I have gotten the chance to play SMITE one of the upcoming MOBA (Massive Online Battle Arena) games to hit the scene from Hi-Rez Studio. As soon as I came upon the main menu I saw that the playable characters are based on different mythological deities and pantheons from a variety of religions such as Hindu, Egyptian and Norse. I browsed at some of the GODS from the “GODS” menu and I saw some interesting yet familiar ones such as Zeus and Artemis but the one that caught my eye was the Egyptian crocodile “God of the Nile” Sobek. I noticed at the top of the screen I was level 1 so I assume that there is a persistent leveling feature in this game as similar to other MOBA games such as League of Legends. I also noticed there was a “favor” feature which would be my guess the in-game currency to purchase GODS that is earned by playing in-games.
I felt like I was ready to play my first game so I picked up Sobek the crocodile God and headed in. At first it was quite confusing as I didn’t know any of the items or what my character actually did but thankfully they have an “auto-buy” and “auto-level” system in place for levels 1-6. The map layout was very similar to other MOBAs with 3 lanes and towers in each lane but with the last structure being a Minotaur that moves and attacks (like the Guild Lord in Guild Wars if by chance you played). There are creeps on the far left and far right that gives buffs and are mirrored with each other, so the same buffs are on each side for a balanced map. There is also a “Fire Giant” that gives what I would call a super buff to the whole team if you get to vanquish him, which is quite difficult and required a team effort to kill. I could see competitive players really liking how the map is set up.
The overall movement of my character was very fluid and the animations were top notch. Auto attacking was simple yet dynamic as you can auto attack without actually being near anything which I thought was a cool feature. Number keys 1-4 are used for skills. During my first game I learned that my crocodile can dash forward and throw someone behind him with his first skill, twirl around with his tail which knocks everyone away from him with his second skill, throw blades in a cone in front of him which does damage and heals him with his third skill and for the last ability he dives into a pool of water that he creates to sneak up on someone and then chomps on them to unleash big damage.
I died a few times but also picked up a few kills and had fun and actually won my first game when I hardly knew what I was doing. The gameplay is very straightforward and easy to pick up (even for people just starting out like me!) and the graphics are pleasing to the eyes. If you are a fan of MOBA games I suggest you try this game out as soon as it is in open beta or get a hold of a beta key, it is well worth a try.