Either the MOBA bubble is nearing its bursting point, or a new era of competitive strategy is dawning—whatever the case, it's obvious that more and more developers want a piece of that sweet DotA-legacy pie. Hi-Rez Studios, the developers behind the now-free-to-play Global Agenda and upcoming Tribes game , are taking a crack at their own DotA-inspired game with their upcoming SMITE. But what could possibly set them apart from the rest of the well-established crowd? How about a third-person camera perspective and graphics powered by the Unreal 3 Engine.
Developers and gamers have long dreamed of cracking the conundrum of making third-person, action-oriented combat work in an RTS game. It's been done before, in games like Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War, or the StarCraft 2 mod Blizzard demoed starring Nova from SC: Ghost. But unless you're satisfied with Dynasty Warriors' endless hack-'n'-slash gameplay, there's never been a game to give you a truly fulfilling experience of leading your army on the ground as a powerful general leading the charge into tower defenses and cannon fodder troops. Hi-Rez aims to change that with SMITE—only, instead of controlling a general, you'll be controlling a god.
SMITE's theme and lore are rooted in global ancient mythology, as you can see from the Anubis and Zeus hero reveals. Personally, I think that mythology is another concept that needs more love in gaming (God of War non-withstanding); there's a multitude of awesome deities and cultures to harvest hero ideas from. Imagine: the Hindu elephant god Ganesha, battling toe-to-toe with the Norse god Thor, while the love goddess Aphrodite heals Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec god of wind. HECK TO THE YEAH! The lore is already out there, just waiting to take form as a badass MOBA, and Hi-Rez looks like its ready to answer the call.
Hi-Rez are no strangers to the free-to-play model, and how best to appease players with store items that are appealing destroying game balance. We're eagerly awaiting in-game screens of what god-vs-god combat looks like in the gorgeous Unreal 3 engine, but until then, check the Global Agenda blog for updates on the game's progress.