Platforms PS4/Xbox One/PC
Developer Hi-Rez Studios Publisher Hi-Rez Studios
Genre MOBA Platform Played PlayStation 4
Before I started writing this review, I sent a short message to my Editor-In-Chief, Jamie Briggs. The content was simply, “I’ve been playing SMITE… Awesome game, I am just [terrible] when it comes to MOBA’s.” Thankfully, I enlisted the help of a friend to coach me in the ways of the MOBA lifestyle so I could fully enjoy the excellent array of elements that SMITE has to offer.
The saving grace for any MOBA hesitant gamer’s out there, is the SMITE tutorial session’s, which I’m not too proud to say that I played through, twice. SMITE is built upon the idea that you must know the limitations of your character in any given situation. Once you understand that, it is your job to fulfill those roles to the letter, or playing in a competitive setting will be a horrible experience for you and the rest of your team that hates how badly you suck.
The tutorial takes you step-by-step through various game modes, to explain the basics of item’s, leveling, and gear. It does so in a beautiful world full of Greek mythology and huge arena backdrops that makes you feel small, yet powerful, during some of the most chaotic and exciting battles you may ever participate in.
Are you a tank built to dive in and take damage so someone that hits harder but is far weaker can take them out? Are you a support type that works the outskirts of the battle to buff and support your team? Are you essentially garbage in the beginning and must spend the duration of the game picking up scraps, leveling up, so at the end you can come in fully leveled to humiliate everyone? There are over 70 God’s to unlock and play as, each that has their own style, strength, weakness, and victory/defeat splash screen.
I have seen enough MOBA gameplay to know that my expectation was to see a far pulled back camera over a large map, and figured I would be building and upgrading my group of individuals to attack and defend others. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the camera locks pretty close, third-person-style, which helps to draw you into combat. The different unlock-able items and gear from the in-match store, serve to change the speed, attack, defense, and more of the God you are playing as. Thankfully, there is an “Auto-Purchase” feature for those that may not know what they’re doing, and trust SMITE to do it for them so they can focus on staying alive.
I was also surprised to find that there is no auto-lock for your attacks. Obviously melee attacks need to be close and connected, but all of your ranged attacks have to be precisely aimed and timed. With SMITE, I noticed immediately that there is no shame in running back to your base for health and manna. Which is why every shot you take has to hit if you’re looking to kill another God. I can’t tell you how many times there was a small sliver of health left, but I didn’t get the kill because my aim was off and they were strafing. But that isn’t a detractor, it pushes you to be better at the game, and helped me to understand why there is such a big competitive presence online.
While it took me a few days to really get into SMITE to a point that I understood the deeper levels of the game, I think there is a potential for newcomers to the MOBA franchise to get frustrated and lose interest, which might be why Hi-Rez is letting you download it for free right now. MOBA games aren’t for everybody, and without my friend there to answer countless questions during our sessions together, I might have not stuck with it as long as I did. But the controls are intuitive, the animations are beautiful, and unleashing a well time special attack with any God of your choosing feels incredibly satisfying.
SMITE does a terrific job of welcoming everyone into a beautifully crafted MOBA game. While the game is so dense that it might feel daunting and overwhelming for the first few days, there is enough there to satisfy a casual gamer that wants to try different characters with their friends, or hardcore gamer’s that want to inject countless hours in unlocking, understanding, and perfecting all of the 70+ God’s available for you.
- Tutorial built to welcome MOBA amateurs
- 70+ roster of God’s to unlock
- Easy connect system to add and play with friends
- Several skins and items to unlock
- Each character has several post/game splash screens
- Free download encourage people to try it out.
- Huge learning curve to be effective
- Game Density may scare off casual gamer’s
The Score: 9.0
Devon McCarty is better than he was, but is still pretty terrible at SMITE. If you want to teach him how to suck less, or are looking for a guy to hold your team back and blame for your defeats, add him on PSN DBD_xZEROx. You can hit him up on the Watch. Chat. Play! Facebook page , throw a message via Twitter @DesignatedDevon,