This time we take a look at Strife (closed beta), a free MOBA game from the makers of Heroes of Newerth and considered the “premier second generation free-to-play MOBA” by the developers. Watcha Playin’? is a FreeMMOStation show where we give you a first look with commentary on the most popular free-to-play MMO games available.
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Strife is a MOBA with an atmosphere reminiscent to Team Fortress 2, at least compared to other MOBAs which are more competitive based. Strife aims to cleanse out most of the toxicity found in other games and promises a whole new environment that is safe, colorful, and in the purest sense of the word, fun.
For the most part it is a very usual Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. Characters are played that each have a set amount of skills inside an arena with lanes that have creeps aggressing into the enemy’s base, with towers protecting it. There is a jungle in-between the lanes and as expected there are buff monsters to slay. One awesome aspect added into the formula is the fact that destroying the largest neutral camp will summon a giant monster which will work for you to push down a lane. Another unique thing to mention in-game is the fact that you regenerate outside of battle, which changes the playing field of what we come to expect a MOBA to be entirely. On a note about itemization, expect a shop similar to Dota 2 with a lot of activated items. However, Strife goes above and beyond and gives us two awesome gameplay mechanics that make the game what it is.
For one, you can have a pet which grants unique passives and abilities, a pet which is leveled up and can be customized. Next, the biggest feature in the game is the ability to craft custom item recipes. In other games, like League of Legends, players take items and combine them in a preset fashion to achieve what they want. However, when you reach the max limit of items and the match continues to go on, you are left accumulating needless gold. Strife solves that problem by letting players craft recipes to add effects to items and while it is inefficient to purchase them in terms of gold, it gives players an edge if they reach end game and can help turn the tide in a stagnant match.
Strife has good graphics and its art style has a ton of character. Also, the tutorial intro to the game was done very well and really helped me to get used to the behavior of the A.I. and my character and it was also enjoyable. The only downside to this game is the fact that the game feel, similar to another MOBA DawnGate, is a bit slow. While there are items to increase mobility and many champions come with mobility, the game has a slowish feel to it but that is not uncommon in many instances of MOBA.
All in all, I suggest this game to everybody to try at least once, though competitive minded people will probably want to stick with Dota 2 or League of Legends. I think the game is fun, it has a lot of customization and I think it is worth the time.