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Smite Preview: Hey look at me, I'm playing a MOBA on my console
Posted on August 18, 2015 by Oscar Gonzalez

There's no doubt that the top two MOBA games are DotA 2 and League of Legends, and with the control layout for those games, it's unlikely we'll see those games make the jump to the consoles. However, Smite, the third-person perspective MOBA game and arguably the third most popular within the genre, had just the right layout for a controller to make it a perfect fit for a console port.

For those unfamiliar with the game, the various gods and legends from different cultures have come together to beat each other's asses. While you won't see Jesus or Allah anytime soon in the game, you will be able to choose between gods such as Zeus, Thor, and Osiris. The game modes pit players in 1 vs. 1, 3 vs. 3 and 5 vs. 5 matches. The 5 vs. 5 matches have three variants:  Arena, Assault, and Conquest, with the last one being the primary game mode.

Like other MOBAs, you select a character and in a match, try to destroy the core of the other team's base. In most matches, that means taking down a giant located in the base. You'll have to farm minions to gain xp and gold, destroy towers and the minion producing Phoenixes, and of course, take down as many opponents as you can. Use gold to buy equipment and items to make yourself a better fighter.

To put it simple, Smite works swimmingly on the Xbox One. The biggest concern for MOBAs on the console is the controls. Every character has four special attacks, an auto attack, items, chat shortcuts and more. While there's not a button on the controller for every available action, by using the left or right trigger/shoulder along with certain buttons, every action becomes available.

Now here comes where the game is somewhat crack-ish. There is a handful of gods available each week. In order to get more gods, you have to earn favor. To get more favor, you need to play more matches. After a win, you'll receive around 150 favor and the average cost for a god is 5500 favor. Do the math. Of course, all that can be avoided if you decide to buy gods outright with cold hard cash or purchase the Ultimate God Pack for $30.

As expected with a beta, there are some issues. In some matches, the audio will completely cut out throughout the whole match making for an awkward silence while playing. Another issue I've come across comes in the Arena matches where the goal is to have more minions enter the other team's portal. There's a red and blue counter that will decrease throughout the match and the team who reaches zero first loses. For some strange reason, when the match ends, the ending sequence is supposed to be the losing team's portal blowing up, but in some cases, the winning team's portal blows up. After matches, I've also had some freezes while in the summary screen.

The biggest pro, or con depending on how serious you take the game, is the lack of communication. On the PC, players can communicate via chat while on the Xbox One, players have access to voice chat and pre-programmed responses.

For those familiar with MOBAs on the PC, you'll probably enjoy the stress-free matches on the Xbox One as no one will type how horrible you play the second after you buy an item you're not supposed to. On the other hand, with access to only a few tactical responses, it's hard to convey what you need. As for voice chat, in all the matches I've played during the beta, only twice has someone said something regarding the match. Along with those two matches and one match where to kids were talking about school, no one was chatting during a match. Again, while you won't be yelled at for sucking, you also won't be able to work well as a team.

Smite is a great game to satisfy that MOBA itch or get your first taste of that MOBA crack. It's competitive with a lot of strategy involved and it works so well with the Xbox One controller. Just remember to not go so far down the rabbit hole or else you'll find yourself who spent a lot of time or money on the game. 

Oscar Gonzalez - Editor-in-Chief og (@) | all author's articles

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