Before we get to Games of Glory launching on Steam today, let me take you back to last week for a minute if I may. It’s Friday and I’m typing some news articles for this very site. I have a developer walkthrough/demo coming up in a few hours. As you can imagine, sometimes I look forward to these demos, sometimes I don’t. Usually it has a great deal to do with the game I’m getting a sneak peek at on the call. PR reps and devs are usually very pleasant on these types of calls and I like the networking aspect of these calls so I don’t mind that part…but sometimes the games….uggh…you get where I’m coming from here, I think.
Friday’s call is a demo of Games of Glory, the free to play game from Lightbulb Crew. If you haven’t heard of the European based development crew, don’t feel bad, Games of Glory is their first title. Now, at this point I don’t know a ton about Games of Glory besides it will be free to play. I’ve watched a few videos and written a few early articles about development and news as it came, but nothing huge. It’s a “shmoba” in the words of Anders Larsson, Co-Founder, and this mashup is supposed to show how the game is influenced by both the shooter genre and the MOBA genre.
Most of you MMOBombers out there know my feelings on MOBAs. There’s a few I’ve tried. I’m generally not good at them, and it’s just not a genre that appeals to me all that much.
If you get the vibe that I’m not thrilled about the demo call I’m about to go on, you’re exactly right. I am sure I’ll like all the people on the call, but the game doesn’t exactly scream to me as something I really want to try out.
Simply, I was wrong. Dead wrong.
It’s easy to dismiss Games of Glory based on visuals and very little information. If all you hear is that it’s like a MOBA and you see visuals you’ve seen before graphics wise, you may pass the title right up. All I can say is don’t. Don’t get me wrong, Games of Glory isn’t going to knock the doors off of the gaming industry, far from it. But, in a word, the game is fun, and even I wanted to play more.
Games of Glory borrows from the shooter genre by giving players a control option. If you’re more familiar with WASD movement and mouse controls (like I opted for), go for it. Want total mouse control instead? You have the option to do so. From the MOBA side, yes there are lanes, but not in the sense you’re thinking. You won’t be pushing forward and backwards on lanes in certain game modes, trying to work your way to the far side of the map like you do in a League of Legends battle. Yes, creeps/minions are used, but again, not as you’re familiar with in other titles.
During my playthrough with Larsson, we tried two different game modes after a bit of bot training. Superstar Game Mode takes place on the Svandia map and is the MUCH more fast paced game mode. Rounds are very short (1 minute) and combat comes in 1v1, 2v2, and 3v3 flavors. The premise is simple. At the beginning of each round each team has a Superstar. When it’s your turn to be the Superstar you have two possible goals in mind either A) kill the other team’s Superstar with your team or B) Survive until the time expires and be closer to a central map point than the other team’s Superstar when the clock hits zero. Either method will win your team the round and the team that wins 5 round first takes the battle. Even against bots, this mode is a blast to play and leads to some intense seconds every single round. The fast nature of this mode makes it great for those of us that just don’t enjoy a 30 minute MOBA battle.
On the longer side of things, the Arkashan map is a Dominion game mode played by two teams of 3,4, or 5. This mode is where you may see some more of the MOBA influence. Your objective is to destroy your opponent’s Energy Core on the far side of the map. To do so though, you need to take out the shields around this core by capturing victory points all over the map and holding them for as long as possible. Gold points on the map can be captured to increase your team’s income. Don’t let these gold points fall by the wayside as a “nice to have.” My tip here is, the team that controls the gold has the best shot at winning in the end…even if they let their shields fall to zero doing so. In one match we played, our shields were gone and the opposing team still had full shields and we STILL weren’t out of the match since we dominated the flow of gold and were all fully upgraded at the end game while our opponents couldn’t buy a personal shield to save their lives. You never really feel out of it if you play smart.
Combat itself is skill shot based. You need to be accurate with your attacks and the ability to swap between a ranged (gun) item and a melee (sword/dagger) weapon means you can engage at any point even if your character may be better at one style over the other. Leveling up abilities is straight out of other MOBA games. Upgrade an ability as you kill opponents to make them do more damage or have other increased effects. Clones (Games of Glory’s title for their Heroes) fall into traditional roles like tank, healer, and support but can further be customized with not only the weapons and items meta present in each match, but through enhancements to your main profile. These enhancements are unlocked with play and apply to any clone you choose to play. You’ll have to level up to be able to use these enhancements though as you are restricted by points when it comes to how many you equip and you gain available points as your profile level goes up. Think League of Legends Runepages and you have the concept.
On the cash shop side of business, Games of Glory has the usual monetization used in most MOBA titles. Clones can be unlocked via cash or in game currency (which didn’t seem to be overbearing on the amount of time needed to farm, but it will be a bit of work), skins will be available for purchase as well. Larsson specifically called out that Lightbulb Crew does not want cash to influence gameplay in any way. If you want to spend money, great, if not you can still progress competitively through farming. Looking at Games of Glory entering the eSports scene, this concept was important to Lightbulb Crew.
With Clubs to join, leaderboards, weekly call outs to give everyone a chance at a moment in the sun and more, Games of Glory feels like it’s got all the makings of a great social title as well.
On the negative side, Games of Glory doesn’t have mush visually going for it. You’ve seen this style of graphics done before. That’s not a terrible thing, but it is worth mentioning. Games of Glory also has the ability to be overrun by the MOBA type community which, in my experience, isn’t a great thing in most cases. Lightbulb Crew is aware of this though and plans to put a number of items in place that encourage a better community through rewards for helping others, a voting system at the end of each match (which was already in place during my playthrough), and other perks. Let’s hope they help.
In the end, it comes down to fun though and Games of Glory delivered for me. I felt like I may have been terrible to start, but by the end of our almost 2 hour session (yes…I stayed to play that long) I felt like I was progressing on a nice skill curve. I was getting better, thinking about strategy differently, and enjoyed the game quite a bit.
If you want to check out something that feels familiar right off of the bat, but plays a bit different in most aspect, Games of Glory should certainly be on your list to check out.
When Larsson asked if I wanted to hear some more information or play another match, I surprisingly opted for more matches. In my book, that’s saying something for any game that puts the word “MOBA” near its marketing.