If there ever was a perfect MOBA ambassador for consoles then it was always going to be Smite. For better or worse, the game sticks out amongst its MOBA peers by its one defining trait: its third-person perspective. While games such as League Of Legends and Heroes Of The Storm will never be able to be ported across to consoles thanks to their mandatory keyboard and mouse control scheme, Smite was practically born for dual analogue.
On its original release, Smite was a well-received and unique MOBA with a small collection of niggles and bugs with its gameplay and systems that tend to come with every free-to-play release. Fast forward a year and a half after its release, though, and you’ll discover that Xbox One owners have been treated to a version that is mechanically and economically perfect, relatively bug-free and well on its way to being a giant of the genre. Couple that with a now-thriving community (the game hit a staggering ten million registered users this summer) and a flowering eSports scene with its Smite World Championships then we’d say that there hasn’t been a better time to pick Smite up than now.
The controls, while not great, are the best they can be on a controller. Hi-Rez has done a decent job at mapping the obtuse and key-hungry control set of a MOBA onto the Xbox One pad and it has done it in a way that’s actually intuitive and easy to use. There are some compromises, however. Crucial actions such as activating Active Items require multiple button presses, which become incredibly fiddly in crucial moments of battle and will, more times than not, your timing throw off by a couple of days.
While Smite for Xbox One is an admiral port of a very good game, it’s obvious that it is still not the definitive way to play it, that title is reserved for the PC version. Keyboard and mouse control scheme superiority aside, the Xbox version suffers from FPS stutter, especially when calling up the scoreboard or shop in-game. Admittedly, this could easily be patched in the future; it’s still early days for the game, after all, but in its current state it leads to the occasional outburst of frustration.
So if you want to play Smite as a ‘purist’, then sure grab yourself a half-decent PC, download the game for free and go ahead. If you are the type of person who wants to play it casually, kick on a comfortable sofa with a controller and probably get the same amount of enjoyment out of it, then by the Gods this is for you.