Microsoft continues to lean towards the free-to-play market with a number of games to choose from, whether you prefer straightforward battles everyone can enjoy (Happy Wars) or full-on arena action (Neverwinter). There are plenty of new games on the way, including Smite, which is currently in beta testing, and Microsoft's own Fable Legends, a superb game for fans of the role-playing series.
Buried in the middle of this line-up is Motiga's Gigantic, a free-for-all multiplayer extravaganza that could easily give the best online games a run for their polygons. Featuring interesting tactics that revolve around larger Guardian characters and a selection of heroes who stand out from the usual fantasy fare, it should be a tremendous success when it arrives on Xbox One later this year.
Here’s how Gigantic works. There are two enormous Guardians that take up a lot of presence in the level. They work alongside smaller warriors, whose actions dictate what they do next. For instance, if a team is able to wipe out enemies and hold certain points on a map, their Guardian is able to move forward into the stage, getting that much closer to its adversary.
The goal is to have your Guardian defeat its rival. To do this, you'll need to continuously defeat enemies without dying much yourself – a task easier said than done, considering the variety of warriors you'll find on the battlefield.
Gigantic's cast of characters are quite varied, whether you prefer intricate spellcasting, shooting guns like crazy or swinging your blades. Here's an example of characters included in the game, and the classes they fall into.
Charnok – a fiery creature with a nasty temper, Charnok is capable of striking enemies with a heat wave blast, fire fields that do lasting damage and a Dragon's Breath technique that will funnel flames into a cone, focusing on a specific enemy.
Xenobia – using dark magic to her advantage, Xenobia delivers swift punishment through a number of abilities, including the Gaze of Envy, which sucks away an enemy's energy and adds to her own; the Wall of Sorrow, which sends a power wave that can interrupt and damage adversaries; and Mark of Despair, which opens up a temporary zone that slows down enemies.
Imani – a warrior who specializes in sniper shooting, Imani is a natural on the battlefield. She can fire various types of ammunition, including a series of Autobolts that spray opponents, as well as a powerful In the Zone blast that can take out most foes with a couple of well-timed shots. Finally, the Smoke Bomb is useful in case Imani needs to make a quick getaway.
Roland – this gunslinger comes with a number of weapons that should prove useful for turning the tide. These include a powerful Blunderbuss that fires multiple bullets; a Grappling Hook that rapidly pulls him to the location of a target (instead of having to go on foot); and an Entangling Bolas that can stun and/or slow even the biggest of enemies.
Wu – we've seen a Kung Fu Panda, but are you ready for a kung fu frog? Wu is one of the better melee combatants in the game, complete with a Typhoony's Fury that chains together many attacks in one swift combo; the Splash Kick, which alternates between ascending kicks that push enemies and powerful downward kicks; and a Tongue Lashing, which is exactly as it sounds – an ability where you can pull an enemy towards you for close attacks.
Lord Knossos – a standing bull character with a mean blade, Lord Knossos wants nothing more than to reunite with his tribe. However, the only way he'll get there is through victory, so you'll need to use his attacks, such as a charging Gore technique; Chuck, where you can throw a sword as a projectile; and the Bull Rush, which provides additional sprinting ability.
These are just a small sample of the characters available in the game, and this diversity will go a long way, as players develop a liking to their favorites and begin leveling them up in a number of areas, including attack power and speed. The more you play, the stronger you’ll become.
What's more, each character's attacks can be combined for increased effectiveness. This can be useful since some require re-charging before they can be used again (typical for a battle game), so it helps to learn what your team's advantages are, and how to use them to your benefit.
The game achieved a following on PC since the alpha launched last month, and it probably won't be long before we see a dedicated community for it on Xbox One. If the previous version tells us anything, Motiga's Gigantic should have no trouble fitting in with the free-to-play market, giving players enjoyable fighting action while letting them grow with their character of choice.