Already wildly popular on Windows PCs, Smite ushers in a new generation of multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) on the Xbox One. Played from an over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective (unlike the top-down view of many MOBAs), Smite puts players in the guise of one of 60+ gods drawn from the pantheons of many of the world’s polytheistic traditions. Thor’s here, as is Kali, and Apollo, along with many more. Each has a unique play style and move set, and each plays as part of a team.
Smite features several game modes, each of which favors a certain play style – but all of which build skills that are useful in all the modes. The core game mode is Conquest, which features a three-lane, traditional MOBA style of attack-and-capture gameplay. Teams of five face off against each other, with no one being allowed to have the same god as a teammate. You can play in ranked matches, or if you want to play with some buddies, you can practice in co-op mode as well. If you choose to play ranked, you’d better be on your “A” game, as ranked Conquest is the toughest and most competitive of Smite’s modes.
For those looking for a more casual challenge, Arena mode features similar five-on-five gameplay… but instead of a traditional, lane-based map, everything takes place in a big, open arena. This is far more chaotic, and rewards individual reflexes and skill as much as teamwork. On the flip side, there’s Joust mode, which is laid out similarly to Conquest – but only allows for one lane, rather than three, and slims down from five-on-five to three-on-three teams. Think of it as “Conquest Lite.”
Finally, there’s Siege mode, which is laid out like Conquest, but which features more powerful A.I. creatures that players can spawn by taking down enemy players and structures. The more destruction one team causes, the faster they get powerful A.I. allies. This game mode pushes players to fight each other sooner, rather than wandering the map, building up strength.
If this all sounds a little intimidating, don’t worry: Not only does Smite come with a bevy of controller setups (some of which were designed by expert console gamers specifically for the Xbox One), it uses a modified TrueSkill ranking system to ensure that you won’t be pitted against players who are way above or below your skill level. Challenge is the name of the game in MOBAs – but a fair challenge is what Smite will deliver.
Best of all, Smite is free to play. When it hits Xbox One later this year via [email protected], you can download it, load it up, and start kicking divine booty!