This is a game I have been meaning to play but have forgotten about for a very long time – I actually got into the beta a while back but never played it. I’m definitely glad I came back to it.Smite is a bit of an odd mixture of genres – it borrows certain parts from MOBA and RPGs and fuses them with a third person Action game. It has a rather cool premise, instead of their being random heroes summoned from all over a strange world (As it is in DoTA/LoL etc) you play as Gods. In a battleground. Not that that was obvious or anything.
Smite is very easy on new players, if anyone has every played a third person action game before they should find this very simple. It plays similarly to battlegrounds and PvP combat in MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft, in that there is a lot of jumping around and flashy things flying around left and right. Anyway, there is a very in-depth and easy tutorial to follow at the beginning of the game and then when you decide to take the plunge into the real experience you can select ‘Auto-Level Items’ and ‘Auto-Level Abilities’. What this means is that you can focus on the killing (or most likely trying not to die) while out on the battlefield and not have to worry about what items do what, what will be better for you and what abilities you need to level up at that moment. In my opinion this is an excellent feature, as generally the items needed differ from game to game with MOBAs and with this you are taught what each item does without having to panic and select it yourself.
That’s about it for newbies but that’s all you’d really need. Being good at this type of games comes over time with practice, Smite uses controls and a view similar to many popular games so the learning curve should be extremely gentle. I even kept trying to jump around I was reminded of Team Fortress 2 and Halo that much. There are many different Gods and new ones get regularly released. There is a pool of free Gods every week available to play, the same as League of Legends, and then they rotate to a different set of Gods. Something which surprised me was the fact that there is 5 game modes;
- Arena – Your typical all-out combat battle. The first to reduce enemy ‘tickets’ to 0 wins, killing minions and Gods reduces tickets by different amount.
- Assault – Similar to the 3 lane map, but with only 1 lane and no jungle.
- Conquest – The 3 lane MOBA type map.
- Domination – A 20 minute timed control point map, control the obelisks for the longest and amass the most points to win.
- Joust – A friendly 1v1 with a friend.
This is a very good move on Hi-Rez’ (the Developer) part – originally I thought there was only Conquest which would have made the game extremely stale. The graphics of Smite are of quite a high quality; it makes me think of what DoTA 2 would look like if it was built to this perspective. The effects of the abilities have clearly had a lot of work and focus upon, as have the Gods. One thing I found very interesting about the game is the obvious heavy research into the Gods which was required but has massively paid off. The aesthetics of each character are massively different and represent the inspiration and the culture very impressively. The jungle also has some very sleek additions; in other MOBAs the jungle usually just features large areas of trees or bushes to cut off space and there is no detail there required. This is different in Smite, the jungle has different areas filled with pointless animations and models which serve no purpose other than to look a lot better than the aforementioned bushes or trees.
Smite is an extremely beginner friendly game for anyone that has any experience playing games. It’s controls are very simple and easy to get used to while the more RPG side of things (the items and abilities) will take a little longer. The game controls very smoothly and is extremely fun alone, with a team of 5 friends this could only get better. I only have a small complaint – the speech system is very awkward; you are able to send quick commands to other people on your team through a hotkey and then a sequence of more hotkeys to send messages to your teammates without typing. This is quite complicated and takes time when you could be concentrating on the battle, an easy ping system is needed (similar to other MOBAs) where you could ping on the minimap and tell your team you are coming. If this exists and I’ve just missed it, then I’m an idiot and my only complaint is totally wrong. Oops.