[PS4 MOBA] SMITE Review
The Gods are at war! Gods from every different culture are fighting for supremacy, and you can help in the battle! Are you ready to dive into action in SMITE? To the Arena!
SMITE is the online battleground of the gods. Players choose from a diverse cast of deities and use their unique powers to triumph over the opposition in 5v5 team matches. SMITE is a new take on the MOBA genre rather than observing from above the action, the game’s third person perspective puts players into the thick of combat.
SMITE Review: Battleground of the Gods – Gameplay Trailer | PS4
SMITE is a new MOBA for the PS4 from Hi-Rez Studios. It has actually been available on PC for a few years now, and it has finally hit the PS4. It is a third person view game, which is different from the other MOBA’s you generally hear about that have a top down view, such as League of Legends or DOTA 2. This provides the basis for a strong console MOBA and a game I was initially scared of jumping into due to its depth and difficulty curve made it easier to take it all in and learn as I played.
The first thing to discuss is the game is free to play! You can download the game and get access to 10 Gods that you can play as. Five are standard (Thor, Neith, Ra, Ymir, and Guan Yu), and five others are changed weekly to give some variety to the mix, and so you can try the rest to find your favorites. The game has over 70 gods and counting as they have steadily added new characters over the past few years.
What makes this game really unique is that each God plays differently, making each game very different. All of the Gods belong to one of five classes. The Warrior is meant for upfront fighting and battle, the Hunter is a good and quick ranged fighter, the Assassin is more focused on stealth kills, the Mage is a ranged combat unit with a big focus on using spells, and the Guardian can be used to absorb damage and often protects other fighters. Then from there are each God’s unique skills as well as one unique buff. They are wildly different for each character, even if within the same class. The best way to learn them is to jump into the battlefield and test them out.
Now here’s the thing about MOBA’s: every time you play a match your character starts fresh at a minimum level and gear. As you play the match, you can upgrade your skills and items using the gold and experience you earn, allowing you to cater your match to the team you have and the opponents you are fighting. This creates a unique game experience as every match is very different. One thing SMITE does, which is great for newcomers and beginners, is having an auto purchase for both items and abilities, so you don’t have to get wrapped up in that. Once you get familiar with things, you can take charge of purchasing the items and abilities that best suit your play style.
When you finish a match, you are awarded Favor, Followers, and XP. You can earn a lot if you win your match, but even if you lose you will still receive some. Favor can be used to purchase extra Gods and some skins, and Followers will help your God level up. While they do not gain any benefits from leveling up regarding stats, people can see the level when entering the match knowing how well you know your God. You also gain access to new skins when hitting mastery levels 1, 5, and 10, including the sweet Diamond version of your characters. Finally, XP levels up your profile. You can get up to Level 30, and that is when you gain access to ranked matches. As you level up you can also earn rentals of different Gods so that you can try them out for a bit.
Let’s talk about the match types next. There are Arena, Joust, Assult, Siege, Clash, and Conquest modesand each is different while still sharing some similarities as well.
Arena- This is a straight out deathmatch. 5 Gods vs. 5 Gods. You get 500 points up front, and every minion kill reduces the enemy tally by one. If you can successfully help your minions get across the arena into the enemies portal, it will also reduce their tally by one. Every God kill reduces five tickets and for every ten god kills your team gets it spawns a giant minion that if you can get it across to the enemy portal will end up removing 15 points. The strategy I found effective here is minion management. You need to make sure you are destroying the enemies’ minions to reduce their tally, and keep them from getting into your portal. I have seen far too many people allow them to get across as they were focused on fighting the other Gods. Overall it’s a super fun and competitive mode, great for learning gods abilities and testing them out.
Joust – This serves as the introduction to the MOBA itself, and you should start playing here. It’s a simple one lane map with one tower and Phoenix on each side of the map with some small jungle. The goal as in most of the other maps is to destroy the opposing enemy Titan on the other side of the map. You need to work in conjunction to with the two other Gods you play with to funnel your minions down the lane and have them attacking the enemy Tower so they can then focus on the Phoenix, so that they target them and not you, giving you the chance to damage it without harm. It’s a great introductory mode that can still be a lot of fun.
Conquest – This is a three-lane map with 5 Gods fighting throughout it. There are multiple Towers and Phoenix that need to be taken down to reach the enemy Titan. Each Phoenix you kill makes the enemy Titan easier to kill. This is the classic SMITE mode used consistently in competitive play. You should have some good experience and a good handle on the God you are playing with before jumping into this mode.
Assault – This is an interesting map as you are assigned a random God. It’s also 3 lanes, similar to conquest with the same amount of Towers and Phoenix, but the caveat here is you can’t return to base to purchase new items… you need to die. It keeps you constantly pushing down your lanes trying to destroy the enemies’ Towers quickly and effectively, also allowing you to take more chances. You want to have a good handle on most of the 70+ Gods before jumping into this game mode or you’ll be eaten alive.
Siege – Siege is a two-lane map with 4 versus 4 matches. What makes this map stand out is you can unlock siege weapons that are giant machines that you can roll down one lane causing major damage to Towers if you can get them down to that level. A really unique twist on the map, and a fun variation on the regular mode.
Clash – This one is a smaller version of the Conquest mode featuring 5 vs 5 with 2 lanes. Once again the focus is on taking down the titan, by removing its towers and phoenixes. This is a great mode to play as you get ready to tackle the Conquest mode.
One issue I did have with the game was finding people to play with. As this is a group game if you can find people to play with regularly you will generally be more successful. Within the game, there is no internal clan system implemented at this point, at least on console. I did make use of the PS4 communities feature though and have been able to group up with people from it. Hopefully, we see it in the next update or two as it would make playing with people considerably easier.
Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room: the free to play aspects of the game. The game is 100% free, and you get to play in any of the modes with the five normally unlocked Gods and the five rotating Gods. You can spend some money on Gems, which you can use to purchase some special exclusive Skins or access to the Fantasy Draft, which unlocks special bonus items and skins as you earn more points. It’s a good system that lets you spend some money if you would like to, but it’s not necessary if you want to enjoy the full game. One other thing of note is that the game rewards you for logging in every day, and for each successive day throughout the week you will unlock some favor and on Day 6 and Day 7 you can actually get 50 free gems between both days!
There also is the SMITE Founders Pack available right here. It will unlock all of the Gods immediately, give you two exclusive skins, as well as small amount of Gems. I have been playing with this and it has been excellent. The other nice thing is that you will also immediately unlock any new fighters added to the game as the game is updated.
Finally, SMITE was recently patched and trophies are now part of the equation!. The game has a platinum trophy which is awesome for a F2P game. Most of the trophies are awarded for just playing the game, and you receive them for the amount of mastered Gods, matches played in the different types of games, kills of Gods and Minions and special ones like the Pentakill, which has you kill five Gods in a very short period. What I like is that you can earn the platinum without even needing to win – it would just take longer.
With the nature of the game regularly changing with its updates, I will be writing up some smaller articles for every update with some of the changes and my thoughts on how well they have been implemented. You should be seeing updates probably each month as the game continues to evolve.
I don’t know if you can tell, but I really like SMITE. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I first started playing it, but I have played at least one match if not more every day for the past few weeks. The game keeps you coming back, wanting to get better at it. Often when playing, I just wanted to run one more match before going to bed and… oh, look! It’s extremely late, and I should be sleeping now. With the game being free to play there is no reason to skip trying this excellent game.
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