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Hands-on impressions with Smite on PS4

Fri, 10th Jun 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Smite is a free to play MOBA that is available to download on the PS4. Is the game worth checking out for PS4 owners? Smite previously came out on the PC and Xbox One, but now it's time for PS4 owners to join in on the fun. The game is downloadable via the PSN and it only takes up to 2GB of data.  Before you can actually begin playing the game, you are prompted to go through the tutorial. The tutorial is helpful as it's set up in many stages. First you go through the controls and then you participate in actual simulated matches. The controls of Smite are pretty simplistic and it's easy for beginners to grasp in a matter of minutes. Since this game focuses on melee style combat, you are not forced to use the right stick to aim up or down. Most of the aiming requires you to look horizontally as the game auto-locks onto enemies that are above ground. Combat is also pretty basic as special skills are just tied to one button. For the most basic attack, all you have to press is the R2 button. You can use this attack as many times as you want, but it doesn't do too much damage onto the enemies. Thankfully, each God has access to special abilities/skills that are assigned to the face buttons.  The special skills vary depending on the type of God you select. The special abilities are pretty cool to witness as they can wipe out a whole hoard of enemies in one go. Some other skills are more defensive such as conjuring up an ice wall to protect allies to even healing your teammates.  A unique aspect about Smite is that each team has several AI controlled minions at their disposal. The AI minions serve to be sacrificial lambs as you can choose to use them as a shield to protect yourself before you attack an enemy head-on. The minions are helpful and they respawn anytime you need them.  The gameplay itself can be fun because as there are many different modes that are available. A mode that I liked to play was Joust where you have to take out the enemy tower, phoenix and then an end-boss. Another fun mode is the Arena where you are inside of a Colosseum and it's an all-out brawl between Gods and minions. These battles can last up to 18 minutes long.  Graphically, Smite looks great with its bright colours and unique character design. There are also a ton of playable Gods that you can be ranging from Thor, Odin, Zeus, and more. It's not just tied to Roman and Greek Gods either because characters are also included from Egyptian, Chinese and Japanese mythology too.  The only flaw in Smite that bugged me is that it forces players to grind and play for hours before you feel mighty and strong. At the start of the game, I was being Thor and he struggled to even beat up small minions. His base attacks were useless and I had to play for several more hours until he became strong.  The gameplay can also get a little repetitive the longer you play it. There isn't much variety for you to persevere as many of the game modes feel the same once you are hacking and slashing all of the time. There is a little more replay value if you choose other Gods to play as, but the gameplay isn't all that much different.  Smite is worth checking out if you have a PS4. It's free to play so there's no harm in checking the game out. You just have to be aware though that your character will be super weak at the beginning and a lot of effort is needed before your characters feel useful and strong.    

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