This MOBA mutation where you don't fight other players will get a closed beta next month

Evercore Heroes looks like a MOBA, but doesn't play like one.

It's a team-based competitive action game where, instead of attacking the other teams, you travel around the map to level your heroes up and prepare to defend your base from waves of monsters. It has a variety of playable heroes with abilities that are inspired from Riot and Blizzard games, which also happens to be where some of its lead developers came from.

This genre-bending PvE game has been tested by a number of players in the last year, but will go live as a closed beta on June 20. Evercore Heroes will transition into a free-to-play game when it fully launches, which the developer, Vela Games, expects to be by the end of the year.

To get into the closed beta, you'll have to purchase one of three founder's packs  from the Evercore Heroes site, which includes an exclusive battle pass, instant hero unlocks, a spare beta key for a friend, and various skins and cosmetics. 

Evercore Heroes' founder's packs look like this:

  • Founder ($20): Founder's battle pass, 1 friend key, Lotus, Sydian
  • Legend ($50): Everything in the Founder pack plus Blink, Luumtech Blink legendary skin, legendary beta Magigraph, $10 of currency, exclusive Discord role
  • Evercore Hero ($80): Everything in the Legend pack plus 2 extra friend keys, Cynder, Celestial Cynder mythic skin, legendary Cynder Magigraph, Celestial Cynder mythic emote, and an extra $5 of currency 

The Founder's battle pass contains exclusive skins, emotes, voice lines, and in-game currencies, and it won't expire. And players who buy any pack will get heroes Beko, Fyn, Shade, and Zari when they log into the game.

In his Evercore Heroes preview last year, Josh Wolens spoke to developers at Vela Games about their goal to expand the definition of competitive gaming. Without direct PvP, Evercore Heroes seeks to emphasize collaborative play and avoid the frustration of being crushed by a dominant opponent.

This was clear in the three matches I played during a recent preview event. My four-person team lost every match, but it was simply because we couldn't quite keep up with how fast the other teams were clearing through objectives. Our team comp may not have been as synergistic as others or we may have misused enough abilities that we fell behind in the race to collect Luum, the resource that determines your score. No single player or team directly kept us from winning, which is a key reason the developers wanted to make a competitive game like this.

Every match is a challenge to work with your team to level up, empower your abilities, and collect Luum. Scattered around each of the game's maps are unique objectives and bosses that work a lot like MMO encounters. In one fight, I played a support hero and had to balance healing my team and a rock that, when healed to full, significantly weakens the enemy. In another scenario, the two DPS players had to focus-fire certain enemies to quickly light torches and stop more creatures from attacking. Each objective pressures your team of a tank, support, and two DPS to combine your unique abilities (which are all on low cooldowns) and withstand a global event where everyone protects their Evercore from waves of enemies.

Evercore Heroes will start with a healthy roster of 16 heroes split among its three roles. Vela Games says it's looking into ways for matchmaking to recognize players who are still testing out new heroes to put them with people of a similar mindset. A core principle of the game is to avoid the toxicity that can foster when everyone on a team has conflicting goals. Some people might be dead set on winning, while others may just want to goof off as a particular hero. Matching players together based around those intentions is an ambitious idea that will surely need a lot of playtesting to refine, but after three losses that were surprisingly fun to play, I'm interested in seeing it try.

Evercore Heroes' closed beta begins on June 20 and doesn't currently have a date for when it will transition into the full, free-to-play game.

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.