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.
The Quadra Kill achievement in SMITE worth 64 pointsGet a quadra kill in a qualifying match. The 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.
The Last Man Standing achievement is somewhat luck based too - you must be the only god alive on either team.
The 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
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
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.