In the past two years or so, we have seen a rather large influx of developers trying to create the next big action MOBA game, and for the most part, none have been able to rival the genre’s current powerhouses such as League of Legends and DOTA 2. That’s where Gigantic comes in: bringing its own creative and original take of the genre, Gigantic takes a step in what feels like a new and exciting direction for MOBAs. With the commencement of the game’s open beta this past December, I had a chance to jump onto the airship, defend my guardian, and see if the game felt truly gigantic.
It has been quite a while since a game has filled me with such a childlike sense of joy the way that Gigantic does. The incredibly unique and bubbly art style drew me in the moment I saw it. The minimalist yet vibrant appearance of the game presents a fun, stylized, and original world that separates it from any other multiplayer game that I have seen.
Gigantic feels vastly different from most of the MOBAs that I have played, which I really appreciated since many of the new MOBAs that have been coming out seem to be knock-offs of games already popular in the genre. Defending my guardian and having them fight beside me made the game feel much more alive than a typical MOBA does by giving me a sense of connection with what I was protecting. There are no lanes to be found, which are a staple in MOBA games, but Gigantic is still able to capture the essence of the genre while delivering it own unique style.
Each match consists of ten players divided into two teams of five. To win the match, you will have to wound the enemy team’s guardian three times. You can only inflict wounds to the enemy guardian when your guardian rampages and holds the opposition down, rendering it vulnerable. To get your guardian to rampage, you have to get its power level to one hundred. You can generate power for your guardian multiple ways. Killing an enemy will give you guardian ten power points, killing an enemy creature will get you twenty, and collecting powers orbs on the designated areas of the map will also net you twenty power points. There is no way to lower your enemies power points so strategically gaining power points is the key to success in every match.
The characters that Gigantic has are so incredible and over-the-top that I just couldn’t help from falling in love with the game. My personal favorite character, Pakko, is a great example of this. He is essentially a giant yeti-hamster who throws snowballs, spins around on the floor, and beats up his enemies with his bare hands, all the while keeping a smile on his face. Aside from being larger than life, the characters in the game are also very diverse, not only in appearance but also in playstyle. None of the characters feel the same and any player will be able to find a character to fit their personality and playstyle.
The creatures in the game really add an additional level of strategy to it that helps to keep every match feeling fresh and different. There are currently five types of creatures, each with their own abilities and attacks. Choosing the right creatures for one of the allotted spots on the map can drastically affect a matches outcome. Having a cyclops place a wall between you and the enemy can provide a much needed safe haven for you and your team, while having a drake blow fire at the opposing team can help you overpower their offensive capabilities and take control of the match. I have seen teams win or lose matches based on whether or not they make the right decision on which creatures to summon; however, summoning a creature in an area that you can’t properly defend can be devastating, because it will result in power points for the enemy guardian when the creature reaches its untimely demise.
The character progression system was very simple and easy to grasp, which I think is a huge plus for Gigantic as the game already has a lot of intricacies to its gameplay that could cause some confusion for casual gamers. At the start of every match, your character begins at level one and can get to level ten through experience. After each level, you are able to use a skill point to gain an ability from your skill tree. The skill tree the game has allows new players the ability to level up rather quickly, but leaves room to dive deeper and build your characters to fit your playstyle as you become more proficient with the game. The small yet accessible size of the skill tree also allows players to try out many of a character’s different playstyles in just a few matches.
One aspect of the game that I really love is the clash. The clash is a point in a match that takes place after five rampages by the guardians or two wounds to one guardian. At the beginning of the clash. the whole battlefield changes: walls fall down, water retracts, and your airship and guardian move, leaving you in a much smaller map with both guardians closer to each other and the enemy. It makes each map dynamic and distinct, while also enabling teams that are behind a chance to turn the game around and make a comeback.
While playing Gigantic, you have to heavily rely on your team. Winning a match on your own by carrying your team is nearly impossible. I have seen it done on a few occasions by some very talented players, but the vast majority of the time you will need to work with your team to take down your opponents. Due to the game’s team-based nature, being a player down is disastrous, but Motiga has tried to remedy this by giving your team the honor bonus, which grants faster respawn times for each player that your team is down. Motiga also plans to grant more rewards such as extra crowns and rubies, which are Gigantic’s in-game currencies, to players that complete matches when they don’t have a full team.
One area that I would like to see improvement in, is the game’s lore. Right now the only lore in the game is expressed through small tidbits of information that you can read by viewing a character’s different skins. a summary of the character’s history or a video explaining each character and their houses would fill out the world much more and add depth to the game’s already wonderful characters.
I would also like to see an in-game chat feature added to the game. As of now if you want to communicate with your team you can either use the ping wheel, which allows you to give orders to your team such as attack here, or quick messages which lets you say preset phrases such as that was fun or greetings. Hopefully this will develop into a system similar to the chat in Overwatch, which lets you write your own messages in addition to the preset phrases.
Whether you are a hardened MOBA player or someone who is just starting to get into online multiplayer games, Gigantic is definitely worth giving a try. The game’s new take on the popular genre makes Gigantic uniquely brilliant, while its beautiful art style mixed with incredible characters make it a joy to play.