PAX East 2015: Hands on with SMITE on Xbox One

by: Nathan -
More On: SMITE

Hi Rez Studios was at PAX East this past weekend and was showing off the Xbox One version of SMITE, which hits closed early access on March 11th. Long story short, the amazing PC MOBA transitions extremely well to consoles and I think this game could become a huge hit. 

The first thing I noticed about the Xbox One version of the game was the new UI that was optimized for a console and controller. Of course on PC, most of the options are under tabs which of course is utilized for a mouse a keyboard. The console version however the entire UI has been changed to nice lists

The god selection screen is a bit different as well. The characters can be selected by scrolling through them at the bottom of the screen. Hi Rez has also made it extremely easy to find what god want with the press of a button. Pressing the Y button will open up a list allowing you to filter the gods in the game by things like their class and difficulty. The UI is super smooth and looks incredibly nice. It almost makes me wish the PC version had an option to use the same UI. 

Only 5 v 5 arena and 3v3 Joust against bots was available in the PAX build and I believe that every character up until Bellona who was released a few weeks ago was included. I played a 5 v 5 match as Awilix. Opening and navigating the store to find items was incredibly easy and upgrading and using abilities was rather easy as well. Opening the store simply a press of the d-pad and the new UI does a great job of sorting the items so you can quickly grab what you want. There was also a second way to view the items tab which enlarges them and makes it easier to read what the items actually do. MOBA's are all about fast action so being able to scroll through the items quickly is incredibly important. Using abilities in the middle of a fight quickly is important as well. The controls are all mapped to the face buttons and can be used in the blink of an eye. Remember that SMITE is a third person moba, meaning you have full control over your characters and their abilities. Hi Rez also showed me different control schemes that will be available as well, so if you want the abilities mapped to the triggers and bumpers, you can do that as well. 

I had a rather comical moment when the dev asked how I was doing. I said to him "It's hard to get used to the controls after playing on PC for so long." He then pauses and says, "what are you talking about, you are 16-0". I honestly didn't realize how well I was doing. We both laughed it up and it did make me realize how easy the controls were. After 10 minutes or so, everything became second nature and I was firing off combos and skill shots like it was nothing. 

A great thing about SMITE on Xbox One is that PC players won't have to start over. For me, I had some friends that only have Xbox One's and they loved SMITE when they played it at PAX East so I am going to really enjoy playing with them. PC players will be able to use a once use process to copy their accounts over. Everything that they own up till that point will then transfer to the Xbox One version and that includes the ultimate god pack which for $30 gets you every god in the game plus all future gods for free. An important thing to remember is that this copies your account over, so if you buy a skin on the PC version, it you would have to purchase it again on the Xbox One. 

The line for SMITE on Xbox One was packed all weekend and I have heard nothing but great things about it from those who played. Once the open beta beings, I can easily see SMITE on Xbox One becoming huge. This really is the first time that a true MOBA experience will be available on consoles. 2015 is looking to becoming an amazing year for SMITE

If you got an early access code at PAX, only bot matches are available atm but starting March 11th, the game will open up for PVP. The open beta will begin sometime in April. 

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