Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games or “MOBAS” for short are some of the fastest growing gaming trends to date with millions of gamers playing them for free. A gamer like myself (who actually doesn’t get paid for my writing since it’s a hobby and not an actual job) can see the appeal of a great gaming experience for free.
League of Legends is the most popular out of all the MOBAs currently and for good reason; with millions of players logging in daily to do battle in the multitude of arenas, MLG tournaments and the like, it’s easy to see why it is a giant of the genre but let’s not forget about DOTA 2, SMITE, DC’s Infinite Crisis and the currently in development MOBA named “Dawngate” not far behind.
It really does seem like there is a MOBA for everybody, but my question is, how did what began as a game mod for Starcraft turn into the gaming giant the genre currently is?
Well I like to think it is because of accessibility and there is something for everybody. Nearly all MOBAs are free and for gamers who are short on cash that can’t afford new releases when they come out, this is a pretty sweet deal considering all you need to do is sign up for an account and have a decent PC to play the game on.
There are a tonne of MOBAs out there online and all of them are good, each with their own unique spin on the MOBA genre so there is pretty much a MOBA for everybody, if you don’t believe me here are a few that are currently out so tell me if any of these grab your attention, first up is the largest and most played MOBA game….League of Legends.
League of Legends is by far the most popular game in the MOBA genre with a huge following and competitive Esports scene.
I did play League of Legends a couple of times, well attempted to anyway because my laptop isn’t really built for gaming but hey it played the game, slow as hell on my laptop but it played, now League of Legends is an awesome game.
With over 119 unique champions to choose from all with unique abilities, lore and role to play, this game has a lot of replay value which is godamn awesome plus there is a marketplace where you can buy new skins, champions and believe me its quite addicting and you will probably want to buy every character skin, trust me on this guys and girls because I know.
The only problem I had with League of Legends was that I wasn’t quite feeling the RTS camera angle, which is quite an odd thing for me because I adore RTS games and have played quite a few but that’s about the only major thing I had a problem with.
While I am not sure how League of Legends became the giant it is, this game has got to be doing something right considering a college in Illinois is going to have a Esports scholarship and League of Legends is one of the games they will be accepting in.
Quick word of advice to people who take up this game, make sure you have some friends to play with that will show you the ropes because the community isn’t all that new player friendly and will often cause some problems for new players but it’s nothing a group of friends can’t solve.
If a leather clad red headed, dual wielding female assassin isn’t your cup of tea and you prefer religion then Smite might be the MOBA for you.
Smite is another free to play MOBA title that does a few things differently even though some call it a League of Legends rip off when it is far from it. Well how is it different? you might ask. First off the camera angle is different.
The camera angle in Smite is set in a 3rd person perspective which makes the game play seem extremely fast paced because you are right there in the action and not seeing it from a bird’s eye view and that is what I like about this game.
Another thing this game does differently is it’s character roster.
Instead of the usual traditional and sometimes crazy characters, the Smite roster is comprised of various deities from various real life religions and cultures which was incredibly risky and still cause the developers a tonne of problems today when there shouldn’t be but anyway the character roster has 55 gods and goddesses from various religions and cultures such as Hindu, Greek, Egyptian, Norse, Roman and many more.
Instead of clicking the mouse to move and attack, you move with the W,A,S and D keys and use the mouse to attack.
Every attack and every ability is a skill shot and they takes practice to pull off effectively. It makes the game so much better and so much fun to learn.
Now, the gods and goddesses in Smite are bad asses, that’s all I can honestly say about them, one of my favourites just happens to be Kali who is the Hindu goddess of destruction and who is just as fearsome in game as she is in her culture’s lore.
That’s another thing I adore about this title, the lore sections that briefly explain who these gods and goddesses are. I sat at my desk reading all of the lore for all the gods and goddesses and then going to Google to learn more about them and what they meant to their cultures and I really enjoyed myself.
The topic of religion in video games is often met with what I like to call “the torches and pitchforks approach” with people saying “Oh this is offensive to our culture and shouldn’t be in games.” My question is why can’t it be? Smite is one of those games that opens a door to learning about another culture and maybe a MOBA where you can kick the crap out of each other playing as these gods.
Maybe it wasn’t the greatest idea but it is an incredibly fun game to play.
Now onto the last one and the DC comic fans are gonna love this one because it is based in the DC comics universe or should I say multiverses….thats right, multiple versions of iconic DC characters clashing, from a steam punk version of Catwoman to even a vampire version of Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy, Shazam, Joker, Doomsday, Flash, Zatanna and even the man of steel himself Superman fight it out.
Infinite Crisis is currently still in open beta and you can join and play for free, I haven’t got round to playing it due to my laptop not being built for gaming but I do watch live streams and it is a pretty good game right now, I am a comic fan and I think this is pretty cool because who wouldn’t want to play as a steam punk alternative version of Batman who uses ultra sonic sound projecting guns.
Each character has a unique story, abilities and playstyle, for example Superman is a elee bruiser who hits hard with high damage powers like heat vision and freeze breath to push into enemy territory and beat back the enemy, each and every character has unique powers and a role to play in every battle, while the roster is kind of limited right now, it is understandable because it is still in the beta phase, new characters are going to be added such as Super Girl.
Now you are probably wondering why I put Infinite Crisis on here, well honestly it is because I am a big comic fan, Marvel, DC you name a comic company and I would already be a fan but honestly, how many games combine two good things into one great thing, if you are a comic fan and don’t exactly like the League of Legends roster but adore DC characters then ditch Garen and co for the big bad Batman and all the other iconic heroes and villains that populate the world of DC comics.
See there is a MOBA for everybody and that’s why I think that this genre is a big as it is, it caters to everybody and it quite an achievement considering that all these great games came about from a mod, also there is one more thing I need to add, I was going to add a segment on another MOBA called Dawngate but I had a bit of trouble finding info and images but never fear guys, I might do a follow up about Dawngate so with this I take my leave and bid you farewell for now.
Try and check out Smite and Infinite Crisis, they are both great games and you will hopefully not be disappointed, hopefully considering this is the internet and things tend to go in the opposite direction but anyway that’s it from me.