SMITE Be A Good Game: Say Hello To Ares

By John Walker on October 3rd, 2012 at 7:00 pm.

I’ve always thought “Ares” feels a bit of a softie name for a god of war. It’s the sort of name you could give to washing powder. “Ares – fights for the whites.” But the free-to-play SMITE, from Hi-Rez, assures that he’s a melee magical tank.

In closed beta since May, this is from they who brought us Tribes: Ascend and Global Agenda. Another free-to-play, this time in the mould of DOTA. You play as ancient gods, battling it out in multiplayer arenas, all in the Unreal 3 engine. It looks very pretty, and it has the most comprehensively clear trailers you’ll ever have seen. The latest introduces Ares, and looks like this:

There’s also Thor:

Anhur:

And Bakasura:

And it seems only proper that I share with you the phenomenal cheese-fest that is the MANOWAR soundtrack:

You can register for the beta right here (on what is one of the most useless sites I’ve ever seen for a game – not a scrap of information anywhere, beyond an uninformative embedded video).

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33 Comments »

  1. Mr. Mister says:

    How the underwolrd would you pronounce Ares to make it sound soft?

  2. hypercrisis says:

    I really hope they do something about the awkward and wimpy combat, for a game using such ‘epic’ characters from mythology, its remarkably underwhelming. It should be a dynamic and flamboyant affair, instead it feels like a budget PS2 game.

    • Boozebeard says:

      It’s a dota based game. Attack animations and abilities need to be clear and concise.

      • innociv says:

        It’s actually LoL based. :(

        The items are pretty much copy pasted out from that game, instead of the much more interesting DotA ones.

  3. NR says:

    “Ares – fights for the whites.”

    Yeah, there’s a reason that probably wouldn’t work as an advertising slogan…

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Haha I came on here to post a similar thing! Funny story, my brother came over with his wife and my 4 yr old nephew who spend the afternoon running around shouting “Hooray the white man, hooray the white man!”: we were worried for a while until he started shouting “Hooray the green man” and realised the England vs Ireland 6 nations game was on the telly.

    • Baines says:

      Bad, but still not as bad at the Torquay Tigers’ “All White Night” promo. The one that was a collage of “white” images: trees covered in white snow, a white tiger, women in white dresses, … and three Klansmen.

    • TariqOne says:

      Aryans?

      • luckystriker says:

        “Ares, the Aryan washing powder of choice. Fight for your whites today!”

  4. Merkoth says:

    The game is tons of fun, and the scenarios look good, but it’s FAR from pretty. The character models aren’t very good and some animations are just awful. Still, graphics have been getting better since beta launch, slowly but steadily, so these gripes of mine might be solved by the time it goes public.

    Also, the community, so far, has been pretty decent. You get some trolls from time to time, but I haven’t received much abuse. Then again, I usually don’t give a flying f!ck about what kids yell at me on the intertubes, so YMMV.

    Edit: If you’re a hardcore, high-skilled MOBA player, you’re gonna have a bad time. Lots of MOBA first-timers here, so beware of feeders and rage-quitters.

    • misterT0AST says:

      I don’t think the problem is in the animations. The graphics are weird (Cupid’s design, those impassable shruberries, Bastet’s face) but they aren’t that bad either.
      Look at the background of the menus (especially the “friends” submenu), at the little dance Gods do at the end of every game, that’s some fine animation.
      I think the problem is in the design of some things.
      Who thought that having a brightly colored, fully lighted jungle wouldn’t be distracting? Why does the sky have to be a gigantic blurred background? Why did they make walls so high if characters can jump through them?

      • Merkoth says:

        Have you looked at Bastet’s feet when she runs? :P
        Btw, add me if you want, I’m using the same nick :)

  5. tdefrank2@neo.rr.com says:

    Is it just me or was there way too much AOE in this game?

    • Merkoth says:

      There is quite a lot, but you have to remember that there’s no “auto-attack”. Normal attacks are all “skill-shots” an some can be easily dodged.

  6. misterT0AST says:

    I’m frankly enjoying this game very very much. The fact that you can’t communicate with the enemy team, and you can’t follow what your allies are doing with your camera means people have way less opportunities for insulting you.
    It feels like a nicer environment, and I usually manage to have fun even when my team is losing.
    The balance is a bit off, but I guess that’s to be expected.

    Also, there isn’t a strict metaplay either. Dota and LoL are so tightly bound to strategy rather than offhand decisions it’s ridiculous. In Smite you can (still) get in a game, screw around for a while, see what happens.

    By the way, it seems people in closed beta can invite an unlimited number of people just sending an email. So if you want a key I can give them away like candy. I got mine at Gamescom.

  7. RogB says:

    too close to ARSE

    /lower tone

  8. demonalcohol says:

    As a god game that is including lesser gods such as Thor, I really hope Jesus and his powers of 6-pack abs makes it in the roster of playable characters.

  9. MistyMike says:

    Manowar on the soundtrack \m/

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      That song was the cheesiest kind awesome I`ve ever heard. This makes me very happy indeed. Hopefully (I haven`t DL`d the beta yet) thay have a playlist feature like End of Nafions.
      Edit: I`m annoyed that the presenter guy keeps mispronouncing Mjöllnir.

  10. Rawrian says:

    Maybe I’ve played too much Awesomenauts, but other MOBA games look kind of generic aesthetic-wise now.

  11. Gnashy says:

    SMITE’s recent addition to Mobafire and steady increase in concurrent players — which has been over 700,00 for the past week, are some good indicators that Smite is well on it’s way to becoming the next big Moba, and I would personally be very happy to see it pass DOTA II and LOL in popularity.

    Ares is looking pretty awesome. I definitely like his passive ability, event though I can already tell people are going to cry “OP!” and call for a nerf.

    • jezmabez says:

      For me, the thing that puts me off SMITE, not that I’m hating on it, because it’s nice to see the genre evolving, is that a lot of it’s elements seem taken straight off LoL but packaged differently.

      I know LoL takes much of it’s inspiration from DoTA, but they are both inherently different games. It just seems the general layout and map is pretty much a LoL kind of scenario, just a different PoV.

      When I saw SMITE, I thought they’d take new revolutionary design steps to take advantage of the fact that it’s not a traditional top down moba, but it doesn’t seem that way.

      Either way, I hope they’re successful. With an influx of funds, hopefully they’ll be able to afford to better graphically update the game, come up with some more innovative ideas and find some way to make it all work well.

  12. Hellraiserzlo says:

    Is there a G.I jesus?

  13. PopeJamal says:

    The thing I really like about Smite that doesn’t get mentioned often is the control scheme. More like an MMO or a third-person shooter than a top-down click fest.

    That’s the key thing about LOL and the rest: they aren’t enjoyable enough for me to bother with learning the controls well.