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Smite: Why I Play It, and Why You Should
BAM! Out of nowhere MOBA games have become popular. Games like League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, DOTA, and Smite have found themselves on the tongues of both hardcore and casual gamers alike. These games have even gone as far as to attract people in pop culture, who may not play games regularly, into picking them up and playing the game.
If you don’t already know, MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games all typically provide the player with the same bread and butter game scenario. On the map there are three roads, or lanes. In each of these lanes there are six towers, a front line tower, a fallback tower, and a tower directly in front of the base for each team. These towers act as a line of defense for each team. They single target enemy players and creeps and produce massive damage on the target. The object of the game is to lead the creep NPC’s that spawn at your base to the enemy base. Each tower that is in your way must be taken down before you can reasonably progress down lane. The best way to get this done is leading your creeps to the tower, where they will absorb the brunt of the tower’s damage while you work on taking it down.
The player chooses from one of the many heroes to play as. They each offer a different play style and move list. Some are tankier than others, while at the same time there are mage characters that can do massive magic damage. This leads to most players strategically picking characters so that the team can complement each other with their abilities.
This is where the differences between the games appear. It can vary from play styles such as a helicopter view with an auto attack function, to a style using a third person camera view with only skill shots. Other factors change the way the game plays, for example some games have grass or “jungle” areas where they are undetectable to an extent. In other games you can kill your own friendly creep to deny your opponent XP. Every game provides a slightly different experience, and I believe that is what‘s keeping this genre thriving.
So you may find yourself asking, why Smite? What makes this game shine slightly more than the rest? Smite puts players in a third person perspective while playing. This along with the focus on skill shots provides a fresh feel on the genre that separates the game from its cartoonish helicopter perspective counterparts. The third person perspective is complimented with a pretty nice graphics engine so the game looks and feels grittier and more intense. The camera view is placed directly behind your character so you can only see what’s approaching from behind if you turn. This actually allows for stealthy assassin type characters to be implemented into the game. In other MOBAs, you typically have to rely on a grass or jungle area to hide yourself in before you attack. Perhaps one of the best tidbits about Smite is the fact that you play as Gods. There are no random heroes that were thrown together simply just to exist in the game, these are Gods, Goddesses, and creatures of myth. They are characters you can instantly recognize and usually have a decent idea of how the God will play. If you’ve ever wondered what would happen in a clash between Hades, Odin, and Anubis, then you’ll find your answer in this game.
Smite adds a lot of different little things to the MOBA genre. These changes are nothing major, but they are different enough to provide this game with an identity all its own. Small innovations, when done correctly, are always a welcome addition to any game that’s already good on its own. My final word: if you like MOBA games or even have a slight interest in them, check Smite out. It’s a fun twist for anyone experienced with MOBAs, and the presentation of the game is an easy transition for anyone familiar with third-person games or MMOs.