Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Video Game Review: Smite

MOBA goodness in a game filled with deities, Smite is a game that gives a fantasy fight feeling, coupled with a holy beatdown. We’ve reviewed MOBAs in the past and we’ve also recently shown who we feel our Top 10 Gods are – And Smite got mentioned in that article. With this in mind, it’s only fair that we give the Gods a run for their money in this review.

smite-logo-96dpi-2000w

Overview

Developer Hi-Rez Studios
Platforms PC, PS4, XBox One,
Windows Release March 25, 2014
Genre MOBA
Price (all platforms)
£Free (in-game purchases, but purely cosmetic)

Review

Gameplay

smite_screenshot_sunwukongvsthor

MOBAs are often a 5v5 game with at least 3 lanes, where people fight down the lanes, take out towers and minions that spawn and hope that they don’t do it back to you. Because it’s a game of five a side, it’s an incredibly great choice for eSports. As such, much like with other MOBAs (I.E DOTA, League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm,) this is a game all about teamwork. You can get a really good mix of players who can beat the best group of characters, but at the same time, you could be the best individual in a game, but if your team lets you down, you’re not going to win. So as well as quick play, there are ranked games, which can net you some good money – if you’re good enough at the game.

There are several modes in Smite: Arena is the one I’m most familiar with. This is a 5-a-side game, where you aim to get minions through the enemy teams portal. You and your opponents get 400 points and each minion that escapes through do 1 damage to a portal. There are bigger minions and siege minions who deal a massive 20 points. This game is very fast paced – and each kill contributes 5 points to the cause.

The range of characters makes the game feel very much alive. From my personal favourite Geb, through to Anubis and even Sylvanus, Smite features some very fun play styles. There are different pantheons that these gods come from, including Norse, Egyptian and Mayan. The play styles are sensible to each of the characters, however just because you’ve learned all of the characters now doesn’t mean you’ve learnt all of them. For instance, right now, there is a new god being put into the game called Camazotz. Check out the above video for more information on the Deadly God of Bats.

Audio

One of my favourite points about Smite is the characterisation… And one of the best parts of it are the voice packs. I’ll just use the example of the God of Sun, Ra. This bird man is simply awesome and whoever did his voice acting should have his hand shaken, because the way he rolls his R’s when he announces himself is superb. But, there’s a point why I mention this specific voice: He’s not alone. He’s joined by a lot of wonderful voices in the game – and it adds a lot to it. From the cheesy puns, to the perfectly voiced, the game is well thought out from it’s vocals. Add this to the very clear announcer, it’s wonderful.

Not only that, but the sounds in game are really good. Basically, the music is entertaining without being too much. There is enough variance that it is thoroughly enjoyable, so it doesn’t get annoying and the in-game sounds are great indicators for if an ultimate ability is about to be played, or whatever charged ability is being played.

Graphics

Smite has a truly impressive look, which makes it stand out in the crowded MOBA market. The fact that all of the characters are gods, or at least a deity, makes them incredibly recognisable. It helps that the design philosophy behind the game is actually really impressive. It’s not too bright, not too dark. The fact you’re there in the arenas gives it a great edge – But as always, here’s a graphics gallery so you can decide what you think for yourself:

Overall

smite_screenshot_arenateam

Smite is a very simple MOBA to pick up and play, so if you’re already familiar with the genre, then this will be a doddle. It’s really easy to understand with very good instructions. The lack of players being able to type to one another in a team game is both good and bad in my eyes. MOBAs are often considered to be rather hard to get into, mostly due to how some people will gladly criticise others in game… So no more flaming in game as there’s no chat-box option! However, this does raise concerns for those who genuinely want to communicate with their team mates. It’s not an easy feature to do without in a team game, but if it makes the community that little bit nicer, then so be it. However, it does allow voice chat – and on the PS4 version that I played, I didn’t appreciate having my ears blasted off by some teenager who was screaming down the microphone. What a horrible noise. However, having said that, the feature is certainly needed.

