SMITE 2 Preview – Visual Overload, Solid Gameplay

SMITE 2 Preview – Visual Overload, Solid Gameplay
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With a decade of experience under their belt, Titan Forge Games proudly unveils the highly anticipated sequel to their legendary massively multiplayer online game SMITE. SMITE 2 is set to deliver new graphics capabilities and updated mechanics, ensuring a worthy successor to the original. However, it’s important to note that not all players may be completely satisfied with every innovation. We provide our initial thoughts in the preview.

  • Developer: Titan Forge Games
  • Publisher: Hi-Rez Studios
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5 , Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
  • Release date: July 30, 2024

For someone well-versed in multiplayer games, discussing the SMITE project seems unnecessary. It has been a formidable contender for the past decade, rivaling even popular games like League of Legends and DOTA 2. Additionally, it is accessible on all major consoles, including the Nintendo Switch. However, if you’re not familiar with SMITE, allow me to give you a brief introduction.

SMITE is a highly popular massively multiplayer online MOBA game developed by Titan Forge Games and released in 2014. In this game, players have the opportunity to take on the roles of powerful gods and mythical creatures from a wide range of pantheons including Greek, Egyptian, Norse, Chinese, and more. Every deity possesses exceptional abilities that draw inspiration from ancient myths and legends.

SMITE stands out from other games in its genre with its unique third-person perspective. With this feature, players need to have precise aim and carefully time their skill usage to maximize their efficiency in battle and overcome their opponents.

SMITE 2 Preview – Visual Overload, Solid Gameplay

Otherwise, this is a standard MOBA with three lanes, divided by a forest, which is common for the genre. Players control various characters like magicians, assassins, hunters, warriors, and guards, and can purchase items with gold to enhance their abilities. The game also features bosses and towers that add to the strategic gameplay.

A decade after the initial release, Titan Forge Games is launching a highly anticipated sequel, complete with exciting perks for loyal players to seamlessly transition to the enhanced project.

And because SMITE 2 builds upon the foundation of the original, in this initial discussion I will shift my focus away from the game itself, which is already familiar, and instead examine how the developers are justifying its status as a sequel. Furthermore, the project is currently in the alpha stage, indicating that it is not yet ready to be regarded as a fully developed MOBA.

SMITE 2 Preview – Visual Overload, Solid Gameplay

And thus, one of the key innovations is the project’s transition to Unreal Engine 5, which, as stated by the developers, offers greatly enhanced graphics and more intricate character models. By the way, due to this transition, transferring progress from the original SMITE to the sequel became impossible.

The updated picture is truly captivating. We are presented with a multitude of vibrant and lively locations, each filled with their own unique and captivating inhabitants. Everything is incredibly vibrant and joyful, but in comparison to the original, SMITE 2 exudes the energy of a lively carnival in Rio de Janeiro following a serene evening in Prague.

SMITE 2

The gods were portrayed with a much more serious tone, and their animations were significantly more convincing. Their skills have been showcased in impressive ways, often resulting in dazzling displays that can be overwhelming to decipher amidst the battlefield frenzy.

The game is filled to the brim with an atmosphere of antiquity. While the first SMITE had vibes reminiscent of Kalimdorian Silithus or Titan Quest, the sequel’s atmosphere is more akin to a Disney interpretation, if such a thing existed. Furthermore, the enhanced engine comes at a significant cost in terms of performance.

The interfaces, from character selection to the HUD, are meticulously designed. The authors have expertly implemented an item store that is accessible to beginners. It offers a variety of well-curated sets for each character, including the option of auto-purchase. This feature can be a lifesaver for players who are just starting out and may not fully understand the contents of the store yet.

SMITE 2 introduces significant changes to game mechanics. The boots were taken out, equalizing the speed of all gods right from the beginning. The relics were relocated to the store, but what truly stands out is the fact that the developers thoroughly reviewed the magic and physical damage system.

SMITE 2 Preview – Visual Overload, Solid Gameplay

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Thus, in SMITE, the gods were categorized as either physical or magical, which somewhat restricted their customization options. In SMITE 2, this division was eliminated. Now all gods have the ability to select items with either “Strength” or “Intelligence” characteristics, adding a touch of diversity to their gameplay strategies. However, this option may not be available for every god.

