Gigantic is a sleeper hit that looks to take on the MOBA genre in a little different light than the industry norm. Everything from the characters to the environmental aesthetic is very appealing for what is currently a free-to-play small studio title. That is right. The game is 100% free with the added addition of in-game micro-transactions if you wish to support their valiant efforts. From a standpoint of being hooked from the first game onward, there is a big chance you will want to support Motiga and their humble journey to release Gigantic.
THE HUMBLE DEVELOPMENT
As PCGamer.com has spotlighted in an interview with Motiga’s Chris Chung, Gigantic almost didn’t make it to launch. Set backs and various trials a game developer might run into just wouldn’t stop coming to a head in Gigantic’s development cycle. As you can tell, this would be a huge problem for Motiga. One wouldn’t think this was the case as the game feels very polished and complete. The studio had to finish the game under absolutely no funding. Having the product release in such a playable state with these conditions is no feat to leave unappreciated.
At face value, Gigantic might seem like a very simple MOBA that bucks the system in a lot of ways, further simplifying it even more. There are no minions, bot lanes, or defense towers in Gigantic. You do have different routes that you can take in various asymmetrical maps but a lot of the focus for game-play comes in team fights and not slaying minions. When you jump into a game of Gigantic, you will be selected a “gigantic” guardian creature who you will fight for and try to defend during each match. Players are given utilities to make this happen all throughout the map. Depending on what load-out you select, you can summon anything from a cyclops creature that chokes lanes with fortified walls, or Cerberus beasts that help identify enemies on the map more easily.
It’s very streamlined and feels something akin to perhaps wards in League of Legends meeting a guard tower or buff station. Slaying enemy players or destroying their creature summons will help charge your guardian, and the first to reach 100 points will launch and attack on the opposing guardian. Beware that you will need to go straight in to “finish the job” so to speak and deliver enough damage to hurt the enemy guardian. Each enemy guardian has 3 life points and the first team’s guardian to reach zero, loses. Bear in mind, while all this chaos is happening, defending players can score a kill on the attackers and help fortify their guardian’s life points.
The whole game is very thought out even though overall game and game-play designs are remarkably simple. The graphical style of Gigantic feels somewhat similar to other MOBA type games but strikes more feeling like a alternate universe for a Ratchet and Clank title. There is a ton of characters to choose from but not all are free to use right out of the box. Characters rotate on a similar scale of League of Legends of Heroes of the Storm, so the character you get this week may not be the same come the next. Currently Gigantic offers two dlc packs that allow you to unlock charters permanently for your account. You can buy the cheaper Starter Bundle which includes The Margrave, HK 206, Beckett, Lord Knossos, Tyto the Swift, Charnok, Uncle Sven, and Xenobia.
Its not a bad deal if you just want a taste of what some of the characters can do. The ones included in this pack are interesting in their own right and each have their own class and general purpose for in-game play. IRB Gamer was given access to the Ultimate Bundle which is also an option for you readers out there. With the Ultimate Bundle you are given forever access to all current heroes as well as all future ones. For $29.99 you can experience the best way Gigantic was meant to be played. Each character is unique in their own right and offers various ways to play the game and synergize with other heroes.
Be a deceivingly adorable yeti like Pakko and pound your foes into a grave of snow, or be a strong-willed female knight of the cosmos like Zandora. There is truly a character for about anyone out there (19 total at time of writing). As you play you can level up 4 different abilities your character possesses through different skill tree paths just like Heroes of the Storm. This leaves a lot of experimentation for builds and paves way for strategies of the whole team overall. One thing to also mention as well, each character is granted an ultimate move just like in most hero based games. Mix and matching them in different situations will prove to be most interesting.
Some games in this genre like to give you daily challenges to keep bringing you back into the game. Heroes of the Storm comes to mind with the reward system it gives for completing semi-random quests. Gigantic does something similar with a random “card drawing”. You are allowed to draw a hand of cards that give you different challenges ranging from getting multi-kills with a certain characters or achieving a certain in-game score. Each quest will award you with “Boost Points” that you can further use to unlock in-game items.
If you are a character skin maniac, Motiga has you covered on that. There are plenty of weapon and character skins for each hero that can be switched interchangeably. You can play and earn the credits to buy them or invest in the in-game currency of “Rubies” to expedite the proceed. Take note that you can buy new creatures and heroes this way, so you don’t have to spend a dollar. This game is a lovely gem however so don’t be surprised if you feel compelled to support the developers.
Gigantic is really surprising to have almost come out of nowhere. It really shows what fun can be had from taking ideas from different games in the hero-based genres and simplifying it down. Something people might have to admit is how more compelling this game is compared to something like Paladins or maybe even Overwatch to some part. The quality certainly is there and the vast roster of characters and perfect game-time length really make this an easy sell. Oh, it is also free; there is that little fact.
If anything negative can be said about the game it would have to be the fact some creatures have to be unlocked with real world money or ground out in-game; referring to the Drake and Obelisk base creatures in-particular. They don’t come included in either the Starter or Ultimate Bundle. This little tid-bit sort of gives a pay-to-win feel. Its understandable for the characters, as giving them all away for free is too charitable. For something so pinnacle in the simplified game-play, it does feel like a cop-out to not include all base creatures in the Ultimate Bundle.
Still, that aside, Gigantic is definitely worth taking a look at and there is no reason why you shouldn’t. So what are you waiting for? Go hit up the Xbox Live or Microsoft Store and download it right now!