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E3 2015: Gigantic Preview: A Monster Hybrid of Shooter and MOBA

Going into Gigantic I didn’t really know what to expect. Everything I’d seen before made the game look very much like a MOBA, in the sense of players fighting to take down the other team’s core. Instead I found myself slammed face first into an intertwining dance that didn’t quite know whether it was a third person shooter, or a MOBA.

This isn’t a bad thing, however, as the developers seem to have done a brilliant job mixing the good of the two genres together. The blending of narrow corridors, wide-open spaces, and tight corners made the map that I experienced quite effective for all character types, thus balancing things out pretty well. Likewise, my ranged attacks never felt over-powered against melee focused enemies, allowing them plenty of time to get up close and personal to score a few hits of their own.

Gigantic is more than just a mindless shooter though. Sporting a fairly unique artistic style, Gigantic pits players against each other in 5v5 matches where they’ll need to weaken, and kill the opposing teams Guardian. The big thing here is that players will have to earn enough ‘Power’ throughout the match to allow their Guardian to attack. Once your Guardian has attacked and crippled the opposing Guardian you must then shoot it in the heart. Completing this process three times will win the game.

The diversity of the map is great, but it’s also a pretty big problem as it limits players to certain ‘comfort zones’ depending on their character. Because many of the side areas of the map I played were tighter, less open areas, I often found myself straying towards the middle, where I had wider spaces, and more open line of sight. This meant that most of my encounters were against other ranged enemies, and that I didn’t get to truly experience the full meat of the map.

If left unchecked, I can see this becoming a problem. The tight areas remind me a lot of a MOBA, while the more open spaces feel more aligned for a third person twitch-based shooter. The lines of sight set within the map feel assuring, allowing you just enough room to see what’s ahead without giving all of the enemy movement away. At the same time the branching skill upgrade system, the use of Summoning Circles to bring NPC healers and fighters into the match, and the Power based Guardian attack system all work well together to help create a nice mesh of third person shooter MOBA goodness. It will be interesting to see how well the game does when it hits beta in August, and even more interesting to see how Motiga support this game in the future after release.

For those looking to get their hands on Gigantic and form their own evaluations, the game will hit beta in August, and will feature at least sixteen playable characters and two maps. Gigantic will also be free to play, with no set payment model as of yet. The developers have also stated that it will feature optional cross platform play between the Xbox One version and the Windows 10 edition of the game.

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