[Review] Smite: MOBA from a different perspective

update; 4/18/2013 | 7:35 PM  
by Ryan Suh  

For those readers who may not know what MOBA means, it stands for “multiplayer online battle arena” where two teams fight and try to destroy the opposing team’s base.

My MOBA background has been pretty diverse thus far. I have been playing MOBAs since the original Starcraft’s Aeon of Strife and I’m currently a regular Dota 2 and League of Legends player. Although I prefer Dota over any other MOBAs, Smite has slowly won me over with its refreshing third person perspective.

Smite conquest gameplay
Conquest mode gameplay as Ra (a spellcaster god).

Smite uses the same Free-to-Play system where different gods (heroes/champions) are cycled through every week. The player earns Favor for each game he or she plays (like IP from League). Players can also purchase Gems which are like the RP from League.

Smite conquest gameplay
Destroying the enemy's Minotaur (like the enemy Ancient/Nexus) wins you the game. Be careful though, it attacks!

Here are a few “Woot”s and “Meh”s of Smite based on my opinion.

The Woot:
-The game is a refreshing take on the MOBA genre.
-Most of the spells in Smite are skill oriented (aka skill shots).
-Graphics are decent considering the game is still in its beta stages.
-The game has great integration with Twitch.tv which is a live streaming website designed for gaming.
-Multiple modes of gameplay to keep the gameplay interesting (e.g. all random all mid, capture the point, arena, and etc…).
-Free-to-play like most MOBAs nowadays.
-Tutorial for beginners.
-Game might be easier to pick up for people who aren’t familiar with MOBAs/FPS players since Smite is in third person perspective as opposed to the traditional top down view.
-Create-a-clan system.
-Guides and live-stream content straight from the client.
-Active ability feature. These active abilities are like the summoner spells from League. However, you get to choose and buy them like a regular in-game item like boots.
-The game is fairly new and the meta-game has a lot of room to grow.
-The game definitely takes some skill to play well. This results in a high skill ceiling and room to grow as a player.

The Meh:
-Game hasn’t been optimized to its fullest potential for play on different types of machines.
-Much like other MOBAs, the learning curve might be steep for some players.
-Smite has a surrender feature that I don’t necessarily enjoy. Much like the League of Legends’ surrender feature, it puts players into a negative “we can’t win”/”we’re wasting our time” state of mind. Although in some situations there is no way for a team to comeback, the surrender feature has lost me countless close matches because of premature and sometimes rage surrenders by teammates.
-No out-of-game chat room function where players who aren’t friends with one another can meet and chat.
-Active abilities could be more creative. It seems as though there are only a handful of decent active abilities that fit the current adolescent meta-game.
-Although there is a “Top Recorded Match” feature, there are no replays or spectate game feature like Dota 2 yet.

My final thoughts? This game is definitely worth trying out.

Smite arena gameplay
Arena mode.

You can go to the Smite website to download the game for free!

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