Rise of Immortals: MOBA Madness
By John Gallagher (Zaitlyn), OnRPG Journalist
Rise of Immortals is a great game developed by Petroglyph Games that’s hindered by things that are not the fault of the game itself. Rise of Immortals is a MOBA game, where the player controls a hero while battling repeating spawns of weak A.I units called “Creeps” that constantly advance forward towards the enemy base. There are many different types of heroes, from a support tank that heals nearby friends, to single target classes that focus on sniping enemy heroes. This is a great aspect of this game, in that each class has its own backstory as well as its own unique look and feel. The game’s main focus is its Player vs. Player content, which is a blast and well thought out.
The main problem with the game’s focus on Player vs. Player content is that not many people play Rise of Immortals, which is a shame since it is obvious the developers care a lot for the game. During my time playing I was only able to get into smaller 2v2 games, and sometimes the wait for that was up to five minutes during peak times. Luckily though the game provides the player with a central hub to walk around in as well as chat with other people who you will be fighting against when the players turn comes up in the queue. This central hub also gives the player time to assign skills that are unique to each class. Each class gets its own skill tree of offensive bonuses, defensive bonuses and a skill tree only usable by the current class. Mainly these skills are passive benefits such as more health or mana regeneration. These skills carry over with the player for as long as they play, but at the beginning of each battle the player has to earn the right to use big hitting spells by gaining veteran points, which is a different stat than skill level ups. This allows each character to develop. Being able to customize one’s character allows the player a sense of achievement and uniqueness
It is here you tune your hero to your own play style.
The game does not do a good job of easing the player into the experience. At the beginning of the game, the player is given a choice of hero and then is placed in the central hub with no clue on what any button does or where to begin. They give the player a practice arena, but even that’s very bare bones. Luckily, the game is pretty simple to understand, each hero has four unique skills designed around their role in battle. A support tank has an area heal for example, while a mage’s skills focus mainly on long range spells that damage a large area. Each time the player joins a new battle, these action skills are reset to zero, and the player gains the right to use them as you kill enemy creeps, heroes or defensive towers. The player levels up fairly fast, so within three to four minutes of a battle the player has his or her hero tuned to their specifications. The hero’s stats can also be affected by items that can be bought at a shop in the main base. The player earns gold for these items by killing enemy units, and these items can also be upgraded with gold for even more benefits. Careful management of gold to either increase the hero’s strengths or decrease his weaknesses to balance him out is a big part of this game.
A support tank doing what he does best
The graphics for Rise of Immortals are a mix of well made backgrounds and hero models with bland creeps, textures, and building details. The art style of the different heroes is very interesting. Every hero is unique and does not look anything like what I expected when I first began playing. The screenshots I saw as well as the website gave an impression of a standard foray into a fantasy land we’ve all been to before. But when the player loads up the character select screen, and a giant walking treant makes up one of the tank heroes, and a cyborg dwarf with a rifle makes up one of the single target focused heroes, it was refreshing. The spells and skills of the heroes are well detailed and easily noticeable. Heroes look great, with smooth, detailed animations. The sound effects are also great; the battle music does a great job of increasing the mood. The announcer is also easily heard and keeps the player updated on the action, such as when an ally dies or a defensive tower falls.
The maps that the heroes fight on are detailed and varied. Bushes that obscure the opponent’s line of sight provide ample opportunities for ambushes. And if the player feels that one path of attack is being locked down too well, the map designers provide many different methods of getting under the opponents skin. The maps are the perfect size, with running times from home base short enough to not be boring, but long enough that an attacker can punish the player for not defending their towers properly. One feature that Rise of Immortals truly excels in is map variety. There are literally a dozen maps you can play on, a rarity in the MOBA genre.
All in all, I think Rise of Immortals is a great game that simply needs more players. That the developers love the game is obvious, but at the moment of writing there simply is not a big enough community to support it. Rise of Immortals has the framework to be a great game, but it simply needs more exposure and more fan word-of-mouth to increase its competitive potential; that part of the game is balanced, during my time with the game I felt I hardly ever had a “cheap” death. If I died, or my team lost, it was because I was outplayed. No one hero is chosen more than any other, which adds to the replayability of the game. Because of this, the player is never left groaning at a loading screen because there is yet another team of Hero X or Hero Y needing to be conquered. Rise of Immortals is a very fun game that any strategy or MOBA fan should give a try.
Graphics: 6 out of 10: MOBA games aren't known for their graphics. This isn't one of Rise of Immortal's strong points.
Sound: 10 out of 10: Great sound effects, great music, great announcer. Can't complain here!
Controls: 8 out of 10: The default control setup is kind of wonky, but you can reprogram inputs to make it work for you.
Replay ability: 8 out of 10: With several heroes, each with their own levels as well as skill points, this game can keep you interested long term.