UPDATE: The have opened up all GODs that are avaialbe in the Alpha to try out. Also got a few more hours to play so i have revised my article a bit.
So last night the SMITE Alpha was released. A very successful MOBA on PC now on a console. Even better its F2P. I am not going to into too many details about MOBAs in general or How to play the game, but focus on the port and how it played.
What is SMITE?
SMITE is a MOBA (multi-player online battle arena) built initially for the PC but now being ported to the console. The game has you playing a God (Zeus, Loki, Hades, Etc…) in a third person view. There are over 30 Gods to choose from in the Alpha. They each fit into a general category but do offer some flexibility as you rank up. Those categories or classes are:
- Key: Class – Desc – Example God
- Assassin – Fast high burst damage melee characters but little defense – Loki
- Guardian – High Defense and CC (crowd Control) abilities – Ares
- Hunter – Range class with high mobility but pretty squishy – Apollo
- Mage – High Damage Range class very squishy and no escape mechanism – RA
- Warrior – Melee class with high versatility – Odin, Guan Yu
Each God has specific unique attacks that are unlocked as you rank up during game play. Most game modes allow you to choose the God you will play except for Assault which is randomly chosen for you. AS you play the match your god will rank up this will provide the ability to purchase items from the store to better quip your god with armor, potions, etc… the store is only accessed during a match and only at home base. You can return to home base by pressing the down arrow on you gamepad. Be warned it takes a few secs to channel and you can be killed during the channel so make sure you are somewhere safe.
Upgrades are bought with gold that you earn during the game. There are a lot of options to choose from if you want your God to have more damage potential, health or many other options. For beginners i would suggest the auto-purchase ability be kept on at first. This is by default. So every time you head back to home base, or die, new and better armor items will be bought for you. this works on a pretty conservative level. I recommend this for any time you are trying a new god.
After each match you earn favor which ranks up your overall level. This favor can also be used to purchase additional gods from initial ones granted. You can also buy Gods with real money (gems) as well along with skin packs for your gods.
If you would like to read more about the game, the gods that you can play as, class types and game modes check out http://smitethegame.com/.
Right of the bat the UI (look and feel) are almost exactly like the PC, so if you play on the PC you will feel right at home with navigation and where things are placed. However this did not translate to console very well as the font size in very small for my old eyes. Reading skill descriptions is very tough unless you are right up in front of the screen like you would be in front of a pc. Not sitting 6ft away on your couch on a 48″ plasma. From that distance the UI can look pretty cluttered. Hopefully something they can address without losing the functionality. I really do like that i can bring up the skill descriptions when ever I want.
Basic game play controls seem simple at first move and aim with the thumbsticks. Main attack skills on on the buttons and normal attack is the trigger. When you get to consumables and upgrading of equipment, store purchases and the such is where it gets ugly. There are a lot of RT + X, LT +A, etc… kind of combinations. All i can say is Thank almighty for auto-upgrade and purchase options.
Pretty damn smooth for Alpha gameplay. Plus I was surprised with the amount of game options that they had. The game modes included both CO-OP and VS styles. CO-OP had Practice(tutorial), Conquest (5v5), Joust(3×3), and Area (5×5). VS had Conquest (5v5), and Arena (5×5).
This game plays more like a beta then it does an alpha. There are some known issues with it of course. But overall seems to be a very fun game and should work well on the console. They did have an option the menu for custom games that was locked which is a good sign for us as getting 10 GRG into a conquest or assault match should be fun. I believe each person that got a Alpha invite got two codes to play. I have created a thread in teh forums for members to post their extra codes if they want to share.