Little Red Riding Blood: Arena Of Fate Is Crytek’s MOBA

By Nathan Grayson on May 23rd, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

THANK GOODNESS SOMEONE IS MAKING ANOTHER MOBA. I WAS REALLY WORRIED NO ONE WAS EVER GOING TO DO THAT AGAIN. For real, though, while the world might have more than enough MOBAs on its planetary plate, at least Crytek is approaching theirs from a sort of interesting angle. Instead of returning to the same catch-all fantasy setting as everyone else, Arena of Fate pits classic characters from history, fables, and folklore against each other. So you’ve got Frankenstein’s monster, Jack the Ripper, Little Red Riding Hood, Robin Hood – characters like that. Also a weirdly boob-plate-clad Joan of Arc (she was very well-known for wearing men’s armor), but sure, videogames. Trailer and details below.

No gameplay! Avert thine eyes until E3 so you can totally miss the first gameplay trailer when it gets buried under a deluge of other, more eye-catching stuff. Such, for some reason, is the way of things.

As with many MOBAs, it sounds pretty par for the course when described generally. It’s tiny changes and tweaks that send big ripples through these things, so hands-on time will probably tell the full tale. For now, though, there’s this:

“Featuring fast-paced 5 vs. 5 battles, Arena of Fate expands Crytek’s range of Games-as-a-Service, and will be playable for the first time at this year’s E3 expo in Los Angeles. We are challenging ourselves to carefully craft a streamlined player experience that allows for both greater accessibility, and rich, deep, action-packed gameplay.”

Playable characters mentioned so far include Baron Münchhausen, Frankenstein’s monster, Jack the Ripper, Little Red Riding Hood, Robin Hood, Joan of Arc, Fenrir, and Tesla. You can apply for an early access beta – which will begin this summer – on the game’s website.

So then, another MOBA, but with a semi-interesting set of characters and inspirations. Think you’ll give it a try?

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68 Comments »

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  1. BooleanBob says:

    Noun of Noun

    A vidjagames industry game

  2. ersetzen says:

    It might be interesting but the buzzword bingo and character design doesn’t seem promising. Fenrir is humanoid and uses a weapon. What the hell… The picture somewhat reminded me of the American McGee’s Alice games, so I was hopeful that it wouldn’t be the typical 5 on 5 kill the enemy towers and main building style. Welp.

    Also, why can’t female armored characters look like more realistically? https://i.imgur.com/K53kzbA.jpg They would look way cooler…

    • Ada says:

      Sure she looks like a male, if you can only recognise women when they’re objectified.

    • AbigailBuccaneer says:

      “It’s more important to me that soldiers are easily distinguishable by gender than it is that their armour provides adequate protection.” – wappsify

      • BobbyDylan says:

        These are characters in a game distinguishing them from one another is kinda the whole point.

        • Niko says:

          That doesn’t have much to do with boob armour, though.

        • The Random One says:

          It is entirely possible to make a character whose archetype is ‘female knight’ look different from a character whose archetype is ‘male knight’ without having this difference be ‘the female knight is barely dressed and has huge boobs’.

          Although if you have ‘female knight’ and ‘male knight’ in your game about wildly different characters you’re already pushing it.

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      DrollRemark says:

      It’s almost as if you can’t actually make out boobs when someone is wearing armour. Mein gott!

      • Merus says:

        It’s worse than that: boobplate’s actually hazardous, because any hits to the chest will drive the narrow part in the middle directly into the sternum, most likely breaking the ribcage. Breasts, as anyone who’s touched one knows, are mostly fat; the only accommodation they really need is a bit more give on the sides.

    • Shooop says:

      Blame the pop music industry.

  3. Evil Pancakes says:

    Oh boy! Another Dota-like/ARTS (I refuse to use the term MOBA, it’s stupid), just what I always wanted. If we’re real good can we get another modern military shooter as well? Or maybe a near future shooter? We don’t have nearly enough of those either.

    • Kinth says:

      What we really need is another MMORPG! There is a severe lack of those….

