A few months ago, Andrew and I wrote a Co-op review of Smite on PC. We found the game had a fair free-to-play model, a variety of content on offer for players and was also accessible to newcomers of the MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) genre. We also noted a few minor annoyances including the lack of an in-game voice chat option and a lack of players on the Australian servers. Being an MOBA, you may be skeptical of the game’s transition to the Xbox One, but thankfully, it’s just as much fun as it is on PC.
Many Xbox One owners would have likely never heard of Smite before. The game has the premise of pitting gods of different cultures against each other. This paves the way for several interesting match-ups including the likes of Egypt’s Anubis and Ra, and Greece’s Zeus and Poseidon. Like the PC version, there is an impressive roster of nearly 70 playable gods. Each has their own unique powers and play style, so it’s fun to experiment and see what best suits you.
Unlike most other MOBAs, Smite is played from a third person perspective. This not only immerses players straight into the action, but also opens up some strategic elements – since you can’t see behind you, if you’re not careful enemies might launch a surprise attack from behind. This has transferred across to the Xbox One version flawlessly, although at the expense of the controls. Many of the gods’ attacks require precision that is lost a little when using a controller, however auto-aim and sensitivity settings do balance this a bit.
Smite’s user interface has mostly been retooled with the Xbox One in mind. The in-game store and information menus are all available seamlessly at the click of the D-Pad, while attacks and items are selected by pressing either the left or tight trigger and corresponding face button. Everything from the PC version is there, nothing has been left untouched and overall it’s a smart and user-friendly interface.
Smite’s free-to-play business model is identical on Xbox One. There are weekly rotations of five playable gods and another five gods which are always available. Players can choose to purchase the Ultimate God Pack on the Marketplace to unlock all current and future gods, or they can purchase individual gods using in-game currency. There are two forms of in-game currency, one being Gems and the other being Favour. Keeping in mind both can be earned as in-game rewards, you could theoretically unlock everything if you’re extremely patient and persistent. Otherwise you can spend a little cash and unlock a treasure trove of goodies from the get go.
Having just launched on the Xbox One, it’s very easy to get into a match on the Australian servers. However, you can struggle to find matches in the less popular Assault, Siege and “Daily Rotation” modes, so be prepared to switch to overseas servers if you want the full experience. The Australian servers are for the mostly lag free, which is great for those playing competitively. Matchmaking does have some annoyances – once you are placed into a lobby, if one player doesn’t accept the match or fails to select a god by the end of the countdown, the whole group is thrown back into the queue. While not a deal breaker, it could be handled better.
One of the advantages of releasing Smite on Xbox One is that the developers know every player has the same hardware. Because of this, Smite plays beautifully and looks like the PC version if it was running on higher end hardware. The music and sound quality is also to a high standard, making the overall package extremely attractive as a free-to-play title.
The Xbox One version of Smite is almost identical to the PC version. Apart from tweaks to the in-game menus and controls, the content is the same. That’s not a bad thing though as Smite is being exposed to a new market, it’s running beautifully like it would on a high-end PC and there are plenty of matches to be found on the Australian servers. If you’re interested in the game at all, give it a go and take advantage of it’s free-to-play model.
Same content as PC version
Easy to find matches on Australian servers
Smart and user-friendly interface
Minor matchmaking issues
Controls are not as precise as the PC version