SMITE Reviews

  • esenesen154,220
    11 Sep 2015 12 Sep 2015
    28 4 3
    SMITE - Battleground of the Gods! by Hi-Rez Studios

    [This is my first review and I have 300+ hours of SMITE played on Xbox/PC since the Xbox alpha in the beginning of March]

    Take control of some of the most powerful and important Gods and Goddesses (and some other notable heroes) of ancient times. This Third Person Free-to-Play(not pay-to-win*) Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game is a new take on the vastly popular genre which has many games like League of Legends and DOTA 2. The difference is the perspective and that fact that nearly every attack in the game is a "skill shot". This raises the skill gap to another level and really rewards players who take the time to learn how to play properly. SMITE is the first major MOBA to come to console. This review will serve as a basic guide for new players too.



    Gods
    As of this review there are 68 playable characters called "gods" on the Xbox One version. Each one has its own unique set of four moves and a passive buff. These gods come from seven Pantheons - Norse, Greek, Roman, Hindu, Chinese, Mayan, and Egyptian. The gods can also be broken down into five Classes - Hunter, Mage, Guardian, Warrior, and Assassin.

    Game Modes
    Conquest(5v5), Arena(5v5), Assault(5v5), Siege(4v4), and Joust(3v3) are the five modes(There are also practice modes to play against bots). Conquest is the main "classic" mode which is played in SMITE eSport Leagues and Tournaments and is the mode I will be using and referring to throughout the rest of this review.

    The mode is played on a map with three lanes and what's called the "jungle" in between the lanes. The Order team starts on the Mount Olympus side and the Chaos team starts on the volcano side. Once the game is loaded up, players have about a minute to buy items and set up for the match. Minions(AI bots that help you push into enemy territory) begin to spawn after a minute and now the real action has started. The goal is to destroy enemy Towers, Phoenixes, and finally the Titan to win the game by pushing your minions and stopping the enemies' minions. There are also buffs and two special Bosses(Fire Giant and Gold Fury) found in the Jungle and these will help you win but we'll get to those later.

    Let's talk about the lanes. I will be describing a basic setup for what classes play in what lane (More advanced players can experiment with other strategies but this is recommended for new players.)The lane in the middle is simply called "Mid Lane". This is usually where a mage plays. The "Duo Lane" is shared by a Guardian and a Hunter and this lane is on the Gold Fury side(left for Order and right for Chaos). The "Solo Lane" is played by a Warrior and is on the Fire Giant side(right for Order and left for Chaos). The fifth players plays in the Jungle as an Assassin. Their role is to take down the buff camps in the Jungle for their teammates and to gank(attack from behind) enemy players to assist the lanes.

    Once the game has gone on for about 10-15 minutes(matches can last an hour or longer if both teams are close in skill) a team can group up and start to attack the Gold Fury(rewards gold to team that kills it) and Fire Giant(rewards a powerful buff which gives health/mana regen and increased power for 4 minutes). These two camps can turn the tide of battle for a team that manages to secure them.

    eSports
    SMITE is steadily growing as one of the world's largest eSports. There is a SMITE Pro League on PC and in association with Major League Gaming, a Xbox Pro League will be starting up this fall. MLG also hosts weekly tournaments for cash prizes.

    Last year's SMITE World Championship(PC) had a prize pool of over $2.6 Million and the next one is coming up in January 2016. Xbox will be a part this year having its own four team invitational.



    Game Updates
    This is one of the best things about SMITE is at least one new update every month. These updates fix bugs, add new skins, balance items and gods, and add a new god. This really keeps the game fresh and gives you a reason to start playing again.

    *Ultimate God Pack/In-game Purchases
    SMITE IS NOT PAY-TO-WIN!
    Unlike many games in the Free-to-Play genre, SMITE is set up so you don't have to pay any real world currency to enjoy every god in the game. Five always free gods and five that rotate every week allow you to play new gods without spending your hard earned favor that you've earned by completing matches. There is also and option to buy Gems(in packs from $8-$100) to unlock skins and gods.

    BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!
    Introducing the Ultimate God Pack. This is the BEST deal in gaming. For $30(On sale for $20 from 9/11/15-9/13/15) you get access to all current and future gods in the game. It's that simple. Ask anyone who loves SMITE and they will tell you that this is totally worth it.

    Achievements
    About 85% of the achievements are fairly doable and shouldn't cause to much hassle. A few though are very hard and somewhat luck based. Earning a Quadra and Penta kill(stackable) are very hard and will probably require the coordination of a whole team.
    SMITEQuadra KillThe Quadra Kill achievement in SMITE worth 64 pointsGet a quadra kill in a qualifying match.

    SMITEPenta KillThe Penta Kill achievement in SMITE worth 137 pointsGet a penta kill in a qualifying match.

    Destroying 25 wards is challenging too because not many people place wards on Xbox.
    SMITEI Will Find Them!The I Will Find Them! achievement in SMITE worth 40 pointsDestroy 25 enemy wards.

    The Last Man Standing achievement is somewhat luck based too - you must be the only god alive on either team.
    SMITELast Man StandingThe Last Man Standing achievement in SMITE worth 35 pointsBe the only god left alive on either team in Conquest, Assault, or Arena.

    Achievements definitely add some nice change of pace to the game because it makes you play all of the modes and play at least 40 gods.

    Hi-Rez and the Community
    Hi-Rez runs fantastic YouTube and Twitch channels with high quality content including all of the Smite Pro League matches, Lore videos, breakdowns of the newest gods, and streams from relevant community members. Their Reddit is a fantastic place to learn new things about the game and get live updates with their Twitter.

    Overall Opinion
    MOBAs are very intimidating but SMITE is very nice. A great basic tutorial, a highly involved developer/publisher, growing eSports Scene, not Pay-to-Win, monthly updates, deep lore with actual gods/goddesses/heroes of ancient times, and a load more makes this a game you need to at least try. I mean come on, its free. So go ahead, and play god.

    External image
    5.0
    Showing all 3 comments.
    Handsome DeckHey man, thanks for that great review!
    Posted by Handsome Deck on 14 Jan 16 at 06:23
    Satans Spawnawesome review you smashed it out the ballpark
    Posted by Satans Spawn on 05 Mar 16 at 16:31
    Sole XXVGreat review, I agree with everything you have said here, I tend to stay away from free to play games but this one is different, everyone is on a level playing field. I've put in 65hrs play time with no purchases.
    Posted by Sole XXV on 27 Aug 16 at 16:40
  • ManicMetalheadManicMetalhead526,447
    03 Apr 2019
    6 2 2
    Having never written a review before, but always fancied giving it a shot. Of all the games I've sunk my time into, none really compare to SMITE: Battleground of the Gods.
    Smite is one of my favourite games and I've sunk many hours into it. I absolutely love mythology, so this was what got me started on the game. While you'll usually find me complaining about it if you ever catch my Twitter feed, it's only ever loving complaints.

    The Game
    Smite free-to-play MOBA (think DotA 2 and LoL) with their own take on the genre, namely the position of the camera on your chosen character. Whereas in DotA and LoL where they have their own new sets of characters, in Smite you can pick from over 100 gods, goddess and mythological figures from what is currently 13 different pantheons (beliefs); Arthurian, Celtic, Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Hindu, Japanese, Mayan, Norse, Polynesian, Roman, Slavic and Voodoo. More gods are being released every couple of months, some part of existing pantheons, others starting new ones.
    Choose your god and then battle it out against other players in a variety of different game modes, all to suit you own tastes.

    Game Modes
    Smite has a decent pool of game modes for you to choose, with each requiring different team strategies to enable you to win. The main game modes are Conquest, Arena, Assault, Joust, Duel, Siege and Clash. Conquest, Arena, Assault and Joust are the most played game modes. You also get a Match of the Day (which changes every day) and you can now set up custom games with specific rules to suit your every desire.

