In case you missed it, SMITE Rivals is a new collectible card/tower defense title coming from Hi-Rez, the folks who brought you the well-loved mythological MOBA, SMITE. We got the chance to fly down to Atlanta for the Hi-Rez Expo this past week, where we played a good bit of SMITE Rivals. Here's what we learned about the upcoming game.
It aims to be accessible
The team wants players to pick up SMITE Rivals and enjoy it right out of the gate. The game is being designed with people of all skill levels in mind. It also means that players won't have to worry about struggling against folks with stronger, premium cards if they choose not to spend money on IAPs.
They're not copying Clash Royale
It was clear that the folks working on Rivals were a bit tired of hearing about these obvious comparisons. Afterall, it's been one of the most common observations about Rivals since it was announced. But the cutesy artstyle, which differs greatly from typical SMITE, is there for a good reason, according to Hi-Rez designer Sean Watson. The game has to look good on smaller devices, and the chibi aesthetic is best-optimized for the mobile platform.
Fan feedback is welcome
SMITE would be nothing without its community, and Hi-Rez says SMITE Rivals will not be the exception. The team is always open to constructive feedback from fans via Reddit and Twitter. At Hi-Rez Expo, Watson relayed to me tales of fans creating impromptu tournaments and the devs beating a particularly resilient duo who were trying to break the game's carefully crafted system of counter-balances.
Expect some shake-ups in the free-to-play sphere after Rivals launches
While team lead Brian Grayson couldn't say a whole lot about how IAPs and the free-to-play model will work within SMITE Rivals, he did mention that he's excited with the system they're planning. He has high hopes that it will change free-to-play for the better industry-wide. Expect to hear more on that in the months to come.
The team doesn't have concrete plans for SMITE Rivals esports, but . . .
Brian Grayson told us that he hopes to see an esports scene develop organically around SMITE Rivals. The team's planted the seeds for competitive play in the game's design and are excited to see how Rivals might develop along that path, but are ultimately open to the fans taking the reigns initially on this one.
SMITE Rivals is still very much a work in progress, but if it can deliver on all that it's promising, could we finally a see a game with the ability to topple Clash Royale? For now we'll just have to wait and see. Expect SMITE Rivals to launch sometime this year.
Are you excited to play SMITE Rivals? Share your thoughts in the comments!