Smite is a free-to-play MOBA game, brought to us by Hi-Rez Studios, where you embark on a journey that will lead you to a godlike confrontations between epic and mythological Gods. Unlike most games of its genre, Smite puts you into the first seat (3rd-person view) in the game to watch the action up close while you try to survive the killing blows of your enemy.
Visual and options
The game looks great by having a neat balance between graphic quality and performance while playing. Furthermore the antialiasing effect does improve those sharp edges by making the environment more pleasant for your eyes. Sounds and voice covers play an important role in Smite, thus they are executed flawlessly and to the letter. There aren’t too many game options to go through and the UI is a bit robust, but developers did a great job at positioning all the HUD elements so you can focus on the battle screen rather than on stats.
Playing like a God
Like all MOBA games, your objectives are to get past your enemy’s defenses to reach your ultimate goal that is symbolically represented by a Titan (Boss fight). There are a few differences that make Smite stand out of the MOBA crowd, that ultimately fine-tune the player’s experience when taking the victory home.
The game does a great job at helping you step-by-step by following their detailed tutorial on how to survive your first battles. It doesn’t take long for you to realize that most of the hard work, item picking and skill selection are automatically executed by the AI assistance mechanism. The tutorial encourages you to keep these autopilot options on until you get a better understanding of the game works while you gain more experience through different game-plays. Smite also gives you the possibility to live stream directly from within the game and also watch other player’s games to better understand how they deal in various combat situations. In other words this system improves your chances to play with/against veteran gamers and don’t fall behind too much while leveling your God throughout a match.
Smite also has a Voice Guidance System (VGS) that replaces the need to type in chat when trying to communicate efficiently. It uses a combo of keys to alert your team, through voice commands, whenever you want to point something out for them, such as a missing enemy from your lane or simply returning to base to heal and resupply. It does take a while to get used to them, but they are very helpful as they don’t constantly focus your attention in the chat window or on the mini-map.
In order to have access to all the game’s content you have to level up your account until you reach level 30. As you get your level higher, more game mods and Gods will become available to you. Upon reaching level 30 you will also have the opportunities to play in ranked matches and progress through its tiers.
The Parthenon of Gods
There are 5 classes available for your god collection, where you can choose to be a powerful mage who wield the extreme powers of magic, an assassin that base his attacks on stealth and cunning, a hunter that focuses on range attacks to take down enemies quickly, a guardian that has a huge life pool and rely on defense strategies in order to allow his team enough time to inflict maximum damage, or you could just be a warrior that balances his defense and attack skills so he can dominate the battlefield in pure rage.
Of course, each class is specific to different roles like support, tank, carry or jungler that requires good cooperation in order for all team members to excel their best in team fights.
Like all mythologies, each God is represented by a specific culture. In the character selection panel we have a filter that allows us to browse between Hindu, Mayan, Chinese, Norse, Roman, Greek and Egyptian Gods, which have their own backstory and abilities correlated with folklore believes associated with them. Each God has 4 usable combat skills you can activate during fights, 2 slots for consumable potions and wards, 6 precious items/gear slots and 2 more special slots for passive abilities that can be purchased from the AI shop, giving your playable character extensive build flexibility. You also have the possibility to create your own preset of recommended items before you begin a match within the game’s client.
Being a 3rd person shooter type of MOBA, the combat is pretty much skilled-shot oriented. Though you are given the impression of a lot of mobility, by panning you camera up and down or by jumping, the crosshair is kept on a stabilized ground level, thus your only concern is aiming left and right than above and below an enemy God.
Needless to say, if you roll with autopilot in your early game stages on you won’t lose precious time in your base by looking at each item and skill to understand how they work, but if you want to get the best out of your God then a bit of practice won’t spoil your curiosity.
There are 6 game modes available where your God will have to defeat the enemy party within the given time, while reaching the maximum character level of 20 and buying various consumables, items and precious gear. Practice is the most recommended activity when trying to familiarize yourself with a new God. This is a single-player (solo) mode that teaches you the basic rules and mechanics of the game, while playing on a single lane map against another AI God.
Conquest is the default 5-vs-5 game mode, featuring a three lane map surrounded by a jungle area, where the main objective is to destroy the enemy towers, Phoenixes and Minotaur. One thing to keep in mind is that the Minotaur is much stronger if most of the defenses are still up and yes it will attack you since it’s not a structure, like in other MOBA games. Also Phoenixes are special towers that will unlock super-minions when destroyed, but unlike the traditional towers, Phoenixes re-spawn after a given time.
Arena is more of a PVP-like brawling death match, where the main goal is to reduce your opponent’s ticket count to zero, by killing enemy Gods and their minions. Each team starts with 500 tickets and an average game lasts about 15 minutes per match. Also the Arena is full of spectators that will cheer up every time an event happens on the glorious battlefield.
Assault is very similar to Conquest, but you are assigned a random God and the map has a single lane with no jungle area (all random, all mid). The objectives remain the same as in Conquest mode, where your goal is to help protect the base while attacking the enemy’s defenses.
Joust is a 1-vs-1 mode that is very fun to play when challenging one of your friends to a duel. In order to win you only have to destroy your rival/friend’s Minotaur. This mode will yield a reward only once per day, so it is more of a proving ground for player’s superiority rather than a standardized game mode.
Siege is also very similar to Conquest mode, but the big difference is that this map has only two lanes instead of the normal three and the teams can have up to three players each. Your main objective is to acquire a siege weapon, to push the lanes faster, by killing minions, jungle camps and enemy players to earn the necessary points. You can also get an instant siege weapon by destroying the central jungle camp.
Upon winning a game you are rewarded with a global experience and favor (in-game currency). Favor is used to buy new Gods or account icons, but you also have the possibility to use micro transactions with the help of gems (bought with real cash). There is even a goodwill system that provides you with a 30% reward bonus if you play according to the game’s rules and you prove to be a reliable member for your team.
Smite is an interesting MOBA game that thinks out of the box when it comes to its game-play style. The 3rd person camera view is one of the best features of the game, while graphics and VGS look very polished and the antialiasing option does improve the visual quality by a lot without performance loss. Combat is skill-shot oriented and force players to be focused on most of the action that happens in the battle. The 6 game mods also help players to switch between game styles ultimately achieving level 30 where they can explore the pleasure of ranked matches. For everyone who loves to wield the power of the ancient Gods, Smite will satisfy that desire and transform all you battles into awesome good games (GG).