Killsquad looks and loots like the lovechild of Diablo and Destiny and plays like a co-op MOBA. It hit Steam Early Access this week as an action-RPG for up to four players, drenched in a hellish sci-fi theme that could almost be a Doom spin-off with some of its demonic alien creatures. The fast-paced action is easy to jump into, with gorgeous art design, fun attacks, and, refreshingly, zero microtransactions.
These guides will tackle general strategies for the various roles that each hero is categorized as, such as Tank, Support, and Mage, as well as explaining how various hybrid classes work.
The first guide, Know Your Role: Tank, is live now. More to follow!
Sadly Arena of Valor is still not available in the US (I’m using a special Euro code to get in and play), and its US release has been delayed into 2018. But if you enjoy MOBAs and fancy playing one on your phone or tablet, it’s a good one, and I’ve enjoyed writing guides for it.
Battlerite knows all about big teamfights. Regardless of any given MOBA’s peculiarities, they all come down to a series of dust-ups. These carefully coordinated battles are often the determining factor in a match, and they’re a significant part of what makes MOBAs compelling as a spectator sport.
The appropriately named Stunlock Studios have taken those big moments of a typical 30-60 minute match and transformed them into a 10-minute single-elimination arena brawl of pure adrenaline-pumping chaos. It’s tense, challenging, enjoyable, and free-to-play.
Something I’ve been contributing to over the last month is writing hero guides for upcoming MOBA Arena of Valor. The new website, AOV Stats (by ZAM), just went live this week. You can see my work here, with three guides of mine up so far.
Arena of Valor is a mobile free-to-play MOBA that’s huge in China and Europe. It’s scheduled to release in the U.S. later this month.
It’s basically a slightly watered down, mobile-friendly version of League of Legends or DOTA 2. There’s ranked play, items, lanes, etc. It’s actually a lot of fun and I definitely don’t normally play mobile games.
I’m continuing to master more heroes and crank out guides. The website is still brand new and very much a work in progress. It’s eventually going to get fancy graphics, widgets, and videos. Keep this game on your radar if you enjoy MOBAs.
There are dozens of ‘me too’ free-to-play MOBAs vying for your attention, and Master X Master looks like any other at first. It launched in June as MMO publisher NCSoft’s answer to the genre, and features a standard 5v5 lane-pushing match on a single map called Titan Ruins.
The best part of Master X Master is the surprisingly enjoyable cooperative PvE mode, which elevates an otherwise mediocre lane-pusher into a rewarding, bite-sized action RPG.
No one would accuse Activision-Blizzard of being the “little guy.” But when it comes to the MOBA space, Heroes of the Storm remains in a distant third (or maybe even fourth) position behind Valve’s Dota 2 and the reigning champion, Riot’s League of Legends.
For the last two years, Heroes of the Storm has benefited from a steady flow of balance patches and additional heroes and battlegrounds. The iterative updates have culminated in a massive overhaul known as Heroes of the Storm 2.0.
The Heroes 2.0 update launched in April, adding an entirely new loot chest system, revamped experience and leveling, UI improvements, and more Overwatch content. It has never been a better time to jump into the most intuitive and user-friendly MOBA.
Hyper Universe took up a sizable portion of the show floor at PAX South 2017. After playing the game it more than earned its prominent spot at the front of the expo hall.
Hyper Universe is a colorful, side-scrolling MOBA developed by Korean designers Cwavesoft and published by Nexon. MOBAs, those Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas have exploded in popularity thanks to popular esports games like League of Legends and DOTA 2. MOBAs now come in all shapes and sizes. Hyper Universe carves a unique niche by combining the look and feel of a 2D platformer or fighting game spread out over a single, massive level.
My top ten favorite games of the year, presented in ascending order each day leading into the holidays. Look for my full Top Ten list with categories and awards on December 24!
I don’t really consider myself a big fan of any specific franchises or game developers. But if I had to pick a game developer to receive my feverish devotion, it would be Blizzard Entertainment.
I’ve been loving Blizzard’s games since before they were Blizzard, with 16-bit titles like The Lost Vikings and Rock ‘N Roll Racing. I fell in love with real-time strategy games in the 90s with Warcraft and Starcraft and Action-RPGs with Diablo and the rest is history.
So it means a lot when I say that we are at peak Blizzard awesomeness right now. A Blizzard game (or expansion) has appeared on my annual Game of the Year list for three of the last four years (and twice last year). Now with Overwatch, make that four out of five.
Overwatch is easily the most popular game on my list. The “hero shooter” blending of MOBA and FPS exploded this year. But leave it to Blizzard to once again take a genre and perfect it into an easily accessible, yet highly competitive format. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2016: #5”
When everything in Battleborn clicks together it’s a beautiful mess, but too many frustrations drag the experience down.
Battleborn is a tale of two games. Borderlands developer Gearbox took the main elements of the MOBA genre – waves of NPCs, multiple hero classes with unique abilities, leveling, towers, etc, and injected them into a first person shooter.
The other half is a series of cooperative missions involving the unique story and characters of their insane universe. Both feel like they should’ve been expanded into their own games. When everything clicks together it’s a beautiful mess, but too many frustrations drag the experience down.
Gearbox has leveraged their funny comic art style into some truly awesome character designs. The 25 heroes are a motley crew divided into five different backgrounds, from the fantasy-inspired Eldrid to the space pirate Rogues.
There’s Oscar Mike, your typical Call of Duty/Halo soldier. But then there’s Miko the sentient mushroom healer and Toby the penguin in a giant mech suit. The Shayne and Aurox duo have a teenage girl possessed by a giant guardian demon thing. Battleborn has some of the most unique hero designs I’ve seen in a hero brawler.
My love of Heroes of the Storm never translated to the competitive esports scene, until Heroes of the Dorm.
I love the Blizzard game Heroes of the Storm. But despite its growing popularity as an esport, I’d never cared much about the competitive scene. That all changed when I spotted my wife’s alma mater among the college teams on the bracket for Blizzard’s second annual “Heroes of the Dorm” tournament. I suddenly found myself tuning into broadcasts and cheering on my adopted team. I learned about popular strategies and costly mistakes. I watched scrappy underdogs win against all odds, while big favorites fell apart. I forged a love for insightful commentary, risky gameplay, and college rivalries. I became a fan.
Heroes of the Dorm is the first of its kind—a college esports competition broadcast live on ESPN2 and ESPN3. This year the tournament returned more popular than ever, and could be viewed on on Twitch, YouTube, ESPN2 and ESPNU. The Final Four and Grand Finale air today and tomorrow.
“Heroes of the Dorm is so cool because we’re from this culture that recognizes the growth of esports and how it provides a really positive form of entertainment,” says Adam Rosen, co-founder of college esports organization TESPA. “You tune into an average esports competition, you might not know who Evil Geniuses or Team Liquid are. You tune into ESPN and see Cal Berkeley vs Arizona State in the finals and you’re gonna have some affiliation with those schools.”