So, I’ve been playing Smite on PC since it first came out of beta, and I’ve really come to love the game. Being the first MOBA I even played, it was probably what got me into the genre in the first place. I had several friends laugh at me for playing it over League, though the more Smite I played, the more I stood by my choice. Eventually, I started playing other MOBAs, but none of them really gave me the same feeling. Even though I probably play League more now, I still come back to Smite as often as I can for a game or two. Recently, Hi-Rez announced that it would be porting Smite to the Xbox One, which was just as surprising as it was exciting. After having the opportunity to play the Alpha, my opinion has only been solidified.
My biggest concern about this whole porting business was how the game would handle on a controller. On the PC, you have an entire keyboard, as well as the mouse, to assign your buttons to. While a controller does have plenty of buttons, and certainly enough for the games designed around the controller, moving a game designed for a keyboard to a controller, while keeping the controls intuitive. What I mean to say is, how do you take the movement and actions that are natural to the keyboard, and make them feel natural on a controller? Well, I’d say that for the most part, Hi-Rez managed to get it down fairly well. Personally, I had the best experience with the 4th control scheme, using the triggers, LB and RB to use abilities, was easy to get used to, and I think that’s important. While learning the controls for the first time user won’t be a big deal, not managing to make it comfortable for those transferring from a PC could be a huge turn off.
With the controls out of the way, let’s talk about the graphics. While I really only had the opportunity to play the Joust map, I have to admit I’m impressed with the games visuals. Personally, I always thought Smite was a great looking game, especially more so than League, though the two are quite different. So, much like the controls, I was worried about how this game would fair when moved to the console. Once again, I’ve been impressed. The Xbox One does a great job with Smite’s visuals, and at least with my experience, it was just as sharp as the PC version. In addition to that, the game was also able to run at a constant, rock solid frame rate, though I’m not sure what the framerate cap is. As I mentioned before, I only had the opportunity to play the Joust map, but I’m hoping that the Conquest map will be just as nice.
To wrap things up, I have to say that I am very impressed with my experience with Smite for the Xbox One. Honestly, the Alpha wasn’t much different than the PC version, and that’s a good thing. I really like the idea of sitting down on my couch and playing Smite, enough to consider transferring my account on release. The game is far from finished, and we’ll see how things progress, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.