Gigantic, Motiga’s unique and promising, but long-gestating MOBA is on its way to launch via Perfect World later this year. It’s undergone a lot of changes and tweaks to make matches flow better and to help new players pick up the intricacies of the game faster. I went hands on with my favorite hero Knossos during PAX West 2016.
I hung out with Lead Character Artist and All Around Good Guy Joe Pikop during the show to chat about the game as I dominated a match (against people who’ve not played) as Knossos. Along with Perfect World publishing the game, many will probably be relieved to know that Windows 10 and XB1 won’t be the only way to get Gigantic anymore: you’ll also be able to play via the Arc launcher (and a Steam launch is still an ongoing discussion too). Worth noting that the Arc launcher will still require a 64-Bit Windows.
The big focus since the game was picked up by Perfect World and is now working towards launch is the polish and shoring up of the new player experience. To that end, the UI has changed a lot to be simpler, showing detail with icons that players will learn as they play. It’s no secret that the Big Boss versus Big Boss fights of Gigantic are both the game’s biggest selling point and also their hardest thing to communicate to new players. Gigantic isn’t your typical towers-lanes-minions MOBA. It’s about pushing objectives and helping your monster finish off the opponent’s. To that end, the team’s worked hard to telegraph that information into the game without making the experience too “tutorial heavy”. There’s also a playground map where you can take a character, spawn creatures and heroes, and play around by yourself as a sort of training ground for your favorite heroes.
Gameplay-wise, Gigantic is probably at its most fun place since I originally played its early incarnations what seems ages ago now. It helped to have Joe by my side, reminding me at first that I was supposed to capture spawn points and plant down some support monsters, but the UI and the camera seem to work in tandem a lot better these days. I don’t feel like I’m being pulled out of the match by every little thing dinging off on the screen. Instead, I can focus on the fights (or flights) at hand, and save the upgrading and studying of the match between team fights.
Knossos, the big spear-wielding bull that’s been my favorite since the beginning, is still a riot to play. I even managed to net 17 kills in my match, and a near Penta that was robbed from me by a teammate who didn’t know how close to nirvana I was. My match, though we lost at the very end in a very close fight, was a reminder of just how good Gigantic can be when it’s played in a convention or eSports setting. What remains to be seen is how much fun it is when you’re home alone, playing with strangers and whether or not the game has the same sticky retention of Smite, LoL, or DOTA2. Motiga and PWE know they’re fighting for attention in a crowded space, but Joe and the rest of his team believe Gigantic has the chops to make a name for itself. And frankly, I’m really hoping it does, because Gigantic is a lot of fun. Keep an eye out for more frequent tests and a launch in the near future.