Preview – SMITE Xbox One
Massive Online Battle Arena (MOBA) has been a popular genre in the past few years for PC gamers, making the e-sports a big thing around the world, but the scene has stuck exclusively to PC. There are a handful of MOBA games for consoles, but now a big player in the genre, SMITE, has jumped to the Xbox One. But what is SMITE?
This is what the official site says, “SMITE is the online battleground of the gods. Players choose from a diverse cast of deities and use their unique powers to triumph over the opposition in 5v5 team matches. SMITE is a new take on the MOBA genre; rather than observing from above the action, the game’s third person perspective puts players into the thick of combat. Instead of clicking the mouse to move, players use the familiar WASD keys to move and fight their way through SMITE’s dynamic battlegrounds.” So in another words, you play along with 4 other players in a 5v5 battle, and you move and have the camera like a third person action game instead of an isometric view most MOBA games use, and the best part, well best for me, is that here you can punish Ra with Zeus or Loki with Apollo. You can unlock the Gods with “Favor points”, that are awarded by playing, or with “Gems” which you buy with real money.
I always have issues with unlocking extra characters, skins, maps, and other stuff in games with in-game points, because most of the time, you need to play for years to buy items/characters with the game points. But in SMITE it’s different. Most of the Gods are 5500 favor points. When I saw their cost I was like, “It will take an eternity to buy a different God without using money,” but the game proved me wrong. If you play constantly, it’s easy to win favor points. There are also double xp and favor rewards for playing each day, and every time you level up you get more favor points. In short words, you can get the Gods you like in no time and without the need to pay with real money if you don’t like to spend. The money prices are good, so if you like to pay, you don’t need to spend a lot, so that’s a cool thing for gamers’ wallets.
The third person perspective makes it perfect for console play, and the combination of buttons to activate abilities or upgrade your skills fits perfectly on the controller. This makes the action fast, agile, and stressful, but don’t get me wrong, I mean stressful when you suffer a loss, as you feel like a God when you win. That’s the fun with the gameplay, you can get mad at your team for not employing teamwork or feel like you were born together – thinking alike and working like a professional e-sports team. Trust me, I’ve yelled at my console because we were in a tight match and two of my partners rage quit, just because they were killed a lot. We lost thanks to them. There are a few issues with connections to game servers, but this is still a Beta, so I expect the kinks to be ironed out before release. I have been disconnected for no reason, but in less than a minute I was back in the game. It doesn’t happen as often, so it isn’t a major problem.
There are 5 different Game modes.
- Conquest: The classic 5v5 battle where players need to destroy the other teams towers, which are the first and second line of defense in 3 different lanes, then it moves on to destroying the last line of defense, the phoenix towers, then you finally arrive at the Titan. You could say it is the “Big Boss.” Once you defeat it, you win, or if they defeat yours, you lose. Between the lanes is a big area called, “Jungle” where different monsters live, some are meant to give experience points, others give you ability buffs, and there are 2 kind of mini bosses: the “Gold Fury” who offers extra gold if you kill it, and the “Fire Giant” who will make the whole team stronger for a limited time.
- Arena: If you prefer to go straight to the action, this mode is for you. There are no lanes, no towers, you go straight to destroy the other players, it’s still a 5v5 mode.
- Siege: Now it’s 4v4 mode, why? Because its a smaller map, the objective its the same, but the difference is that after a few kills you get a Siege. The Siege is a monster that goes through a lane and destroys everything until the other team destroys it. Piece of advise, two siege monsters are better than one, so start exploring the jungle, you’ll find a surprise there.
- Joust: If you think 4v4 was a small map, check out Joust, it’s a 3v3 map, only one lane, so you need to push as hard as you can with your team to win. Don’t worry, there is jungle area in both sides of the lane, so you can get a few bonuses.
- Assault: This Game mode is a little different, especially if you only learn one God , as this game mode randomly selects your character. It features one lane, 5v5, and no jungle. Cross your fingers that you get your favorite God.
There is a Practice mode, where you can practice against the computer and get better with your God. Also, there is a jungle mode, here you can try every God to see if you like them before purchasing. Finally there is a combination mode, it changes every day and has different modifications to the gameplay to make it more interesting.
I prefer classic “Conquest” mode, some good farming on minions, killing jungle monsters and trying to work a tactical attack with your teammates. One player I was in a team with told me something that I still think is the best advice for new players, “Never go for the kill only to prove you are better, and that you can be the best in your team. Instead let’s plan how to hit them hard and win, without feeding them with kills. If you go alone after a dying God, you may escape with that kill, but maybe there’s another God waiting for you, so he can kill you and save his partner. Always work as a team, never for yourself.” And I’m still playing for my team, not everyone is as good as other players, so trying to help them get better is a way you can enjoy the game and make new friends.
But wait, before you go into action, not every God is good against every God, and they don’t have the same abilities. Part of creating an strategy is to know your play style and how the God you are using can be better. You can be Support, help your teammates, heal them or make it more difficult for the enemy to attack your team. There’s the Carry God, that one is stronger with a Support on his/her side, since the one being the Carry is in charge of dealing damage and kills. If you’re not a teamwork player, you can choose to go solo. Most of the time solo players handle one of the three lanes by themselves. One of the hardest to get used to is the Jungle God. This type is in charge of dealing with the jungle monsters to level up and attack other Gods from behind to break their balance, so your teammates can kill them.
So how is the game progressing? SMITE has been in a closed Beta for a couple of months, and I have had the opportunity to try the game since the beginning of the closed Beta. Currently anyone with Xbox Live Gold can get into the open beta, which was opened on June 26th 2015. The game feels great on Xbox One, and is constantly updated with content and bug fixes. Also, when a new God gets released on PC, it doesn’t take long for it to release on console. SMITE may be in open Beta, but so far the game runs well, but let’s not get ahead of the final product, some things can still change, for the best or worst.
I hope to see you guys in the open Beta, and hopefully on my team and not as rivals. Stay tuned for more information about SMITE when the game is closer to release – see you on the battleground!