I loved the idea of MOBA's but never really enjoyed the isometric, top down, point and click action that most MOBA's provide these days. Then I discovered SMITE. A MOBA based around mythological gods? And the game is played in the third person with WASD controls? Hell yeah! Count me in! I started playing SMITE on PC in 2013 and it quickly became my addiction. I absolutely love this game, which was apparent in my official review of the game where I gave it a 9.5. Hi-Rez created an incredible MOBA filled with great characters, fun game modes, and most importantly, addictive gameplay. Matches can go from a 1v1 in a lane to an all out 5v5 team fight where everyone is firing off abilities like crazy. I always thought that this type of MOBA would be perfect on consoles and after playing with the Xbox One beta of the game, I can say that the concept has transitioned very well and just like the PC version, I can see this becoming a huge hit within the next few years.
SMITE on the Xbox One brings over all of the content available on the PC version including gods, game modes, skins, ward skins, icons, and all of the gods and items are balanced the same way they are on the PC. The only different is that the Xbox version seems to be a few patches behind the PC version. The current Xbox version is the Medusa patch which was about a month ago on PC. However, there is nothing wrong with this as both games are played on separate servers. Xbox players will play only with Xbox players and PC only with PC. For new players just getting into SMITE for the first time on the Xbox, there is almost an overwhelming amount of content that the players can buy or purchase with in game favor.
The PC interface is obviously made with a mouse and keyboard in mind so the Xbox One version has gotten an overhaul to work best with a controller. The new interface looks incredibly good and is really easy to navigate. Gods can be selected via an easy scroll at the bottom of the screen and they have included filters to make finding the god you want to play as easy as possible. The filters range from god role, difficulty, pantheon. One of the most important additions to the Xbox One version is the ability to call roles. For those who aren't familiar with MOBA's there is a certain meta that is usually followed to make sure the team has the best composition possible. The SMITE meta is usually mages in mid lane, hunters and guardians in the duo lane, an assassin in the jungle and a warrior in the solo lane. On the PC version, when the game starts, everyone calls what role and lane they want. On the Xbox One version, you can pull up a menu as soon as you get into the god selection screen and call a role. This is big because without this, or voice chat, Conquest games would be an absolute mess, so I'm happy to see that Hi-Rez went that extra mile to ensure that Conquest will be as painless as possible.
If you aren't familiar with SMITE or how the game works, here is a quick rundown. All of the characters in the game are broken up in five different roles. Guardians, which are your tanks. Assassins, perfect for the jungle. Hunters, your AD carries. Mages and Warriors. The main goal of Conquest, the main game mode, is to push your lanes forward, destroy enemy towers, destroy the Phoenix and eventually lead your minions and your team to the enemy Titan. Defeating the Titan will mean victory for you and crushing defeat for your enemies. Of course this is a lot easier said than done as there are many other factors that come into play in matches.
One of the most important things in the match is your build and Hi-Rez has done a great job of creating a new item purchasing screen, that caters to a controller. You press the d-pad to bring up the menu and everything is neatly laid out. There are various tabs you can choose to see items and where they belong and you can sort them by either a list or grid type menu. Navigating the menu is easy as well which is important because you need to be able to buy what you need and get back into the fight quickly. Firing off abilities is easy as well as they have been mapped to the face buttons. There are various control schemes and casting options so you can suite the game to whatever you like best. I know a lot of people that plat MOBA's tell me to turn instant casting on but personally I like to see the ability before I use it.
The Xbox One version of SMITE also brings over most of the gamemodes from the PC version including Arena, Siege, Joust and the Match of the Day. As of this writing, Assault currently isn't available but I assume its going to be available in a future update. This is the one thing that has kept me playing SMITE for so long. Conquest games can take quite a while to finish. Longest Conquest match was, no joke, an hour and a half long. It was also one of the greatest experiences I have ever had playing a videogame. The point being, not everyone has time for matches that long so SMITE offers other game modes that can take 15-30 minutes to finish. Arena is a simple 5 v 5 team deathmatch type game mode where each team starts out with 500 tickets. Scoring kills on your opponent along with getting minions and the siege tower into your opponents portal will reduce their tickets. First team to drop to 0 loses. It's an incredibly fast paced and fun game mode and is perfect for trying out new gods that you have purchased or unlocked. Joust is a 3 v 3 match with one lane, one tower, one phoenix and a jungle. Finally Siege is a 4 v 4 match with two lanes. Every time you kill minions you gain points. When you earn 100 points, a powerful siege minion spawns and pushes the lane. There is also a siege monster in the middle of the map. Killing that will spawn a siege minion as well. It's nice to see all the PC game modes transfer over to the Xbox One version and I'm excited to see if custom matches will be popular. Basically in custom matches a player can set up a room and set the rules to their liking. You can pick the map, starting gold, what gods are available and what aren't, and if there is increased gold spooling or not. I feel like this is something console gamers could have a lot of fun with as friends could get together and set up their own games like they would with a game like Halo or Call of Duty.
If you are a PC player that doesn't want to have to start over, there is a one time merge you can perform where all of your PC purchases, favor, and XP. Gems, mastery or stats will NOT carry over. The merger is available now and will be available until around the official launch on Xbox One later this year. This is a ONE TIME MERGER. Once it's done, it cannot be done ever again, so make sure you have everything you want to buy until you carry things over. I am happy that Hi-Rez included this option. I have tons of friends that don't have gaming PC's but have fallen in love with SMITE already. This will allow me to be able to play with them while also having all of the gods and skins available for me right out of the gate instead of having to buy them all over again.
When I first started playing SMITE a few years ago, I had no idea it would be where it is now but I am absolutely thrilled to see how it has grown over time and become a huge game in the MOBA market. From what I have played so far, SMITE on the Xbox One feels right at home and I am really looking forward to see the Xbox version grow over time. I really hope that it becomes as big as the PC version because this is truly the first console MOBA experience and will bring in a huge new crowd of fans to both SMITE and the MOBA genre.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
I have been playing video games for as long as I can remember. My earliest gaming memories come from playing Lady Bug and Snafu on my fathers Colecovision and Intellivision respectively. It wasnt until I was 6 years old and played a Mortal Kombat 2 arcade machine in a game room at a hotel that I truly fell in love with a videogame. I have so many wonderful memories of my dad and I playing Mortal Kombat on SNES every night after dinner. Throughout my childhood NES, SNES, Gameboy and Sega Genesis were the loves of my life. Here I am 29 years old and still as much in love with videogames as I ever was. And for the record... I enjoyed the Mass Effect 3 ending... sue me