SMITE is exactly what the MOBA genre needed! It’s not just another League of Legends or Dota 2 clone, Smite actually has something unique about it, aside from the different characters. Yes, this game let’s you dive into a third-person view, and do more than just point, click and watch. Hi-Rez Studios actually released this game for PC last year, but it just launched on the Xbox One last month. It’s definitely worth looking into, as it’s the first MOBA to launch on next-generation (or current) consoles. Oh yeah, and it’s free to play!
Since I haven’t played Smite on my computer, I wanted to write a review for the Xbox One version. It’s really interesting to finally play a MOBA with a controller and not keyboard and mouse. It’s really different, not sure which way is better, but they definitely got the controls right.
If you haven’t played or read about Smite yet, then you might find it interesting that you will be playing as gods and goddesses from ancient mythology. Yes, I am talking about Hades, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Athena, Zeus, and many more. There’s a new character added to the game every month, and right now there are about 60 playable characters in the game. Each of these gods have their own unique abilities, just as the characters do in other MOBAs. Except, these characters are cooler because they are freaking gods!
The control scheme is solid, and I found it easy to play. I haven’t played this particular game with a mouse and keyboard, but after playing other MOBAs on PC I did think it was going to be difficult to play with an Xbox One controller – but it wasn’t. Sometimes, with certain abilities, I find it hard to get an accurate hit, and I imagine it would be much easier to land some of these attacks with the precision of a mouse and keyboard.
You can bring up the menu by pressing the d-pad, and it’s surprisingly easy to navigate through and purchase items. I found it easy to purchase the items needed to play and win with each character. All the magic items are in an easy to access tab, when playing as a mage it’s really easy and useful to grab magical damage items. It’s the same for all types of characters in Smite and I am honestly shocked at how they managed to fit all these details into the game when you’re more limited on controls.
When you play Smite, it’s the Conquest game mode that you will spend your time on, and that’s where two teams of five battle it out with their minions and towers for defense. Well, it’s not as bland as the LoL clones out there, and you will lead your minions to help destroy the enemy towers, then take out the phoenix and finally finish them off by taking down the titan. That’s how you win a game of Conquest, and it’s really not so easy.
It’s not fast-paced, but it’s definitely not boring and repetitive. The battles start off slow as both teams clear waves of minions to level up. It gets interesting, and really challenging once some of the towers are taken down and everyone has leveled up. You will find yourself in an epic fight with all the gods together, firing off their abilities trying to kill the enemies in a fight with their team. It’s incredibly fun, and the slow start is worth the build up to these epic moments.
When the towers are down and the only thing left is the phoenixes, the teams are constantly fighting and defending their phoenix. It gets really intense, as you will also go for the bigger objectives on the map, which are the fire giant and gold fury. Conquest matches generally last about 45-60 minutes, but if you don’t have time for that then you can play in Arena, which is a more fast-paced team deathmatch type of game mode.
Arena is quick but still very competitive. Each team will start out with 500 tickets, and the winner will successfully drain the other team of tickets by killing them off. Each time you kill an enemy in the Arena game mode the opposing team will lose 5 tickets. Get a minion through the portal for a ticket, or get a friendly juggernaught to the enemy portal to deduct 15 of their tickets. It’s fast-paced and I honestly prefer it over Conquest. Most of these matches last about 20 minutes, and it’s the game mode I use when I am trying out a new god.
Another game mode in Smite is Assault, which only features one lane, two towers, a phoenix and a titan. In this game mode you are actually assigned to play with a random god at the beginning of the match, so you don’t always get to play with a familiar character of your choice. It’s random, so you never know what to expect.
Seige can be the most difficult game mode for me at times. This game mode features two lanes with teams of four, and every time your team reaches 100 points a friendly Seige juggernaut will spawn. The juggernauts are powerful and will definitely help take down enemy towers, so work with them. Each time you kill a minion your team gets a point, so you can see it’s not that hard to get to 100 points. When the enemy has a juggernaut, everyone needs to attack it and kill it as soon as possible, because you don’t want to deal with two of them.
Then there is another single-lane game mode called Joust, which involves two teams of three fighting with a single tower, phoenix and titan. Match of the day is the final game mode, and it’s really just for fun, as stats aren’t counted in this game mode. In match of the day there will be crazy stipulations, stuff like 5×5 Zeus arena mode, or a Conquest match where both teams start at 100k gold, etc.
Smite is definitely worth downloading! It’s free, fun, and the controls are great on the Xbox One. I know, MOBAs are meant to be played with a keyboard and mouse.. but no, they pulled it off and the controls are comfortable. There are different control schemes to choose from, but I have only played with the default so I am not sure, you will have to see what works best for you. The various game modes give this game a ton of replayability and I never want to stop playing once I get started. Give it a shot, you don’t have anything to lose except some hard drive space.
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