduct of how accessible the game and its highest level of play is. Anyone can download and play League of Legends, and anyone can watch a pro stream every night. Unfortunately, this leads many people to think they themselves are worthy of being pros, and they simply blame their teams inadequacies for holding them back. People feel that everyone should be an expert at the game and are thus extremely unforgiving of honest mistakes. I once said I would be practicing my Aatrox jungle in a normal game (unranked), and someone told me “omfg bot games are for practice. Don’t play normals noob.” I calmly responded that bot games don’t give good jungling experience, since the bots don’t run from ganks and there is no enemy bot jungler to counter-jungle or play against. He then locked in jungle before me and said “taking jungle so this scrub doesn’t troll us.” This is a depressingly common type of experience, simply because everyone thinks they’re better than everyone else in League of Legends. Infinite Crisis is currently in Beta, so few people know everything there is to know, and most people are willing to acknowledge it. They’re much more forgiving of mistakes or poor item builds than League of Legends players would be. This is subject to change once the game comes out of beta, as more players may flock to the game and corrupt it with their Dunning-Kruger mentalities, but I find it unlikely. People have invested so much time in League of Legends that it’s unlikely they’d swap to a different MOBA if they didn’t want to try their absolute best. Furthermore, Infinite Crisis’ more mature graphics style could attract a more mature demographic that will be less unreasonable, as well as the DC universe attracting players who aren’t interested in trying super hard, but are rather just happy to get to play as their favorite comic book characters. Of course this is all speculation, but something in my gut tells me that Infinite Crisis will not have nearly as poor of a community as League of Legends in terms of gameplay. However, this lesser community will likely be true of informative websites and streaming personalities. There will be less information on the internet for people to read through and learn, and less streams for players to watch and talk about in twitch chat and sub-reddits. This lack of community may hurt Infinite Crisis in the long run, as people will simply stop playing because there isn’t enough competition or interest. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until a few months after Infinite Crisis releases to know for sure.
League of Legends: 6/10
Infinite Crisis: 8/10
It’s difficult to quantify many of the things that make League of Legends so great. Much of it has to do with how involved the developers, Riot Games, are with their product. From hosting tournaments to being active in forums and subreddits to streaming the game themselves, Rioters are constantly around and reachable. They really care about the game and its players, and they want to make League of Legends the best it can be. Infinite Crisis doesn’t seem to have quite that much support behind the scenes, but that doesn’t detract from the game itself, which is easily one of the best MOBAs I’ve ever played, if not the best. I believe that Infinite Crisis is actually the better game, but that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone should play it in favor of League of Legends. The two games reach very different demographics, and ultimate it’s a matter of preference which one you as a player should be playing. Infinite Crisis is more mature, more complex, but the simplicity of League of Legends isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There’s something to be said for a game that’s easy to learn but difficult to master, and a game doesn’t have to be a visual powerhouse of intricate gameplay to be good. For example, I think Dragon Age: Origins is a vastly superior game to The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, but I’m sure many would disagree. Dragon Age appeals to me because of its mature themes and visual style, but plenty of people love the simple, cartoony look of Zelda, and they enjoy the simple gameplay because it reminds them of a simpler time; it brings them back to their childhood and helps them capture something that they would otherwise lose. I hope these comparisons have shed a bit of light on the differences between these two games and helped you figure out which one is best for you. The easiest way I can describe it is this: if you have a lower budget computer or you’re looking for a simpler gameplay experience, download League of Legends; if your computer has some extra power in its corner or you prefer darker, more mature games, then Infinite Crisis is right for you.