    Conquest is the standard MOBA game mode, and usually the one where you'll find most players. It's a large 5v5 map that requires good communication and teamwork to excel. It's also the only game mode that is used for the thriving Smite eSports scene, which is currently in season 6 and is ever expanding (at the time of writing, the Smite Pro League has just restarted, Pittsburgh Knights are looking very strong so far). Conquest consists of three lanes and jungle area, and your aim it to destroy the enemy Titan.

    Arena is also 5v5 and is essentially a large teamfight. All out combat in a much smaller area in comparison with Conquest. The strategies are much different here, they're usually non-existent depending on who you play with. This also tends to draw high populations of characters.

    Assault is a 5v5 single lane game where you must destroy the enemy Titan to win. The main difference here is you get a completely randomised team of gods. You can switch with allies or decide to re-roll a single time, then you're stuck with the god you have. This makes for interesting match-ups, interesting builds and a good amount of experience in gods that you may not otherwise play.

    Joust is a 3v3 game with a single lane and a jungle area. Once again, you must destroy the enemy Titan to win, there are just fewer people on each team, making the team fights have a slightly different dynamic.

    Progression
    Smite is free-to-play, but definitely not pay-to-win. You can happily play the game forever without having to invest a single penny in the game, and your chances of winning a game aren't diminished by doing so. You start the game with access to 10 of the 100 current gods, and these gods are yours for good. You also get a choice of 5 other gods for free, which rotate each week. You'll likely not see a brand new god for a good few months after being released, but they will eventually make an appearance.
    If you wish to spend money on the game, there are two main areas, Gods and cosmetics. You can unlock every single god in the game, and every single god that will ever be released, with a one off purchase, that I highly recommend getting. They can be unlocked without, but I found when I first started that I took a few games to find a god that I was comfortable with while learning the game.

    Cosmetic items are the only other thing to spend money on. Technically, you spend money on buying gems, then you use those gems to purchase god skins, voice packs, emotes, death marks, jump stamps, global emotes etc, either with a direct purchase, or through a chest roll (which some skins are exclusive to). The all have no effect on gameplay, other than changing a look of a god and their abilities.

    Community
    I feel as though I have to put in a fair warning. The Smite community is generally pretty good, with a good number of events, community skin designs being incorporated into the game, and many players acting as guides, working as a team and just generally having fun in unexpected places. Sadly, as with many MOBA's and games in general, you get those few players, especially since the introduction of cross-play with PC, who are toxic, salty and generally angry people that try to ruin the game for others, or blame others for something that the others have no power over.
    Do not let these people put you off, although I'd say be open to those who give actual constructive criticism, without them being condescending.

    Achievements
    Surely, one of the most important sections for this website. If you decide to play Smite, you're in for the long haul. There are a lot of achievements, as you may have seen. There are the initial achievements for the base game, which revolve around playing the game. Many include playing a certain game time, destroying towers, winning games and levelling up gods. They aren't all that taxing and the vast majority will come as you play the game without trying particularly hard, possibly with the exception of getting a penta-kill, which will require some luck.

    Where the achievements get harder are the god-specific achievements. Each god has two in-game awards and unlocking those rewards will grant you an achievement. With 100 gods currently in the game, we're up to 200 god-based achievements, and 2 more arrive with every new god release.

    These achievements range from very easy, simply using an ability to do a bit of damage to someone (which can usually be achieved within the first minute of a game) to very hard, including stealing a powerful objective with an ultimate (Ra's Searing Steal) and killing three gods with a single use of an ability that doesn't have a big area of effect (Cupid's The Power of the Heart).

    As an aside, the really hard achievements will mostly come with time, and maybe a bit of boosting. They usually end up popping when you aren't particularly trying to get them, it just sort of happens.

    Conclusion
    Smite was the first MOBA that I really got into, and I still am into it, more than many other games. It's one of the only two eSports that I watch regularly (second place goes to Overwatch), I play it almost daily and like to think I have a good understanding of the game. Smite holds a special place in my heart.

    They game will likely take you a fair while learn every little piece of information and how to put it all together and use it, but it will come with time, and time is something you need to complete Smite (I'm up to about 1100 hours and recently reached 97% completion).

    I recommend playing it, and I hope to see you on the battlefield.
    4.5