With many different play modes to keep many different people entertained, some actual real-life mythology thrown into a MOBA title of this calibre is actually a blessing in disguise. I’m certain that I’ll be playing Smite a lot more, as it’s quickly becoming my go-to game on the PlayStation. However, I’m now going to lend my ear to you, mortals – What do you think of Smite? Does it have it’s own place in the MOBA market, or do you think it’s just another game? I personally feel it’s well worth checking out, but let me know what you think in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.

10 responses

  1. This sounds like fun. Games that rely on teamwork can be frustrating though. Every time I lose in Overwatch I find myself cursing at the stupidity of the people I get paired up with.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 14, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    • I find overwatch far too imbalanced for my tastes… However Smite I haven’t had the issues with..! It’s brilliant and free :)

      Liked by 1 person

      October 14, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      • For whatever reason I am enjoying Overwatch, which is a surprise as I normally struggle with FPS titles. World of Warcraft and Hearthstone taught me that Blizzard aren’t the best when it comes to game balance, but on the plus side they do at least buff/nerf things in response to complaints that may arise.

        Can’t gripe about free because if you eventually tire of the game you aren’t out of pocket. Overwatch’s asking price was steep given the limited content. Thankfully you can count the developer to add more stuff as time goes by. I prefer to pay one fee for all the characters rather than get pestered to pay microtransactions. There are loot boxes in Overwatch, but that comes with the territory in these DLC times we live in. I’m not too fussed as it’s all cosmetic.

        Liked by 1 person

        October 14, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      • Definitely, there’s a wonderful sense of quality behind Blizzard products. But I have struggled with their balance philosophy for a while, dating back to WoW.

        Yup, they will fix the balance… But then new imbalances rise rather obviously. But, maybe it’s the same in all games? Perhaps games are just that hard to balance. I wonder how it’s done in a professional capacity :)

        Liked by 1 person

        October 14, 2016 at 3:30 pm

  2. Game balancing is an uneviable task. Even titles that only have three factions to worry about (like Starcraft) as opposed to a big roster of heroes can be a pain to make even for all sides. A player’s skill level is also a factor. A hero who is broken on the pro scene may be unpopular with us mere mortals because maximizing their potential requires superhuman reflexes and expert knowlegde of the game’s mechanics.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 14, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    • Haha definitely! I would seriously love to see what they do to balance games… I might reach out to a few devs to find out :D

      Liked by 1 person

      October 14, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      • Prior to release I presume they playtest the game inhouse and rely on reports that may arise during Beta. After the game is live I believe they number crunch whatever the database records. If a certain character has an unusually high or low win rate they look at how they can tweak their skill set. Fans also leave feedback on the forums, although I would take posts with a pinch of salt. If every comment on the forums were to believed every character is broken and needs to be nerfed.

        Or they can do what they do in Hearthstone. Priests are seriously underpowered and they rub salt into the wound by giving them naff cards (like Purify) when an expansion comes out ;-)

        Liked by 1 person

        October 14, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      • The issue with relying on win rates, as unusual as they may be, is the fact this is a team game. Lots of people would pick a character if it suits the majority play style.

        I think posts are more carefully considered from a competitive source rather than public games too… But, I genuinely have struggled to understand balancing issues ever since I’ve seen an MMO.

        It’s probably the hardest aspect of maintaining an online game

        Liked by 1 person

        October 14, 2016 at 4:56 pm

  3. People certainly pick what is popular or matches their playstyle. I don’t know how it is in Smite, but in Overwatch I often get grouped with five DPS. No one wants to play support and to a lesser extent tanks.

    Overwatch competitive mode tries to rank people on performance instead of pure wins/losses, but the system needs work. In a six-man team who played together all the time it was noted that the support guys were earning less rank points. How do you judge such things though? If you get stuck in a rubbish team you will probably end up with massive heal stats whilst a good team will dodge harm leaving support with little to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 14, 2016 at 5:28 pm

  4. Pingback: Video Game Review: Paragon | GeekOut South-West

Drop us a line

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s