By Josh Speer / August 29th, 2014
My first day at PAX Prime this year, I got the opportunity to try an alpha build of a new free to play MOBA called Gigantic. I should briefly mention I normally avoid the genre, since I’m so bad at them, but despite my best intentions, I found myself drawn to the visual style of the game. Slated to hit PC in 2015, it tasks you with summoning gigantic mythical creatures, called Guardians, and then protecting them from your foes as they try and destroy it with their own Guardian. Protect it long enough, and your gigantic beast will become superpowered. If it manages to defeat the opposing team’s monster, you win.
Speaking of the visuals, I love the cel shaded art style present in the current build of the game. It makes great use of light and shadow, and is soft yet striking at the same time. Unfortunately, you won’t have much time to admire it, as the action quickly escalates to a frenetic pace as you play a game of keep away.
There are currently several choices for what class you use, representing several standbys, such as a heavy brawler, melee specialist, sniper etc. The big difference is each and every one of these is magical or robotic in nature. For example, my heavy sniper type character, Charnok, is a sort of dragon sorcerer. He was adept at flinging magical flames from a distance, and could cause foes to take persistent burn damage. Unfortunately, he was also rather slow and clunky, so once a sniper or melee unit had me in their sights, I didn’t last too long. However, so long as your Guardian is alive, you will be revived to jump into danger once more. I jumped into danger many, many times.
It is worth mentioning that at least in the current build, each class could only be selected by one person. For example, I had actually picked a robotic bruiser, but somebody beat me to the punch in the selection, so I was stuck with good old Charnok. On the plus side, his skills did let me snipe, but my lack of familiarity with the controls and genre made me a pretty horrible teammate. My fellow team members often rushed to the action as I slogged behind. It wasn’t all melancholy, though. I rather enjoyed when I caught the opposing gigantic beast unprepared and almost took his feathered behind down single handedly. But once he reached full power, it was another story altogether.
There are twelve different classes thus far, and I would wager there’s a good chance there will be more in the final version. Better yet, there is enough diversity to keep things interesting on multiple replays. Each class has super moves that can be used, which require a cooldown period. I’m not certain if there will be much in the way of story, but since this is geared towards team play, that’s not too important. What was important was that in the alpha build, the skill tree refused to work for me, despite it working for everyone else. As I leveled up, I had lots of points to spend on new abilities, but they went unspent because of this glitch. This was frustrating, but hopefully will be resolved before release. Balance is another factor that needs some work, as the true sniper classes were very deadly, and could usually murder me before I realized I was being fired upon.
Overall, I would say Gigantic is a great game with a lot of promise. If you are a fan of fantasy, MOBA, or just like playing games with friends, it will be a game to keep watch for in 2015.