Developer: Hi-Rez Studios
Game stage: Open beta
Previewer: Oc LoG
Well hello ladies and gentlemen! Today Ill be previewing a game called Smite, which literally gives you the hand of a god! Currently this game is in late beta stage, meaning that this is a work in progress and this only a preview of what to expect right now
Smite is set to have a release in late 2013 And is aiming to be Free-to-play! However, how this game manages to separate itself from a lot of other Free-To-Play games is the way it handles micro transactions (All Free-To-Play games have them). In Smite paying with real money provides you with no actual benefits aside from visual customisable goodies, which is, in my (and a lot of other players) point of view a great thing to do! This makes the game fair for everyone, but is it really fair for everyone? Does Hi-Rez Studios manage to Make this game balanced for every player? Well, lets find out!
The (not so) massive online battle arena.
But, What is Smite? you might ask? Well, Smite is a game that combines all the goodness from other genres together, but it is mainly a MOBA (Massive online battle arena). Traditionally a MOBA game is viewed from the RTS perspective (think Warcraft, League of legends, Age of empires, and so on) but what Hi-Rez did, was make it a Third person angle, thus making it look a wee-bit more like World of Warcraft. The change of camera angle not only made this game stand out from other titles, it opened a door to a complete new MOBA experience! But lets hold on folks, not everyone reading this may know what exactly a MOBA is and what the basics are in this genre. Let me just cover up the basics of the masssssivveee (cough) online battle arena!
The traditional game type of this genre is a map with three lanes, a total of two towers and a super tower defending each lane, and a jungle in between those lanes. A total of 5 players start on each side And they get to choose a Type of character.
The usual types of character may vary from game to game but this is a basic list:
Support, Carry, Assassin, Bruiser, Mage.
Each type of character gives you a different kind of play style.
The goal of this game type is to Destroy all towers in a lane and to eventually destroy the main objective of the game.
Smite does a very good job of keeping the game varied, with a total of 7 (!) different gametypes with one being the match of the day (changing every 24 hours) You have plenty of things to do aside from the usual game type. The game types included currently are:
Joust 3v3, Joust 1v1, Assault 5v5, Conquest 5v5 (main gamemode), Domination 5v5, Arena 5v5 and also the changing game type.
On another note, Hi-Rez is currently working on implementing a 10v10 mode when the game is released.
Falling meteors and crushing waves
My heart is racing as the timer counts down, 3 2 1 Minions have spawned! Thousands of spectators are cheering as I run into the colosseum, knowing I would not get out alive. Wait, who am I kidding? I am freaking Hercules! I never die, I am a god! I rush out of my base to be crushed only moments later by a landslide of huge boulders and bodies of other unfortunate godlike gladiators. Turns out I joined the Big ballers game mode, which is a match of the day, and it places 5 Hercules god against another 5 hercules gods, and guess what? The signature move of this god is throwing a massive boulder, ouch!
My first impression of the game was rather upleasant, not because of the gameplay, nor because of poor game balancing, but purely by the fact that I ad never, ever, played a MOBA before. I had absolutely no clue what I was doing, and I tell you, the Skill level in this game is very high. New players/unexperienced PC gamers, beware! But dont give up! The game gets loads more fun when you understand it, so chin up boy, keep on playing!
Did I mention this game is about gods? Unlike other MOBA games Smite does not make up fictional characters, Hi-Rez takes gods from diverse pantheons and creates in-game playable characters from it. Currently Smite features a total of 40 playable gods from various pantheons including Chinese, Greek, Egyptian and many more. Every two weeks a new god is released.
Each god has a set of 4 unique skills ranging from healing abilities to escape abilities.
Hi-Rez studios tries their best to make skill sets for all their gods as varied as possible, which is in some cases understandeable, but this is sometimes not a good thing to do, Improvement of development over time creates a massive power creep, this means that older gods have skillsets that can not compare to newer released gods. When a God was considered good 5 months ago, the same God could be beyond useless by now because of the shifting game meta. The devs are trying to fixing this problem by re-releasing older Gods by giving them an updates skillset. However is this enough? Will they make the same mistakes again when they release new Gods 5 months from here? Or will they learn from the past? It is a Question only the future can answer.
Smite also implemented a God levelling system. When you play a god, you gain worshipers, if you reach a certain amount of worshippers you gain god ranks, awarding unlockables like gold skins for that certain God. Each god had 10 Ranks, the total of all ranks is added up to eachother and displayed next to your character.
My sword is bigger than yours!
When looking at the graphical side of Smite, it looks pretty amazing for a beta, especially with the recent changes they are making with updating the map and God artwork.
Textures look great and everything as a nice sharp look. However! Beware! low end PC users may not be able to run this game, even on lowest settings. It is not yet optimised for older/slower computers
The UI has a nice and clean look, it is polished into the finest details.
Recently the main screen of Smite received a major overhaul, revealing the art direction the devs are taking. I must say, I am impressed with the UI, but theres some little things that need to change, such as the responsiveness of the buttons, it all feels very slow.
However when talking about the game menu, Hi-Rez also implemented ranking systems, friend list, Clan creation and livestream to twitch from ingame! All you need to do is set up a twitch account and you are ready to go! No additional downloads needed.
League of legends?
Now, perhaps many of you might be thinking this sounds an awful lot like League of legends! Wrong! Do not compare these games to eachother, they may be games with the same genre, but it is a complete different thing. Some of you will prefer League, and some will prefer Smite. The main difference is Action, Action has been the main point of Smite. Things will be going on, theres a constant sense of danger when you play, and with the third person view, you do not know what is behind you!
League is more oriented to the hardcore player, while Smite is more a casual game. Now dont get me wrong, there are also a lot of hardcore players and 20K USD Tournaments on Smite, but the Community for it isnt that big. (perhaps it will grow in the future)
Good Versus Bad!
- Pretty balanced Gods
- Amazing artwork
- Community tools implemented
- Refreshing MOBA game
- A lot of content updates
- Only EU and US servers
- Slow main menu
- Beta bugs
The last words of a God
Smite is a Refreshing view on the classic MOBA genre. with has enough variation of Gods and game modes to keep you entertained for hours, Smite is a must try for all types of gamers whether you are a FPS fan or a MMO player.
However Smite has a High entry skill level, So it may not be suited for players not wanting to learn the basics of the genre. Smite is best played on A fast computer because it it not yet optimized for low end computers.
Current preview score: 8/10
Previewed by Oc LoG