War of Gods
Many popular MOBA titles are only on PC and while Smite started out on that platform, the way the game is designed translated well onto the Xbox One. Unlike other titles like Dota 2 or League of Legends, Smite plays from the behind in a third-person camera rather than top-down which instantly makes it feel more action shooter/brawler than a traditional RTS.
The groundwork is similar and if you have ever been exposed to the MOBA titles, you will instantly pick up how the game works. It features the same game of attrition where both teams are grinding the opposition until the objective is reached. Unlike it’s competitors, Smite feels more easy to get into as it doesn’t seem as daunting because of the third-person camera. Personally, I knew how MOBAs worked but never really invested time because the learning curve was steep but Smite just felt right for a beginner. The tutorial setup is a must however to learn how matches are played out but once you’ve got the rules down – the game is pretty much easy flowing from then on.
Smite’s theme is based on fantasy mythology where each player must pick a god and there’s plenty to choose from. There’s Greek gods like your one and only Thor to Athena and many more. I was quite pleasantly surprised to actually see gods from other cultures and mythologies like the Chinese and Indian. Each obviously with their own strength and weaknesses plus types from tanks, melee, ranged and magic. Like other free-to-play games, you can’t play as all gods unless you purchase or grind out the credits but you still have the standard free character rotations for those not wanting to invest yet. One of the best things however with Smite is the ability to purchase god pack that pretty unlocks all current and future gods in the game…forever for only $30. It pushes that try before you buy module which really feels better than slamming $10-20 per new character like other competitors.
There’s a few other modes you can get into with Smite as sometimes the traditional game can be quite lengthy for some. If you want quick snappy matches, Smite has an arena mode where it removes the grind for a more action packed team deathmatch without the hassles of MOBA rules. It’s basically a cut down version of the game but in a good way where it gets you straight into the action. I found the arena the best way to get a feel of the characters and with faster matches, you don’t have to invest so much time with one you’re not comfortable with.
The biggest downfall of Smite however is the performance during moments where there’s too many things happening on your screen. The frames drop making it quite sluggish when pretty much both teams start pounding each other on the one screen with powers and moves flying everywhere. This is where the game gets heavily taxed by more than likely the hardware. Most of the game runs smooth but when moments like this happen, it’s becomes slightly annoying but not game breaking.
As Smite is a free-to-play game, you are still required to pay for Xbox Live to play online which theoretically makes the game not free-to-play. This is not really the developers fault as it’s more the service but when you compare it to the PC platform (and if you have a decent PC) – you would rather play it on there. Not so much if you’re regularly on Xbox Live or have it already but affects the cost of admission for the game.
Smite on Xbox One is MOBA done right on consoles. Not being much of a fan of MOBAs in general (I do like watching them) – I really felt jumping into Smite much more easier than the rest. There’s still that level of meta game within itself but if you just want some casual games in a MOBA title without experience than it’s probably the best title to jump into. Being on Xbox One really opens up more exposure of the genre to more people and Hi-Rez have done a good job doing this despite having framerate issues during intense battles.