MOBA’s are one of the most popular types of games, with League of Legends currently being the most played video game. The only trouble is they have not really made the transition to consoles, well, that was until this summer when Smite took the leap to release an Xbox One version. The game is free to play, but is in the open beta stage. Their decision to make this move means they could open up a whole new area of the market.
It makes sense that Smite was the first of the MOBAs to take this hopeful plunge as it is the most like a console game. The camera angle is at a third person level, as opposed to the birds-eye views of League of Legends and Dota 2. This makes it similar to most console action games, such as Gears of War, instead of watching the fights from way up above, you are on ground level in the middle of the action. On other MOBAs there is a fixed camera angle means you can scour the whole map easier, whereas, in Smite your camera is set to your own character. The 360 view of just one character, makes it easier to use on the controller, as you only have to worry about yourself. As seen with Real Time Strategy games on consoles, moving around the map and different camera angles can be a bit tricky to get used to.
Smite is not point and click to move, you have to move using arrow keys or analogue. This is another part of the game that suits console gamers, as not everyone can get used to playing games on keyboards and it might be a major turn off for them. Having the analogue sticks to move your characters and camera, means console gamers will feel at home. The movement also means you have to aim and dodge the enemy’s attacks, so again fitting the formula of most action console games. If it’s firing from range or up close hacking and slashing, the gameplay is similar to any RPG, you have to avoid their hits while hitting them, and you have to lead shots. Dodging or self-aiming is not seen on games like League of Legends, the only attacks you can dodge or have to aim are skill shots.
The game is less map and tactical based than the likes of other MOBAs, but more focused towards the players skill. Don’t get me wrong all MOBAs require both of these, it’s just in comparison there is little map awareness in Smite, but attacks do more damage. There is no ability to scan your camera around the battlefield to make some tactical decisions, instead there is only the small mini-map in the corner. Getting an idea of where the enemies are or what your team mates are doing is harder; although, if they are attacking team Gods, and you are near them but behind walls of the jungle then they will be silhouetted in red. This lack of map awareness means you need to check around you constantly in order to not get ambushed. In Smite if you have one or two players who are really good they can carry the whole team, which is much harder in games like Dota 2, this is due to attacks doing much more damage on Smite. Having this buff on attacks means games tend to have a lot more kills, and filled with a lot more action.
The differences don’t make the game any easier and if you don’t know what you’re doing the team will suffer, but mainly you will be racking up deaths. There are so many items to choose from which can seem daunting for new players, but there is an auto buy option, with a standard set up suited for the various Gods. It still has the same mechanics as most of the major MOBAs with everyone having their roles and getting tunnel vision nearly always ends badly, but for people who haven’t ever played a MOBA it is a good place to start. There’s also the added benefit on the Xbox of not having type chat, so you won’t be constantly insulted and ridiculed and if they go to game chat, muting them always works. Arena is a game mode which is somewhat unique to Smite, instead of taking towers you are in one open circle and the winner is the first team to 500 kills. There is a single line of minions and if you get it to their base it counts for around two kills. There are battle camps on the side for buffs but the main aim is to just constantly fight, suiting those console gamers who want to have shorter more intense games.
Smite feels as if it could be your run-of-the-mill console title, and looks completely different to other MOBA’s.