S2 Games’ 2nd Generation MOBA promises us that it will become a total hit as it tries to go for a more “aggressive approach” on the traditional MOBA setup, Reimaru Files has been given a chance to try out the game and here’s what we have to say.
Strife or Strife the Game is S2 Games second take on the MOBA or Action RTS Genre, with the first one being Heroes of Newerth, it’s also the 4th game in S2 Games lineup with the other 2 being Savage: The Battle for Newerth, and Savage 2. Strife is said to be a more casual type of MOBA in compared to other existing MOBA/Action RTS titles, meaning that the learning curve required to both learn and be good at the game is significantly lower and easily attainable. S2 Games also states that part of their goal in the Development of Strife is to help reduced player toxicity by introducing a more improved reward or karma system, player evaluation, and as well as improving on the character customization aspect through Item Crafting and Pets.
In terms of visuals, Strife proved to have a more vibrant look in contrast to other same MOBA/Action RTS titles, enhancing the “friendlier” feel of the game. The character and map design gives a comic-book-like-feel without being simple or vibrant enough to make it feel cartoonish. The gameplay still borrows the same base concept as to the deemed traditional MOBAs/Action RTS with a couple of tweaks to make it give more emphasis on teamplay rather than just individual skill. For instance, Gold, the in-game currency, earned from last-hitting creeps or AI controlled units that periodically spawn in the lanes, is divided equally among the heroes in the said lane regardless of who did the killing blow. A more improved out-of-combat regeneration system is also implemented in the game making players spend less gold on health and mana potions and less travel time running back to the base just to regenerate. Each player also has his own courier, the game’s delivery system, making sure that there’s not going to be any argument as to who buys the courier in every start of the game. 2 Boss Monsters are also present in the game each with their own effect or benefit towards the team that can defeat them, one boss gives a huge amount of gold when killed, while the other one grants an uncontrollable ally that helps in pushing down lanes and taking down important enemy buildings.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the gameplay is Strife’s take on the player customization system, which, instead of affecting a hero’s base skill or ability set, is more focused on the effects of the in-game items that each hero buys per match instance. Players can tweak player effects through a crafting system and choose whether to improve and item’s effect by changing its components. The pet system also adds to the Character Customization aspect with each pet designed to give certain in-game benefits during instances of matches, part of the reward system is also “pet food” which serves as EXP for pets, with each pet’s abilities improving as the pet levels up. Additional pet abilities can also be unlocked as a pet gains levels. The character customization part is unique in a sense that it deviates away from the common concept of tweaking actual Hero or Character effects but rather focusing more on how the items affect a hero or character gameplay.
With the game still in its CBT stage, we are sure to expect more Community Driven development and changes before it goes fully live to the public, but even so, Strife the Game has managed to present a casual concept that will hopefully appeal not only to Casual MOBA/Action RTS enthusiasts but also for hardcore fans.