Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Rating: 9.5
Happy Price: 29.99


Smite is a third person MOBA where the player controls pagan gods of multiple cultures. It successfully blends the coordination needed to be successful in any third person game and the strategic nature of a MOBA. Having direct control over the success of a battle is a feeling I never experienced in a MOBA, where most of the time I feel outwitted or under powered as I try to navigate spaces with a mouse click. 


The character selection is huge, and every character feels different. There are multiple hunter classes for example, but Medusa and Anhur play differently in that respect. Your character builds will remain very similar per class, which is something I enjoy because the familiarity of my builds will translate to another character as I'm trying to learn them. Like in any MOBA there are tiers of characters, and even though over time you will main a god that suits your play style, there is no denying certain gods are just better than others. However Hi-Rez stays true to this by having gods like Thor and Zeus as top tier, as folklore suggests, they are indeed better than some other gods. Can Medusa defeat Zeus in a one on one battle? Sure, however, I would not partake in that battle solo as Medusa. Each character has similar magic powers that consist of one penetration beam power, an area effect, a concentrated attack, and the ultra which varies. Some characters don't follow this template, for example Zeus's powers have to be used in a particular order for maximum damage. The characters are easy to pick up, but take time to master, which is just the sweet spot any game developer is looking for.

smite characters but likely outdated since this updates all the time

Game Modes

There are multiple game modes that itch different scratches. There is The Arena which is just an open area that is 5v5 with minions that spawn. This is a great place to try out new characters since it's non stop action and support from teammates is all around. These game sessions last for about 15 minutes so in a short time investment you can see how a character pans out fully maxed with items and experience. Joust is a 3v3 one lane game mode that is action packed and has a short session time as well, about 15 minutes or so. The downside is depending on how the game goes, players will max out at around level 16 so you don't get your character to full potential. Conquest is the standard 5v5 game with 3 lanes. These games can range from 20-40 minutes but are the most fun since it follows the standard MOBA format of ganking, pushing, defending, and farming. I would not recommend using an new character in this format since players tend to be more serious about wanting to win, and expect you to have an idea of what you're doing. Other game modes like Arena or Joust are a bit more casual. 

In the arena using a slowdown attack and throwing spears with a lion

Flow of Gameplay

Games usually begin with the usual dance of all level one characters at the beginning of any MOBA. The delicate dance of farming minions as the opponent is doing the same to yours, both tempted to attack one another. Both go in for quick jabs and escape, since an early death or kill will have major consequences as the other side will level up and have access to better equipment faster. Ganking is a little more difficult to do since it's third person and the lanes are larger in proportion to the player than other MOBA's I've played. However as the game goes on, communication becomes key. Listening to teammates when they suggest "retreat" or "go left" is imperative since the intuition of feeling in danger is very real in this game. Knowing when another player has an ultra ready can be a scary thing, and it can be calculated most of the time if a skirmish will be lost. I played a game where we had out killed the other team 37-24 and thought we had it in the bag. We just killed the entire enemy team and felt great. We were kind of doing our own thing but all pushing to the other base, but unknown to us the other team all spawned at the same time and pushed together, and ended up taking out our Titan. We lost that game in shock, but its moments like that which make me appreciate this game.

The Ultimate attack used by Poseidon in Smite


SMITE has the best community for any MOBA I've played to date. When comparing to League of Legends or DOTA where making mistakes results in a lashing from teammates, that culture does not exist with this game. Rarely have I seen a teammate say "uninstall" or things of that nature. A lot of the time there are things like "lol" being said when someone does something stupid. Saving a teammate, awarding them health, or leaving them a damage buff will usually result in a "thanks" from them. Generally people don't feel entitled or have these mandatory predetermined objectives each player should do. If I'm playing Tank, I don't mind players telling me to tank an enemy tower if it makes sense to do so. Compared to other MOBA communities where they say "tank PLEASE" with tone suggesting they are frustrated with me, it's more of a "you should do this to help the team" tone. After games people tell each other good game and will reflect on what happened. I've also had tons of friend invites in the 35 hours I put into the game. It helps when you go 16-4 or have a penta kill, people tend to want to play with you.


Nothing is going to blow you away, I don't think that was the point of this game. The art style is very colorful and cartoony, without too many deep or granular textures to make anything look very real. Lighting is not very dynamic and there seems to be just one light tone throughout the space. The focus is on the gameplay, and I think implementing some of these things would interfere with bandwidth and accessibility. In some cases it would even effect gameplay depending on the color of a character and how they blended with the world. There are too many variables in this world to make art one of them. Everything is just good, I haven't seen anything that took anything away from the experience, and nothing art wise compels me to keep playing. It's on par with League of Legends and Dota and follows a similar art style.


This game shines on PC using the standard mouse and keyboard. Trying to play with a controller on the XBone was not too easy, and there was some loss in frame rate as well. I think there is some work to be done still for the consoles in that regard to make sure it feels as fluid as it does on PC. SMITE is free to play, but don't let that feeling suspicious of the quality. I put around 25 hours of gameplay in a matter of 3 days while I took some PTO. It's incredibly addicting and I would purchase the hero pack for 29.99 to support the developer.

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