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Game Info:

SMITE – Battleground of the Gods
Developed by: HiRez Studios
Release Date: March 25th 2014 – PC / August 19th 2015 - Xbox One
Genre: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA)
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Number of Players:  1 Offline – Up to 10 Online.
Price: Free to Play

SMITE is a multiplayer online battle arena (or MOBA for short) from HiRez Studios that focuses on you taking on the role of a god or goddess of ancient mythology and fighting it out on the field of battle for glory. I picked up this game long ago before they even had thoughts of an Xbox One port and I’ve enjoyed the ride ever since, not only because the gameplay is a lot different than the more mainstream MOBAs out there like League of Legends and DOTA 2, but also because everything was balanced to a degree and the transactions in the game were fair and inexpensive to an extent. The game is fun, easy to learn, and is very intense during those moments where you have to work as a team.

When you start up the game and make your HiRez account you’re greeted to a tutorial starring Neith who is known as the Egyptian weaver of fate. You learn about the controls of the game as well as the mechanics on how most of the characters work and how to read the UI. After all is said and done if you should ever need to go through the tutorial again, you can do so in the play menu. Also in the play menu are various offline modes to let you play with bots in the event you don’t want to suffer the wrath of online players when you’re just trying to learn a new character.  

When you’re finally ready to get online you can select from 6 different modes, all of them with their different rulesets and mechanics:

• Conquest: Standard 5v5 3 path (or lane as it's called) map

• Joust: Condensed Conquest as I call it. 3v3 1 lane with jungles on each side.

• Assault: 5v5 1 lane map where everyone is locked in with a random character

• Arena: Team Deathmatch style 5v5 where 1st team to have their opponent’s ticket count reach 0 wins.

• Siege: 4v4 2 Lane map where a team can earn control of a massive siege minion to assist with a big push.

• MOTD (Mode of the Day): The developers create a new mode every day with a random ruleset, maps, and characters.

SMITE – Battleground of the Gods
Highlights:

Strong Points: Different style of gameplay that’s fun to learn and hard to master, looks amazing, and has a fair business system.
Weak Points: At times some characters can be overpowered as others and characters can be changed at will sometimes. 
Moral Warnings: Skimpy Clothed characters, violence, alcohol references with one of the characters, as well as the fact that you’re playing as gods.

This adds a lot more variation to the game as there’s always something new to play, especially since whenever you win your first match you get a favor, which is the in-game currency along with gems, bonus once per day per mode.  They’re a lot of fun and if you should ever want to test out a new character in a specific mode, they’re available for offline play except for the MOTD.  

One of the things that got me hooked on SMITE though was its difference from how it plays compared to other, more popular MOBAS like League of Legends and DOTA 2. Instead of a top down camera view a la StarCraft, you get a third person behind the back view similar to third person shooters like Super Monday Night Combat. This adds a degree of skill where you have to be precise when you execute your special skills because you’ve got to make sure your opponent is in the right range and in the right area before you fire off the ability. Thankfully there are markers that appear whenever you target your ability to help you out.  There’s also an option to turn on a ground ruler so that you’ll be able to see how far your attacks actually go so you can gauge if your attacks will connect or not.  These tools can definitely help the new player get to grips with the game. 

SMITE – Battleground of the Gods
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 82%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 80%
Violence - 6/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 7.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 9.5/10

Another thing with the game is that each character is unique and definitely respects the culture and lore that it comes from. If you go and visit the SMITE YouTube channel almost every character has a reveal video where they not only go into what moves and mechanics the characters have, but also the lore of that character. You learn its origin story and how that character got into the position that they’re in and later you learn how every move and mechanic fits that specific character’s lore. It’s amazing how much time and effort HiRez took to make sure that every character was represented perfectly.

As far as morality is concerned I’ll let the 1st commandment (You shall have no other gods before me Exodus 20:3 ESV) speak for itself regarding the elephant in the room. Another thing is that whether it be with the default outfit or with the custom outfits they do tend to be a bit skimpy especially with characters like Neith, Aphrodite, Kali, or any of the other characters, be prepared to see a lot of skin.  Plus the violence is in there too, especially with some of the ultimates like Ao Kuang’s where if your opponent’s health is at a certain level you can basically use it to eat said opponent while turned into a dragon. There’s also some drinking references in there as well. All in all, just keep those in mind if you plan on checking this out.

SMITE is a great MOBA that changes things up for the genre. If you’re willing to look over the skimpy imagery, the violence, and the fact that you’re playing as gods it’s an amazing game that’s super fun to play. Plus if you have $20 lying around you can buy all the current and future characters which not a lot of games in this genre let you do! It’s definitely worth checking out in my opinion.

-Miguel Ortiz

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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