      DotA clones are the new MMO I think. People with no understanding of what makes the game successful trying to cash in on the bandwagon.

      • Niko says:

        I guess it’s also the fact that character designs aren’t really great, and there’s no promising new mechanics so far, so there are reasons to be wary of it.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      And ARTS or DOTA-like aren’t stupid? There are as many crap names for this genre as there are new releases.

      • Evil Pancakes says:

        I’ll agree that they are stupid, but at least they are descriptive to some extent.
        MOBA is a term you can apply to pretty much any online multiplayer game ever. Quake, Starcraft, Counter Strike, Street Fighter, Battlefield, etc. you get the point. The only multiplayer games which would not fit the description of Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (i.e. you do not do battle in some kind of arena) are racers and MMOs. And even that is debatable.

        • The Random One says:

          I’m pretty sure that if you assume the ‘Strategy’ in ARTS does not necessarily stand to ‘a strategy game in which you control units’ then all of those games are also ARTS.

          • Vin_Howard says:

            When I hear ARTS, I think of Starcraft.

            MOBA works because it’s such a vague term that everyone excepts as meaning something specific. It’s like the term “visual novel.”

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        Fiyenyaa says:

        Everyone in the Know who Knows about these things Knows that the correct name for the genre is “Lord Management Simulator”.

    • Paradukes says:

      I always prefer to use the classic term “Aeon of Strife”. That’s what they were back in Starcraft and Warcraft 3, where the genre really took off. Sure, it’s an antiquated term now, but I think it still applies.

    • gryffinp says:

      For me, if it’s trying to rip off/cash in on League of Legends, it doesn’t deserve better than being called a “MOBA”.

    • raydenuni says:

      Lane Pushing Game (LPG). It’s perfect.

  4. Philomelle says:

    That might be the most awkward breastplate I have ever seen. It’s not even fashioned in the form of breasts, it quite literally had breasts bolted onto an otherwise average breastplate.

    Otherwise, looks like Yawn of Yawns: Overhyped Genre About Yawns. Much as I enjoy League, I don’t really see what makes this unique and the developers aren’t particularly trying to show it either. The website is all HUGE PROCLAMATIONS ABOUT HOW THIS IS GOING TO BE AMAZING and then… no explanations of gameplay whatsoever.

    Also, actual character models look like someone built them out of Play Doh.

    As an aside: there was once a brilliant SRPG on PSP based on Jeanne d’Arc’s story that actually used practical armor. I wish someone just ported that on PC instead.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      As far as the current situation goes, SMITE is pretty much the only pseudo-original MOBA with almost each ability being skill shot based and WASD control with a pretty generous third person view.

      It’s also decently balanced, priced and engineered. Think LoL but cheaper and with no stupid runes.

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      Cinek says:

      That’s suppose to be a practical armor? Nice troll attempt.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        Perhaps “practical” in comparison to most armours females wear, which are mostly steel bikini’s or ones with boob windows. There are still a lot of games where the female armours looks ridiculous, like fanservice, but I’ve seen more and more games where the armor is at least close to being useful as protection.

      • Philomelle says:

        It’s a fairly normal French platemail. The broad skirt is somewhat overboard, but at least the actual armor looks like it’s designed to provide protection from blows, not overemphasize the wearer’s breasts the way Arena of Fate’s Jeanne has it.

        Although I never did figure out why the chest area of Jeanne’s armor is shaded the way it is in the artwork. The thing is completely flat on her in-game model.

    • Crazy Horse says:

      Funny how the real Joan of Arc was also dressed by others in prop armor.

  5. Spacewalk says:

    If Little Red Riding Hood doesn’t have a little red basket full of bombs and guns then this game can go hang.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      She reminds me of the evil doll Chucky, so calling her Little Red Riding Blood is quite fitting.

  6. misterT0AST says:

    I wish EVERYONE didn’t use the very same artstyle for these things. Aside from the old Demigod looking unique, Heroes of Newerth looking grimdarky, and Dota 2 having the usual Valve spin of half-cartoony/ironic yet realistic style, the rest of the bunch, from League of Legends to Smite, to Dawngate, to this, all look exactly the same. Cartoonish high-fantsasy with steampunk elements (gotta have those guns).

