With League of Legends and Dota‘s success there seems to have been a massive increase in the number of MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games) being released. Sadly nearly all of them feel like clones and personally I did enjoy these MOBAs, such as DC fan-pleaser Infinite Crisis, at first but after a few dozen matches I got tired of them, sick even.
One of those: ‘you tried one, you tried them all’ themes was developing. Thankfully a game that lets you ‘Smite‘ your foes in deity-combat has appeared and changed this.
Most new MOBAs are OK but not special
That isn’t to say that some MOBAs haven’t tried to change the typical approach to the formula (thank God); for example: Prime World’s approach to classic MOBA gaming combined with resource gathering through castle building was refreshing, or even the less-famous Airmech’s unique lack of tower defenses or lanes – that opted to instead base gameplay on unit defense and action shooting .
All the aforementioned games are adequate examples to prove that the gaming industry isn’t simply recycling the same ol’ MOBA recipe to slowly kill our taste-buds as we may have first thought but personally none have felt as addictive in the MOBA industry as Smite.
It isn’t because Smite has replaced lane roles, minions or towers; it uses the same logic as League of Legend or Dota but it does it in such a creative way that players will not even notice they have the same objective as other MOBAs – and even if they did, they wouldn’t care.
Smite is a free-to-play game that earns its keep through their real-money purchases (called the Gem currency) for skins, voice packs, icons and early God purchases (which can otherwise be earned through playing games and earning the free Favor currency) there is never a feeling that you have to spend real money and you can play equally with the professionals without spending a dime.
The theme they run on are mythological Gods from all world cultures such as the mighty God of gods – Zeus, the Egyptian god Ra or lesser known Gods such as Ah Muzen Cab the god of bees.
This already gives it a potentially huge character pool that can make people go: ‘ahhh I heard of this guy’ on each scroll of the mouse and tempt them to brush up on their mythology.
Why Smite is so special
They’ve updated the game throughout Beta and the changes have been massive, they clearly seem to care. From becoming visually okay a few months ago to now becoming a visual delight.
They have a fairly good balance between Gods that they are always working on improving while at the same time adding new Gods to the mix but the key component in Smite’s awesomeness is the simple Third-person perspective which, at first, may not seem like a game-changing feature for a classic game of conquest but it honestly is.
By making it WSAD movement based it becomes a match of skills, accuracy, reactions, map prediction and tactic rather then simply tactic and map awareness like most MOBAs. Players feel far more emotionally invested in a fight on Smite compared to games like Dota that can make you feel like an emotionless god from above controlling a replaceable minion; which is ironic considering Smite is a god-based game.
Another weakness that other Mobas have but Smite is trying to avoid is variety. There are several game modes such as Conquest (the same as LoL or Dota), Joust and Assault which are smaller versions of conquest with different rules and Arena which is a 5v5 put-up-your-dukes Colosseum, perfect for those that prefer more action in their game. There is also a special match selection that changes each day and can vary from strictly a mage-only arena brawl to a match of Domination which is similar to Capture the Flag in shooters such as Call of Duty but instead of standing by boring flags to capture them – you beat up giants and enslave them.
During the opening tournament they also hinted at another game mode that will be a hybrid of conquest and arena (relating to siege towers) and as usual announced a new God coming soon. Smite is doing very well in the variety department and do not seem to be done adding yet.
It has just come out of Beta two weeks ago and has already held a tournament with a prize pool of around $200,000.
If, like me, you had started losing interest in the MOBA gaming overload that has surged these past two years; Smite guarantees to restore your faith once more.