Surprisingly I didn’t see any posts after Tom’s wallet threat level roused me out of my “wake me when it’s out” slumber. Any interest on this one?
Quick fact-ish statements backed by YouTube, streams, and forum buzz
Traditional MOBA gameplay for console only
Tolkien setting (duh)
Abilities tied to buttons and sticks for movement seem as natural of an evolution as shooters to game pads that drives one to wonder why it was not tried (besides Awesomenaughts) before and why it seems to stir up so much hate
Digital only release (PSN 12/4/12 Xbox 12/5/12) Although the PS3 version has a retail box that contains a download code for game plus season pass
20 or so characters out of the gate, but most need to be unlocked via in game currency (ie NOT monetized micro transactions!)
more characters available via season pass (8 or so right away with more over time that seemed to be themed and timed towards Hobbit movie release). This is more rumor than fact really.
Streamlined to play quicker (in game items seemed to be trimmed with a hybrid LoL runes and Demigod minion/tower upgrades).
There is a fair bit of customization despite a lot of “where are the items” talk which looks to be the same kind of stuff (AP boost, heal over time, etc), but I am not sure how it all works yet.
5v5 gameplay with the usual 3 lane (or a single lane map) tropes.
Supports bots with matchmaking for competitive (no AI), mixed, or co-op modes
Not sure how this will play out but I am very intrigued. Awesomenaughts is a favorite XBLA title in my house. This one does look a little bland as far as pallet goes and I do worry about movie tie-in/ franchise grabs that always turn out so well. Plus, if I am the one to create a topic about a game… it is do0med as a product. =)
For console, I think it would be more appropriate something like Smite, a 3rd person action MOBA, where you have a more console friendly 3rd person camera and direct control of the character, while still keeping all the MOBAness (people says Smite it’s very like LoL).
Maybe, but as a third person shooter you would need both thumb sticks (camera plus movement). Whereas the top down MOBA one is free to have left stick for movement then right stick is functionally the mouse for map and ability targeting (I imagine it sort of like a twin stick shooter). But then again the transparent target overlay works for Smite, so… Eh, who knows.
If you’ve played League of Legends, you will feel right at home. Most of the terminology is lifted straight from LOL… AD, AP, Apen, Mpen, etc. Instead of runes you have a belt that you slot relics and gems into. Instead of summoner spells you have commands. The only thing that is missing is items.
Even the AI is competent. The tutorial skirmish match played out like a normal LOL comp stop, I ended up with 20 kills and 2 deaths. Then you have to play a normal custom game against the AI and I went 10 deaths to 5 kills. The AI actually follows you into brush, baits you into chasing, and for the most part knows when to fall back when it over extends.
The game mechanics seem sound, but the engine is a total stinker. The animations are rough, there is screen tearing, and it barely feels like it is running at 30fps. I played the demo on the PS3, maybe the 360 version is better. The audio is nice though with your toon shouting out lots of LOTR quips.
I was talking more from the perspective of the familiarity and commercial success. I think a normal third person camera and controls are more familiar and known to the console crowd, and in the other hand the top-down camera will remember to strategy games that aren’t exactly top sellers in console.
Not to be snarky or anything, but the reason is that it IS on console. The MOBA formula (unlike other RTSs) is really well suited to gamepad control. Also sitting on a couch with my boy or a buddy is a different and compelling reason to have a console version. This change offers a type of game to a potentially different community and gives existing PC MOBA players another way to enjoy the genre.
I played around with the PS3 demo last night. It lets you play the tutorial then pretty much lets you loose to enjoy the game with a 1 hour timer (keep in mind matches are around 20 minutes). If you get this, play the demo first. I will teach you some basics and give you a character to boot.
The game moves fast. Or maybe it was my perception when using a gamepad rather than a mouse. There is a lot of crowd control in the game, so a bad move will probably get you killed. The controls feel pretty good, but the zoom level mixed with a blending of a bland pallet behind a sea of minion and hero health bars/buff icons can make large team fights a bit hard to mentally digest at the speed of combat (from a LoL player).
While Tolkien themed, any MOBA player will be at home here. The mechanics, terms, and even meta are very traditional (a good thing I think). The map plays a bit like a 5 player version of the new Twisted Treeline with its traditional lane and tower focus, but important captureable on/off team buffs in the jungle.
As Angrycoder mentioned there is this “belt” thing. To me it IS the “items” of the game, but you don’t buy them during the game. They don’t seem to be runes either. It seems more like a build order for items that you set before the game. As you level more of the belt opens up like in other games where piece one fills in then piece two etc (some of which are linked). This is not unlike choosing to start with a hp item then, boots, then AD and so on. You just set it up before the game. It is a bit confusing, and my 1 hour with the game could have left me with a wrong impression of the belt system. I got the feeling overall that it is a hybrid system and loses very little if any of the depth of in game item purchase (other than on the fly counter buys).
Overall, I like what I saw, although I do wish it had more production behind it. It has a hell of a lot to offer as an “arcade” title, but I wished this was more of an AAA commitment to MOBA on console. If only the graphics, engine, and animation were top tier… Still, I can’t wait to tinker around with this tonight and fully expect this to be top shelf XBLA material in my house.