Gigantic - Xbox One Review


When a game tries to blend several different influences into its DNA, you run the risk of that game suffering from an identity crisis. To be honest, I thought that might be a concern for Gigantic, a new free-to-play multiplayer game on both PC and Xbox One. I am happy to say that while there are some issues, Gigantic actually does a really nice job of carving out its own niche in a genre that has been heavily diluted of late.

There have been numerous online multiplayer games. While League of Legends is still arguably the biggest (and the one that Chris from our team plays religiously), there have been quite a few solid alternate offerings (SMITE probably being my favorite). At a glance, you might look at Gigantic and wonder where it fits in with these other titles. It kind of looks a bit like Overwatch with its bright, colorful visuals, but Gigantic is something very different.

For starters, I tend to find this MOBA-ish genre of games a bit of a challenge to get into. I am really good against AI bots in most games, but people are unpredictable and I tend to stress out about whether or not I am going to suck. To its credit, this MOBA/shooting hybrid is actually really easy to pick up. The basic gameplay formula is that each side has a massive guardian beast at the base. You attempt to build up or fuel this guardian by doing things like protecting your beasts or killing the enemy. Once your have juiced your guardian up, it will head out to attack the other team's monster in an incredibly cool-looking scenario that plays out as one of the more exciting things I have seen in an online multiplayer game of this nature. Your job then is to run to the defending beast once yours tackles it, so it is at 'ground level' and vulnerable to attack. Enough attacks and the enemy beast loses one of its three hearts. If all three hearts are lost by one of the guardians, their side loses as well.


It is actually a really simple formula that makes Gigantic very approachable. It helps that the tutorial walks you through all of the game's basics, so all of the terms and techniques are pretty well at your disposal by the time you actually head out to take on the competition. In some ways, that is where the fun really begins, as the roster of nineteen character is actually pretty awesome. For one, these characters can be pretty different from one another. In a lot of these games, you have characters of very similar design and function, and while there is some utility overlap to be had on this roster, the crazy critters and hunting humans at your disposal have a versatility to their builds that are far more interesting than melee, ranged, support.

There is a very nice RPG element to be had there as well, as your character levels up, you can modify them. These different skills and traits can be jostled to suit your style (I tend to favor passive abilities over activated skills, but there is a lot of flexibility to be had in the system. Yet, the heavy-handed 'snowball' effect that I have seen in other MOBAs seems to be lacking here, and gives you a chance to impact the game with just about any character and leveling scheme. In fact, the high level of strategy and teamwork required had me tweaking my preferred configurations mid-match pretty often. It is really more about your playing preferences, and that kind of balance right out of the gates is pretty impressive.

So, for all of these good things, the worst part is the lack of content. This game almost feels as though it could be in Early Access in some ways. The roster of character is pretty solid, but with only one real game mode to work with currently, I do worry that Gigantic will wear out its welcome a bit sooner than it would have were it to provide some more variety. Even the number of maps is a little limited right now. None of these are a deal killer, but they might wear out Gigantic's welcome a bit early if you play it heavily right off of the bat.


It is also worth noting that this is a Free to Play game - which means there are microtrasactions. These never felt particularly egregious to me, but Gigantic works similarly to other games of this nature in that you have a rotating cast of characters you can play with - or if you find ones you really like, you can pay to unlock them all of the time. Additionally there are some other items and pretty cool-looking skins you can unlock as well, again using the in-game currency. You can do things within the game to help build that currency up, but it can be something of a slow grind. That is something fans of the genre are used to be now, but it makes sense to call it out.

Gigantic is a really slick overall combination of shooter and MOBA, and it is far easier to learn and get into than other similar titles. The characters are interesting and the visuals are stylish and charming. However, Gigantic would really have benefited from more content. The cast of characters is pretty solid, but more maps and some additional modes would have been great at launch. I am sure the developers will continue to add to the game as time goes on, especially if the community takes to it, but it is a pretty serious negative in an otherwise really great game.

Game Information

Platform:
Xbox One
Developer(s):
Mitoga Inc.
Publisher(s):
Perfect World Entertainment
Genre(s):
Action
Strategy
MOBA
Mode(s):
Multiplayer
Other Platform(s):
PC

Source:
Free to Play




Article by Nick
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