Beta Perspective: Gigantic

I’m having a lot of fun on Gigantic. I guess I should elaborate.

I very rarely talk about MOBA titles here on MMO Fallout because I personally don’t care for them and, based on a poll I did a couple of years ago, my audience doesn’t either. So the few titles that I do talk about, I do so under the guise that if it is good enough to bring me into the genre, someone whose interest generally falls into the realm of having the Dota 2 world championship finals on as background noise, my audience might have the same reaction.

The premise of Gigantic is a relatively unique one: Two teams of five players fight alongside their gigantic (get it?) creature. Both teams have to engage around the map to boost their score, from creating creatures in their capture points and taking out the enemy team and their creations. Both teams are racing to fill up their score, which causes their creature to attack the other team’s creature and expose its power crystal.

At this point, a timer begins counting down and the game now puts the teams on attack/defend as the downed creature is vulnerable for a short period of time. The attacking team has a small window to do enough damage to take away the creature’s health, and this must be accomplished three times in order to win the game. You often see the defending team use themselves as meat shields to try and protect their giant.

There is an interesting balance that comes out of this, because the team that loses its point tends to wipe out the attacking team during this strike, giving them a head start in the new round. If you successfully defend your giant, the next round starts and you get another chance, however that health isn’t regenerated so the next time you lose, your creature is more vulnerable. Once a giant is hit twice, the field of play becomes smaller and much more hectic.

Over at the various capture nodes, the creatures you spawn serve one of three distinct functions: heal nearby allies, build walls, and reveal enemies. Two of those are self-explanatory, the wall building creates obstructions that give your enemies less avenues to attack from. This is important in a MOBA, especially one where you find yourself defending your giant from getting stabbed in the face.

The art style of Gigantic is fantastic, it isn’t cell-shaded, but it has the style of a higher quality Pixar knockoff. The giants on each team are massive (see the above screenshot) and utterly terrifying when you see them go on a rampage and start whipping around the map. I’ve yet to get tired of watching the moment when my giant rolls up and just choke slams the enemy team’s beast into the ground, holding him there while you and your team start taking shots.

One thing I really love about Gigantic is that this is one of the few fantasy-themed MOBAs that has genuinely creative characters, and all I really need to say to push this point over the ledge is that there is a character who can build turrets. Stay with me, you might want to sit down for this, it is not a dwarf engineer. Crazy, right? The characters are so wacky, that I’m honestly having a hard time coming up with words to describe them. I’d rather just show you their pictures. Then you have the potion master, who is apparently just an old guy with a big fat belly and two giant potions.

The turret character is an old lady with purple glasses and a giant horn thing on her head, wielding a staff with a giant clawed hand and an eye in the palm. The two-handed melee character is a minotaur-esque creature, there is a girl with a massive head of hair and what looks like WW1 pilot clothes dual wielding machine pistols, and a frog assassin who specializes in martial arts and also has an antenna on his head that is also modeled like a mohawk. No, I’m not sure if I’m talking about a real game anymore. This could all be a hallucination, but I have photographic evidence.

Even the characters that are somewhat reminiscent of generic MOBA characters aren’t really, they’re the kind of creatures that you can’t even start to put your finger on what they are, but they look cool and you can probably assume that they come from some mythological story from thousands of years ago. I suppose the closest character to a running cliche in gaming is the sniper lady with her eye patch, and that’s a stretch. In the grand scheme of things, the heroes don’t make any sense, but it’s nice to see a turret builder that isn’t a freaking dwarven engineer, coupled with a MOBA that isn’t centered around lines of towers.

Given a properly equipped team, Gigantic is a game that has plenty of opportunities to turn things around. I’ve had several games that looked like they were going south, only for our team to make a few strategic choices and swing the pendulum in our favor. We actually won one game by driving off what might have been the winning attack and pushing that momentum to our advantage.

Now Gigantic is technically free to play, there will be a hero roster that is personalized and rotated every week, with players getting different characters to make sure matches don’t become boring. You can get your hands on a founder’s pack for a one time fee that unlocks all of the heroes, and as with other games the primary form of income is in the form of cosmetic changes to your characters that can be bought or unlocked with currency won while playing games. I managed to gain enough in one night to unlock the higher tier outfit for one hero, so it’s not a huge time investment.

The fact that I’m enjoying Gigantic as much as I am makes me hate it, because I know that soon enough I’m going to be moving on to other coverage and the time I can allot to playing this is going to diminish. I want to keep playing this as much as possible and providing more coverage as the game gets closer to launch.

(Disclosure: MMO Fallout was sent an early access code for this game for the purposes of previewing. As always, MMO Fallout values our readers and integrity over all else and, as always, encourages you to give the game a try before you start shoving your wallet into the disk tray.)

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