Welcome to Gigantic, the MOBA game from Motiga that I briefly covered in our Not-So-Gigantic preview from last year. Well, as luck would have it, the game is now fully released and available to the masses as a free-to-play title on the Xbox Store and Steam, with the option to pay for the Founder’s Pack, which gives access to all current and future heroes without having to unlock them by way of in-game currency.
The combat is the main component of Gigantic, seeing as it is a Battle Arena style game. For those who aren’t currently aware, a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) is a genre of game that forces teams to compete in an objective-based match, usually allowing upgrades to your characters as the match goes on. In Gigantic, each character has four active abilities, and you can upgrade each one twice by using skill points earned as the match goes on. The better you perform, the faster you level up and can put the hurt on your enemies. You also get the ability to put two points into your passive abilities, each one being different per character, but generally focusing on reducing cooldowns or increasing health regeneration. Near the end of a match, you enter the Final Clash stage, which is match point from my understanding, and it unlocks a special upgrade for free, allowing you to choose from one of three upgrades that might give you the upper hand.
The basics have been there since the Beta all those months ago, but certain upgrades for characters have been changed, balancing out the matches a tad more than it had prior. You have some characters that are focused on doing damage from status effects, dealing critical damage, or just absorbing hits, which are all standard MOBA classes, but they feel a little less defined in this game, which actually fits nicely with the design of the game. Nothing is really ultra-defined, and so it makes sense that the classes would be less iron clad than other MOBAs.
However, one thing is iron clad in this game, and that’s the main objective of the gamemode: Gain power for your Guardian so they may attack and weaken the defenses of the enemy’s Guardian so that you can wound it. After three complete wounds, your team will win and that’s about it. The Guardians cannot be damaged before your Guardian has reached max power, so you’ll have to fight and defeat enemies, recharging your Guardian with their sacrifice.
Now, it must be said that Gigantic came across as something special to me when I got into the Closed Beta, mainly because it was really refreshing. It had a graphical scheme comparable to Pixar films, with intense saturation and that gentle shaping that comes with the Pixar-esque detailing. Fortunately, the graphics have held over into the full release, and, unless I’m imagining things, even look a tad better. The team at Motiga have also brought in new characters, expanding the already intriguing cast with characters ranging from a literal Astral Warrior, an Egyptian-esque deity that is predominately a healer, and Johnny Gat’s slicker cousin. Each character has their focus, but my favourite one has to be Zandora, the astral warrior. Not only is her graphical design just cool, but she’s also a tad powerful if you can get the hang of popping your power aura out and then attacking. The other two, whilst cool, are not really in my wheelhouse, but could probably be used effectively by somebody who puts some time into the game. Which might actually be a bit of an issue.
You see, the problem here is quite simple… I’ve only ever seen one map, The Ghost Reef. It kind of wears out the fun when you are forced to play the same map over and over, finding people using generally the same strategies, and leaving Gigantic as a game that feels like it lacks content. Something which unfortunately seems to ring true in its current release state. There’s a nice selection of heroes, but very few summons – very few summons – and only one type of game mode seems to outweigh the unique characters.
With just one mode, Gigantic seems like the title is much too grandiose for what content is available. The game needs some more shock and awe, something to really kick it into gear and give a reason for it to be installed. There needs to be more options, and preferably not just redesigns of the current mode. Make a PvE mode, or even a race to max level, or have it where each player has to gain power for their own personal guardians – making for an interesting free-for-all that would require players to play hard, but also decide who they take out as they stick their Guardian on their opponents. There’s definitely the groundwork for these to be implemented, what with the grandiose designs and the overall unique characters, that it wouldn’t feel out of place for them to exist inside the game.
One final suggestion, hiding a warning to those seeking for progression – perhaps there should be a progression system for hidden costumes? Giving the player something to look forward to is one of the best ways to keep people interested in the game, but if they’re really interested, they’ll end up getting the Founder’s Pack, which auto-unlocks all future heroes and gives a couple of unique skins. By removing the only sense of progression – the unlocking of heroes – the Founder’s Pack makes the game unfocused and leaves you wondering why you’re playing, which is such a shame. There needs to be another draw, something that’s not obnoxious, certainly takes a decent amount of time to achieve, and makes the player play what is an otherwise enjoyable game. Hidden costumes would make the players hunt for ways to earn them, and it would give for more community interactions as people try to solve how they obtain certain skins.
Overall though Motiga and Gigantic have something going for them. The game has solid combat, interesting character creations, and the potential to grow into so much more. The only thing that inhibits it from gaining a higher rating from me is the fact that it is so barren. It needs a touch of flavor, something that will spark more interest, other than keeping it installed because you *might* play it again on a slow day. It is a game for those that enjoy tedium and feeling like they aren’t really progressing, unless you don’t buy the Founder’s Pack, then it feels like you really have something to work towards.
It is definitely worth keeping an eye on and trying, for it is free and will only cost you a moment of your time, but might not quite satisfy the itch that it is hinting at.