Smite is a 3rd person action MOBA, pitting Greek, Asain, and Hindu gods against one another in a small arena. It has some of the usual tropes we’ve seen in almost any MOBA in recent years, but with a few unique touches. So far in the PS4 Alpha, some of them seem to work, others not so much.
Hi-Rez Studios first announced the game will be headed to PS4 just a couple of weeks ago, expanding their already massive player base on both PC and XBOX One. Smite: Battleground of the Gods has over 14-million players online and with the free-to-play model coming to a huge user-base on PS4, that is sure to increase.
I was never a huge MOBA player until I was grabbed and hooked by Heroes of the Storm (HotS). I gave League of Legends (LoL) a good run for a few months, but it never hit me the same way Blizzard’s “brawler” has. Going into Smite, I was curious to see exactly how the gameplay would translate to a 3rd-person perspective and just how the game would play overall.
First off, Hi-Rez has done a great job bringing character variety to the game. There’s a decent variety in even the free rotation of gods when you boot up the game. Ymir, Thor, Neith, Guan Yu, and Ra are all there, along with a small free rotation that currently includes gods like Hercules and Poseidon. This roster can expand with the Founders Pack, already available for $29.99.
It may be my somewhat limited experience with other games in the genre like DOTA 2, but jumping into the game almost immediately reminded me of LoL. I’ve become accustomed to not playing with an item-based system in HotS, so it took a little getting used to. The expected items are all there, ones defense, offense, life steal, and so on. The advantage to all these choices, you can really tailor your god to your playing style or what my best suit your current team.
The gameplay itself is fun and fairly easy to pick up. The biggest issue I had with it was the lack of tutorial or information on each god. I started out using a Warrior class like Hercules, but just looking at the logos on screen wasn’t enough for me to figure out what each skill did. This happened for my first couple of games while I got accustomed to the 3rd person gameplay. Luckily, not necessarily to the game’s credit, if you have a Warrior god, their skills are all going to do roughly the same thing, and the same goes for the classes like the Mage. Each god does have their own unique skills (especially their ultimate/special), but aside from that, they all seem fairly similar.
Technically speaking, Hi-Rez has done a great job bringing it to the PS4. The graphics are decent enough, nothing to be too excited about, but the servers and online play worked very well every time I logged on. The latency in the games was never an issue, I was only dropped out of a pre-game lobby two or three times, and that’s all, otherwise it worked great.
What’s interesting and what may get more people to log into the beta when it comes around in March, is that all of your profile progress will be saved. This is also true for the full game release later down the line, something that we don’t see happening at all nowadays with alphas and betas.
All in all, it’s a fun game, but nothing I loved. I’m will continue playing it though as I get better and better at it and I can tinker with new gods as the rotation changes. If you’re a PS4 and MOBA fan there’s no reason not to try this. There’re similarities to games like LoL, but it’s still it’s own beast and it handles that very well.