Welcome to Gigantic which is an MOBA created by Motiga and published by Perfect World Entertainment. Another MOBA, really? No, not necessarily. While the game is based on the original MOBA mechanics, it brings along a fresh wind from objective-based team shooters and other genres. Those combinations of genres give the usually well-known mechanics a new twist and make them feel more interesting.
So, we join a game and end up in the usual tutorial. Who would start a fight unprepared? The tutorial leads us through every element of the game and explains it nearly mandatory. Afterwards, we can jump right into the action. At first against bots to get the hang of the game and its pace, but it doesn’t take long to unlock the real matches. One or two games and you will be able to kick the asses of other players.
To get into matches in Gigantic is easy and doesn’t take long. I rarely had to wait even one minute to get the pop-up and start one. Choosing the hero and his skins, we are ready to tackle the task before us. We start on an airship which is the spawn point. This prevents the enemy from camping the player and provides a safe spot to group up and to jump right into the action. After jumping down from the ship, we find us next to a freaking huge monster. It is either a Griffin or a Naga, but be happy that it is on your side. As I thought about the goal of the game and tried to hurt the other Guardian directly, I got my ass kicked pretty fast and very hard. This burned in as a profound impression and lesson to never attempt this again.
The way of the warrior
The gameplay of Gigantic is pretty neat and very fast. A battle lasts generally for around 15 to 30 minutes and is divided into two parts. In the beginning, you have phase one which is the usual laning. On the way to the enemy monster, you try to capture points of interests and summon your little creatures there. At first, you can only summon a baby version at those points. Later, you can upgrade them into an adult, if you have enough focus and free time. The further away the point is from your giant, the longer it takes to summon and upgrade. As this game is very fast-paced, you might not find the time right away to do either of them.
Through these actions, collecting orbs or killing of enemies, you can strengthen your Guardian. When his action bar is full, he will go on a rampage and attacks the enemy Guardian. This is the time your team has to make a major move. Your Guardian will expose the weakness of the enemy Guardian. Attacking this one is important to win the game. Every time your team attacks successfully, the enemy will take a wound and loses one of three lives. The goal of the matches in Gigantic is to take all three lives.
After 15 minutes or after your team or the enemy took 2 of 3 lives. The game will move into phase 2. The gameplay will change from laning to a clash mode means it is only important to fight off the enemy and fill the action bar. You can’t summon creatures anymore so make sure to get some before the clash mode begins.
Play the hero you want to be
Right now, Gigantic offers only 19 different heroes which is not really that much. But as the game continues, I am sure that they will add even more. The heroes, for now, are all pretty unique in their way of playing and fighting when compared with each other. This makes it interesting and fun to switch around between matches.
For every hero, there are quite a few skins available which cost either crowns or rubies. But there are also special skins that can be earned through other means like the ultimate pack that is currently available. The skins are further divided into skins for the hero and weapon skins. As they are only cosmetics, it isn’t that important to get them. But who doesn’t like a unique look on their hero?
Every hero comes along with a regular attack and a set of four different abilities. Three of them are normal abilities that can be fired when the cooldown is over. The fourth one is some kind of ultimate which requires focus. When I say kind of, it means that they do give some advantages in specific situations, but they are far from matchmaking like in other MOBAs. Every ability can be levelled up to increase its strength as well as give it some additional effects. You will be able to choose two out of four possibilities for every ability during a match. The last point goes into a passive that you can choose at any time and which gives you an overall bonus.
An interesting turn on abilities in Gigantic is that there are some great synergies. An example is the poison cloud of Voden. If an arrow of any player passes through the cloud, it will become poisonous. With this, every player can distribute more damage if they fire their projectiles through this cloud. It makes fun to find all those synergies and use it to smash the enemy into smithereens.
There is nothing better than a helpful minion
Every player brings his own creatures into the match. They can be summoned at specific locations. In some way, they resemble the towers in other MOBAs, but they provide different effects, can be upgraded and resummoned as long as the game isn’t in the clash mode.
There are five different creatures in the game. Each of them comes along with its unique ability. The Bloomer heals players. The Cerberus reveals enemies. The Cyclop builds some massive walls to block the enemies path. The Drake summons a circle of fire to capture enemies inside. The obelisk prevents the collection of orbs. It is some kind of blocker that neither gives Power for the summon, nor for the kill, but it attacks the enemy and prevents them from taking this point.
The player starts the game with only the first three creatures and has to unlock the other two later. Every creature also has different skins. For now, each of them has only two different skins except for the obelisk which has only one. They also have to be unlocked through one of the two in-game currencies.
The looks of a successful animation film
Gigantic comes along with some great graphics. The comic-like style loosens up the otherwise tense and hectic gameplay. The landscape is done very nicely despite the fact that there is not much time to enjoy it. It is a bright and colourful world that invites players to have a great time together and against each other.
The characters are well drawn, but sometimes the look feels a bit clumsy. Characters like Lord Knossos have large bodies compared to their tiny little feets. This looks a bit ridiculous but then again has some charm on its own. It does feels like the characters, monsters and Guardians jumped right out of a Pixar or Studio Ghibli film.
- Fast-paced and rewarding matches
- Very tactical approach to combat
- Unique heroes with their own set of abilities and upgrades
- A giant Guardian and other minions
- Great graphical display
- Feels a bit chaotic at times
- Only one game mode for now
- A rather small roster of heroes
- Every hero has to be purchased
- Matchmaking problems regarding mixing up of pros and beginners
Overall, I can say that Gigantic gives a new wind to the otherwise a bit dusty MOBA genre. The very fact that you team up with a giant Guardian to smash your enemies is damn cool. Instead of some set towers, you have living creatures which provide you with different advantages. The available cast of heroes is unique and pretty interesting and each of them has a lively story to tell. The game itself is fast-paced and supports tactical and strategical gameplay a lot. And the best thing is, you get it all for free.
Despite being a free-to-play title, Gigantic has no real pay-to-win elements. Sure, you can buy specific creatures straight away, but a match usually provides you with a lot of in-game currencies. The result paired up with the fortune cards gives plenty to buy those creatures relatively quick if you ignore other heroes and skins for the time being. If you want all heroes quickly, there is also the Ultimate Pack which isn’t a bad deal for getting every existing hero and heroes that have yet to arrive in the game next to some other fancy rewards.
A downside to the game is that for now, there isn’t much variety. There is only one game mode and a roster of up to 19 characters. It doesn’t seem like there is much to explore. But I’m sure Motiga has already many plans, and there will be more content in the near future. Despite this downside, it is already a fantastic free-to-play title that is worth the time.