    Some smaller studios could make isometric mobas, or some bigger studios could make a realistic looking map and set of characters. They could have different approaches to stats and life (for example, you die in one hit or few hits), maybe full 3d maps, with jumping, they could do a BUNCH OF THINGS but instead they’re all stuck sucking on LoL’s titties. What a shame.

    • Niko says:

      Guess this Warcraft-ish fantasy is a safe path. It’s really a shame though (and one of the reasons the only game of that kind I play is Awesomenauts).

    • nearly says:

      Dawngate was apparently going for a Japanese traditional fantasy vibe but I feel like it’s buried under the cartoony style. I think the reason developers lean so hard on the cartoony League style is that it’s easier to make a low-spec game that still looks decent, which is important if you want to build a playerbase.

  7. GernauMorat says:

    Could they seriously just bugger off with this games-as-a-service bollocks

  8. ran93r says:

    ENOUGH!

  9. Turkey says:

    Man, Nikola Tesla was way cooler before he got adopted by nerd culture. Now all I can picture is some goofy electro wizard fighting ancient ones or some other bullshit.

    • Niko says:

      Yeah, he looks like some sort of gnome inventor.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I feel the same way about the Lovecraft mythos, which has been cutesified by a bunch of people who mostly haven’t read a single one of the stories.

      And pretty much everything else that nerds beat to death by repeating terrible jokes.

    • FrumiousBandersnatch says:

      Welcome to the wonderful world of postmodernism, where design means rearranging clichés.

  10. Scytale says:

    No, simply no.

    No, I will not go learn another MOBA. A good MOBA needs so much investment from a company. Just look how long it took Value (who have money!) to get to where DOTA2 is. I have been burnt on too many poor ones that I will avoid them now.

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      Lars Westergren says:

      MMOs MOBAs – it’s like printing money!” The games industry – running in flocks since 1983.

    • salgado18 says:

      I’m a frequent LoL player, and got a beta key to Infinite Crysis, the DC MOBA. It has the famous characters, and I really love them, so playing with Batman or Superman or Flash feels so much like the comic character! It’s a very nice feeling.

      However, it’s just like LoL, and probably too much like DotA 2 too, so it didn’t pull me away from it. I think this one has the same problem, it has really nice characters, but beneath all that it’s just Another MOBA®.

      What the genre needs is a nice twist to the formula, something that changes the gameplay basics and is good. It may not kill the other games, but then it can be successfull on its own.

      • n0m0n says:

        DC needs to acquire the rights to use Mighty Mouse from CBS before I am willing to invest time in a DC MOBA.

        If they would I could finally find an answer to that question asked so many years ago in that movie using the same name as that song that keeps getting stuck on my mind…

  11. Einhaender says:

    I don’t even play MOBAs but I don’t get why people get upset about new games of that genre.

    It’s a “relatively” new genre for the mainsteam market so It’s only natural that devs jump on the train.

    Nobody would be like “Oh no, another beat ‘em up!”. People treat MOBAs like they’re some sort of disease…. well considering the toxicity of the communities, maybe they are one.

    • Evilpigeon says:

      Mobas take a lot of time to learn and a lot of the skill in doing well in one isn’t transferable to doing well in another. They also get better the more content they contain so there isn’t much interest from existing players in mobas that are similar to the ones they already play. So there’s nobody looking at these games and thinking ‘this is a good thing’. No enthusiasm means that all you get are people who are insulted by the whole idea of the genre and people who play other ones and get annoyed by the lack of understanding behind the cash-in.

    • Philomelle says:

      Because nobody actually makes new games in the MOBA genre. All they do is take League of Legends, reskin it in their artwork of choice and sometimes cut out the more complex systems in hopes that it will attract lower-skill players. The end result is that people are tired of hearing about the genre because a new title usually means they’ll just remake the exact same game.

