Version tested: Xbox One
Also available on: PC
Developer: Hi-Rez Studios
Even Gods play the Tutorials.
Smite: Battleground of the Gods is a Mythology themed free to play MOBA developed by Hi-Rez Studios, first developed for PC and now entering closed Beta on Xbox One, soon to be the first F2P MOBA on the Xbox One platform. And it’s looking to stake its claim as king of the battleground.
Since launching in Europe and North America for the PC it has quickly established itself as one of the top games in the MOBA genre with 7 million players battling it out online.
Now I’m completely new to the genre but I’d recently been watching videos of Smite and jumped at the chance to get my hands on a Beta key when the opportunity arrived. I grabbed a cup of black coffee and dug in for the full God experience.
I’d always wondered what it felt like to be a God.
Well even Gods have to do tutorials.
First the controls, which are beautifully smooth and responsive at every push; RT(Right trigger) is your basic attack. If you hold it down it will automatically fire your God’s basic attack(every God has different advantages to their basic attack and aren’t all the same). Also whilst attacking your movement speed is decreased making you easier of a target, all playing a key part in this strategic MOBA.
X,A,B and Y are your abilities, Y being your ultimate. LT-X , LT-A use your stored active abilities whilst LT-B and LT-Y use your consumables.
The rest is up to you in heat of battle to decide on your winning combination. Always keep a close eye on your cool down times – no one wants to charge into battle later realizing all your major attacks are on a break leaving you to die a humiliating death.
Next up it covers the Ground targeter, which plays a key part in battle as it shows you where your attack is destined to go and the enemies affected by the mighty blow. Enemies within the ground targeter are likely to get hit and it is important to upgrade the ability that is most helpful to your role. All upgrades can be purchased in your fountain, another part of the strategy of Smite.
Both teams have a fountain, where you are safe from enemy attacks when inside the walls. This is also the key time to upgrade your arsenal, standing inside the fountain quickly restores health and mana, and additionally you can also fast travel back to the fountain by pressing down on the d-pad with a few seconds waiting time.
Lastly we come to the ‘Jungle’ and ‘Towers’ in the popular Conquest match type. The battleground is built up of three lanes some call the ‘Jungle’. In the jungle your visibility is reduced and can be heavily contested by minions. Along these lanes we have ‘Towers’ – towers are used to attack Gods and minions slowing down the progress of the fight. They can only be attacked by basic RT attacks and do heavy damage which increases with every shot, so it’s a safe bet to use you minions to soak up heavy fire and attack from distance till the tower is defeated.
Now I got completely absorbed into the Arena battle mode more than any game type I played, mainly down to the fact no one was playing like a team on Conquest. Our towers were easily over run with a constant prompt to surrender by my team members too embarrassed to take any more of a slaughtering.
That thought of playing with 5 close friends does really appeal to me as I love the competitiveness and camaraderie of team based games.
But not in Arena – Arena is for the champions. The Glorious and Powerful. Perfect for Thor. There I honed my skill set as an aggressive attacker, trapping people with my mighty hammer Mjolnir, using my ultimate move to cut off any retreating enemy leaving destruction in my wake. The true stand out of the 5 vs 5 mechanic. The sound of mythical warfare gloriously engaging as cries for help get drowned out by hammer blows and explosions.
I hunger for more battles and thankfully this will be a free to play MOBA available for anyone willing to download it. Just put the time into playing multiple characters and leveling up as you go along.
Also available is the Smite Founders Pack retailing at £23.99/$29.99. By downloading this now you’ll also gain entry into the Smite Closed Beta as well as 400 gems, access to all the Gods – 63 in total including any future Gods and two skin packs. No release date is detailed yet for the final product but the Founders pack won’t be available once the game has its full release so act quick.
That’s the beautiful thing about this game – it doesn’t feel like a beta. It runs smooth. I suffered no lag times, never got booted from games or poor match-ups making the game all round accessible fun from the start.
The replay-ability of this game is excellent as well. It deals in short addictive matches that last between 10-15 minutes which in all honesty feels like half that, and with 63 Gods in total and hundreds of skin packs to purchase, there’s always something new around the corner.
What it lacks in story is made up by the stories you create. Families fight. People fight. So why not have Gods fight in colossal stadiums and mythological battlegrounds? I sure as hell would if I could.