Take Anubis, the god of death and embalming, as an illustration. He perfectly embodies the archetype of a skilled mage, specializing in inflicting devastating magical damage. Therefore, his “Locust Invasion” ability is optimized to inflict greater damage based on the character’s “Mind” attribute.

Anubis’s abilities, such as “Chains” and his ultimate, deal magic damage and scale from the mind, with the ultimate having a 100% scaling rate, showcasing his expertise. And “Mummification” is a skill that expertly immobilizes foes, dealing physical damage and benefiting from the “Strength” attribute, but only to a 75% extent.

Archer Neith has the versatility to be built as a hybrid character, effectively utilizing both physical and magical damage. The Spirit Bolt is a powerful ability that inflicts physical damage and immobilizes enemies. What sets it apart is its ability to gain bonus damage from both Strength and Mind attributes, making it a versatile and deadly skill. She excels at executing the “Unweave” and “Backflip” with precision, while her ultimate ability is a formidable long-range shot that benefits greatly from both strength and mind.

Kernun, another ADC, demonstrates a similar situation. His primary ability, which enhances auto attacks, scales from either strength or intelligence, depending on which attribute is higher. The “Blackberry Blast” ability receives a significant boost from both strength and intelligence, scaling by 55% and 80% respectively. Additionally, the ultimate ability, which transforms enemies into harmless animals and inflicts damage, benefits greatly from intelligence, receiving a 100% boost.

An intriguing example is Emir, who excels in utilizing mental bonuses to enhance his abilities. However, his Frostbite passive enables him to also excel in physical combat. Emir’s basic attacks pack an extra punch against frostbitten enemies, while also reducing the damage they can inflict on him. This effect is enhanced by critical hits and is influenced by strength and intelligence at different rates. Therefore, Emir has the potential to become a formidable melee fighter, utilizing his control abilities to swiftly approach targets and deliver powerful blows.

SMITE 2 Preview – Visual Overload, Solid Gameplay

Something that may be considered new in SMITE is actually quite familiar in the world of gaming. The AP and AD damage scaling system, which is present in League of Legends, has been around for as long as I can recall. However, what makes this particular title worth the attention of fans? In addition, console players, who typically may not have experience with other popular MOBAs.

By the second week of alpha testing, a formidable roster of gods has already been made available in the game. Players can choose from Anubis, Athena, Bacchus, Bellona, ​​Kernun, Chaak, Fenrir, Hades, Kukulkan, Loki, Neith, Odin, Sol, Emir, and Zeus. These powerful deities are ready to be mastered by skilled players. Additionally, the character menu organizes them by pantheon rather than by role.

The game map has undergone a professional redesign compared to the first SMITE. There are advanced techniques and strategic locations where you can conceal yourself or plan a surprise attack.

Forest camps provide a variety of buffs to the gods. The ranger’s buff enhances movement speed, while inspiration empowers the hero and allies, boosting their Strength and Intelligence indicators. The blight buff, however, expertly poisons enemies, while the primal buff grants extra defense points when damaging an enemy god with an ability.

The thicket is teeming with a variety of mythical creatures, showcasing the impressive diversity of centaurs, harpies, manticores, chimeras, satyrs, titans, and golden furies. Mastering the art of the game rewards the victorious team with an everlasting surge of speed from the Fountain of Life. The Fury’s second demise enhances the abilities of allied minions. And the third option enables you to deal significant damage to enemy buildings while also providing a defense boost when positioned nearby – a truly formidable creature.

There are portals along the left and right lines that allow for quick movement across the map. Additionally, there are small spools between each line where you can collect extra coins, as long as you’re not afraid of the foresters.

As a result, SMITE 2 leaves a mixed impression. On one hand, the game maintains all the elements that made the original stand out, such as its captivating gameplay and diverse cast of characters. However, the introduction of certain new elements may elicit a range of responses from dedicated fans.

Nevertheless, the project is currently in the alpha testing stage, and there is optimism that Titan Forge Games will have ample opportunity to enhance the game prior to its release. There are several areas that could benefit from further refinement and polishing in order for SMITE 2 to truly live up to its status as a sequel, but it already shows promising potential.

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