Hi-Rez Studios have announced a new project – Smite Rivals [official site] – billed as a collectible card arena game featuring familiar faces from its MOBA, Smite. Given Hi-Rez are also developing Paladins (which features some nods to Smite) and Smite Tactics which is a turn-based strategy card game also set in the same universe as Smite, I've been wondering if the mythology-and-deity Smite-iverse would end up turning into a full-blown franchise. It certainly looks like that's more the case now that Rivals is being added to the studio's roster.
Here's the reveal trailer:
The game is a free-to-play project and will be released on PC and mobile with one of the main points being that you can switch between using the same account on different platforms and just pick up where you left off.
It was only just announced as the Hi-Rez Expo (their annual showcase and esports tournament) so I'll try and get some hands-on time while I'm there in order to let you know how it plays. At first I thought it sounded like it had echoes of The Elder Scrolls – Legends because there's a lane element to the game board but actually watching the footage it reminded me more of games like Clash Royale than Legends.
This is from the press release:
"SMITE Rivals is played one-on-one in quick intense matches that take place on a three lane field. Players use cards to deploy units across lanes in an attempt to take the enemy tower on the other side. As players collect and unlock more cards in SMITE Rivals, they gain access to new units, strategies, and playstyles."
To add a tiny bit more there's a quote from the game's executive producer, Brian Grayson where he's talking about play and says, "players collect and command an army of their favorite characters in a new and fun art style".
I feel like the Smite cast of deities are more like the characters from Warcraft or something at this point, popping up in MOBAs and card games and strategy things and whatnot. From a business point of view it feels more like a franchise, from a creative point of view it reminds me of having a particular set of toys in your toybox and repurposing them according to the game you fancy playing that afternoon.
So! More thoughts once I've played it, but you can sign up for closed beta access at www.smiterivals.com if you're interested.