      I’d love an actually new MOBA. But if I wanted to play League with fairy tale skins, I’d just log into League and ask my team to use more like fairy tale-esque character skins.

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        Yep, same thing with MMOs for the past 10-15 years, depending on whether you’re measuring from WoW or EverQuest. Nobody’s actually capable of attempting new design, it’s just minor variations on the exact same formula.

        • Philomelle says:

          Yeah, pretty much. Some of them do better at filing off the rough edges of their predecessors’ gameplay (FF14) and others try to muck with the combat mechanics (WildStar), but they ultimately build on the exact same formula.

          At least MMOs have the benefit of a large world to build on and tell stories in; the core reason why I love FF14 is because it’s so good at creating a sense of place. MOBAs have to tell their stories through a small three-lane arena where characters beat the crap out of each other without any permanent progression or allegiances. The result is that a unique personality is much harder to create.

    • Shooop says:

      Because it looks like the format doesn’t allow for a lot of variety in terms of game mechanics. So they’re just copy/pasting code from other games.

  12. Wulfram says:

    I guess Baron von Muenchhausen’s power is to allow you to make up fantastic stories about your fictitious victories?

    • Philomelle says:

      Baron Munchausen is a support character who turns his entire team into a posse of loyal followers by regaling them with tales of how much fun they had together in previous matches, then takes them on a fabulous adventure that involves a decapitated Robin Williams, a half-naked Uma Thurman and almost nothing related to the actual game.

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    Gap Gen says:

    THANKS MOBA

  14. ArtyFishal says:

    I love me some boob armor! Never change, videogames, never change.

  15. Blackcompany says:

    Accept no imitations, says the site of a shameless moba clone.

    Way to go, EA. Way to go.

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      Wisq says:

      Whoa, hold on there a minute. I’m not seeing any mention of EA being the publisher for this one. Crytek isn’t owned by EA, a lot of their games have been published by other companies or self-published, Wikipedia shows AoF as being self-published as well, and EA already has a MOBA anyway.

      Don’t get me wrong, I hate EA as much as the next person (assuming the next person also hates EA), but don’t be so quick to try to pin this one on them. This is all Crytek (and all bandwagon).

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        Hi um, sorry I’m late.

        Just wanted to reassure you that I don’t actually like EA very much. Carry on.

      • Moraven says:

        If you have any money from EA, EA is blamed regardless it seems. Just look at Titanfall and Respawn…

      • Blackcompany says:

        My mistake there then. I was under the impression EA actually owns Crytek now. And I wa frankly having serious trouble understanding why a company like Crytek – they of the god rays and graphics – would even enter into the…crowded…moba market for any reason other than “our publisher/owner told us to” to be honest.

        So…my mistake. Best of luck to Crytek in their already doomed to fail before it begins endeavor.

  16. MkMax says:

    im starting to have problems telling these apart

  17. Wedge says:

    This just makes me miss an absurdly obscure, super interesting, 4-player asymmetric game where 3 players fought each other to try and capture a 4th player who is trying to evade them all while collecting items to win for themselves. It was fairytale themed with an evil witch, a wolf, and a hunter going after a princess. The villains all had unique skills and methods of tracking the princess, and she had a variety of limited use tools to try and throw them off.

    Wait what was this about? Oh right, I tuned out after I saw the word MOBA.

    • Sian says:

      Now that sounds interesting. You wouldn’t happen to remember the name, would you?

  18. The Random One says:

    Uuuuugh. Characters from ancient legends and characters from pre-20th century literature and real historical people. What a fucking hodgepodge. The only thing unifying all those characters is that none of them are protect by copyright.

  19. Ruffian says:

    Le wit. XD Observations like one about miss of Arc, are the reason why RPS will forever remain my go-to pc gaming publication.

  20. Rapzid says:

    Haha, wow; that is some comical boob armour! Now I’m all for designers boobing their amour if they want, and they certainly have boobed here. It’s almost as if the designer had created Joan with male armour and was forced to add boobs so this is the rebellious middle finger.