Hi-Rez studios got its start over a decade ago. Many of you will recall a game called Global Agenda, and might even remember their reboot of the Tribes game, Tribes Ascend. It’s doubtful any of you played or cared about the above titles, neither did I. But along came the game that changed my mind about this company and their product: SMITE. Those who have followed my history with the MOBA genre in particular will know that I try most but only really dug into a couple. My obsession with League of Legends has given way to a love for SMITE, and I’ve played it seriously for about a year now. Hi-Rez hooked me with this game, but suddenly they started announcing new titles, and my interest was piqued again. Soon I was playing Paladins, and looking forward to the company’s expansion of the SMITE universe with their Tactics and Rivals games. The latter sounded like it was going to be a mobile title (of which they have one already called Jetpack Fighter), but it seems that development of that particular game has been put on hold. Tactics however, has been advanced to the closed beta stage, and I happened to receive an invite.
SMITE Tactics is a title that will appeal to those of you who like CCGs and strategy RPGs. If you’ve ever played the game Duelyst, you’ll understand the concept quite well. I didn’t think about it til right this instant, but it is also identical to Shardbound, which I wrote about last week. It’s card based. You have a deck, you have a leader the deck is based around. It’s true to SMITE and its own particular brand of lore, and many of the iconic Gods are present. The cash shop seems fair, the currencies are familiar. It’s something you’ll completely understand if you’ve played any of these types of games, but will appeal to you on another level if you already happen to enjoy the SMITE world. If you are unfamiliar with SMITE or this style of game, here’s a video of a couple rounds of my gameplay:
Overall I enjoy this game and Shardbound more than I did Duelyst, but to be fair I didn’t give the latter much of a chance. I enjoyed what I saw but I like the art direction and feel of the other two titles. If you’re interested, I’m sure open beta is around the corner, and it will likely be a Free to Play title upon release. It’s only available on PC, but if their track record is any indicator, it will likely end up on consoles as well.