SMITE is the latest game belonging to the third person multiplayer online battle arena genre, published and developed by Hi-Rez Studios. Available on Xbox One and Microsoft Windows, this MOBA game invites players to take on the visage of a mythological creature. With dozens of gods and legendary heroes to choose from, this is an action-packed game where players can use special tactics and abilities to defeat the opposing team.
Key facts about SMITE
- SMITE is a welcomed addition to the MOBA genre, by projecting a fresh perspective and using mythological gods as heroes.
- You can play the game for free, while having the option of using micro-transactions to acquire skills and heroes.
- SMITE features some original game modes, such as the Match of the Day games, with unique rewards and perks.
- This third person multiplayer online battle arena game is surprisingly balanced, especially in the late stages and has a rewarding progression.
The SMITE games
There are a total of five types of SMITE games, with the easiest ones being the practice games which include the main tutorial and a couple of solo game versions. They serve the purpose of getting players familiar with the game and the most popular modes go by the name of Joust, Arena, Conquest Map Roam, Assault and Siege.
Once players feel comfortable with the single player, they can move on to the Co-Op games and eventually to the Normal version. In this stage, they can play Arena, Conquest, Assault, Joust, Siege, Clash and Match of the Day and when they feel prepared, they can make the transition to ranked games. For those who want to enjoy something special and have a specific idea in mind, custom games are the best solution with their unique challenge versions.
The main SMITE game is the conquest mode, which is played in a basic version for MOBA games, including Dota 2 and Heroes of the Storm with a standard three lane maps. Two teams compete for supremacy and in both normal and ranked modes, the action unfolds at the same pace and following the same rules. The only difference is that the League is more competitive and players can quantify progress by accumulating points and moving up the ladder.
A classic MOBA format
Arena SMITE games are played in a 5 vs 5 format, with minions pouring from both ends of the map and players also have to complete side objectives. The difference between this game mode and the aforementioned one is that there are no lanes whatsoever and instead players compete in an open area.
Each team starts with 500 points and whenever they manage to kill opponents, they will strip them of points until the grand total hits zero. The moment players hit zero points, their team loses and the opposing squad is declared the winner.
SMITE games also feature a Joust mode which has a medieval theme and three players compete against just as many opponents. In the league games, players can compete against each other in a 1v1 mode, which makes it the exception to the rule. Inspired by the success of League of Legends’ ARAM mode, SMITE introduces the Assault games where players are assigned a random god and try to inflict maximum damage upon the opponent team.
Those who prefer a Mayan-themed SMITE game can play Siege and fight their wars on two lanes while completing various objectives. Players try to make good use of the Siege Juggernaut, which has the abilities and resilience needed to knock down walls and gates. These are spawned when a team manages to earn 100 points which are earned by killing opponents. There is also the possibility of enlisting the services of a special monster that goes by the name of Wild Juggernaut and serves a similar purpose.
What is SMITE?
SMITE might be the latest game belonging to the third person multiplayer online battle arena genre, but it brings something new to the industry. It introduces gods as heroes and all of them are inspired by ancient mythology, which adds authenticity to this game. It has a smooth learning curve that makes it easy for newbie to get around, while maintaining excellent balance in the late stages of the game. The game places the camera down behind the character in a truly innovative way and introduces original game modes.
Gameplay of SMITE
SMITE gameplay is not necessarily complex but it is definitely diverse, ass it includes different and original game modes. Conquest is the most popular one and players are divided into two distinct teams featuring between three and five players. All of them start with a standard amount of gold which can be spent on starting items, but better ones can be purchased as players accumulate more resources.
There are two ways to strengthen your heroes and the most straightforward way is to level up, by killing minions and opposing heroes. Items will grant special abilities and bonuses, which in turn make the gods more powerful and more difficult to defeat. In SMITE there are three lanes and each of them is defended by a Phoenix and defensive towers, making it virtually impossible for low-level heroes to advance.
The goal of each SMITE game is to advance all the way to the heart of the enemy’s base and destroy the Titan. This is a giant warrior that sits in the middle of the base and it is only vulnerable when all the lines of defense have been destroyed. Minions are regularly spawned in both corners of the map and they advance towards the enemy’s base, while being the main targets for defensive structures. Players use them as cannon fodder to attack towers without taking direct damage.
Under normal circumstances, the game only concludes when one of the bases is completely destroyed by either enemies or heroes. When things go terribly wrong and one of the teams decides to surrender, it can do so but only if four out of five players agree. Those who leave without the consent of the team risk suspension and penalties.
Plot of SMITE
Multiplayer online battle arena games don’t have a single player campaign per se and that’s why the need for a narrative is virtually nonexistent. Even though there is no actual SMITE plot, the fact that players can choose between 72 immortals and gods makes it more than a standard MOBA. Furthermore, these deities are inspired from eight different pantheons, which makes SMITE a treat for history buffs.
It is not possible for players from two teams to choose the same God and that’s why it is recommended to unlock several characters before signing up for league games. All the gods are controlled in a third person perspective, making SMITE a truly unique game in the multiplayer online battle arena genre. Each god has its special abilities and hit points and at the highest competitive level, players choose their characters based on the opposing teams setup.
SMITE Gods are so well-designed that many are easy to recognize even by those who are not necessarily familiar with mythology. The only side effect is that some Hindu leaders were upset by the inclusion of some deities in the game, claiming that they were misrepresented. The developers responded by changing some of their features and adding new pieces of armor, but all the characters are still present in the game.
Development of SMITE
SMITE was developed in less than one year and Hi-Rez Studios managed to kick the project into overdrive, by signing an agreement with Tencent. Work on the game started in August 2013 and it was released one year later, with partner companies publishing it in China as well as Latin America. Since its inception, new SMITE gods were introduced and the existing ones were polished, to improve game balance
Where can I download SMITE?
SMITE is already an immensely popular MOBA game with tournaments and competitions attracting players of all skill level. The game is free to play and can be downloaded from the official website, with players enjoying unrestricted access to all content.
What are others saying about SMITE?
SMITE was well received by the critics as well as the players, raking an overall score of 83 out of 100. Despite the criticism from the aforementioned Hindu leaders, the developers chose not to remove the contested characters and have announced that they won’t make any changes in the foreseeable future. In fact, more gods were introduced since then and the reviews continue to be overwhelmingly positive.
The first SMITE world championship took place in January 2015 and players from all over the world competed in Atlanta, Georgia. Hi-Rez Studios is the proud host of these events and with a guaranteed prize pool of more than $2.6 million, it was among the best paying in Esports. From this year onward, a cap of $1 million will be placed on the SMITE World Championships, so money will be divided among more players instead of being channeled towards a single event.
My rating of SMITE
I’ve always enjoy playing MOBAs and SMITE was one of the most pleasant surprises when the game was released. The developers didn’t hesitate to walk down the less traveled paths and as far as I’m concerned, the introduction of gods as central heroes was a brilliant idea. I like the late game balance, the animations as well as the game mechanics and even though I lack the skills to compete at the highest level, I enjoy watching the tournaments. 8.5 out of 10 is a well-deserved score for one of the few truly original multiplayer online battle arena games.