Gigantic has been a game that has, until very recently, had a very long open beta. Initially, that meant it was only available for Windows 10 and Xbox One, but as of the 20th of July, the game has had an official release across other versions of Windows and Steam! This means for the low, low price of absolutely free, everyone can enjoy this game.
But what’s it all about? And is it any good?
Gigantic is a title brought to us by Motiga, and is billed as a hero shooter heavy on the strategy elements. But it’s definitely not like Overwatch, or any other hero shooters, for that matter. It could perhaps be more compared to a MOBA, but even that wouldn’t be entirely accurate.
The game takes place in a world where there are two distinct houses lead by huge (gigantic, if you will) beasts known as Guardians. Devaedra is a house shrouded in darkness, lead by a snake-demon known as Grenn. House Aurion is, of course, a house with a light based motif lead by a griffin named Leiran. These two guardians hate each other, naturally, and are locked in eternal combat with the player in a team of 5 picking one of the 19 heroes and being unleashed to wreak havoc in one of three maps.
And I suppose this is where my first major criticism comes in. How you take the guardian out is based around building creatures on the map, each of which serves a specific function. These creatures collect ‘power orbs’ and this, along with player kills, contributes toward an energy bar at the top of the screen. Fill it up and the Guardian can rampage against their opponent, making them prone to attacks by the player which can lead to a wound. Three wounds and the guardian is defeated. This is pretty much the simplest way to put this and I only figured this out after a few rounds. And that’s not even going into the more complex elements.
The game puts you into a tutorial before you’re allowed to play either against other human players or bots, and does its best to explain all the elements but it thrusts a little too much onto you too soon. The only real way to learn and understand the intricacies of the game is to actually get out and play it. But fortunately, this is an absolute delight to do.
All the heroes are unique and have a handful of skills as well as the ability to level up during matches, and a skill tree for each skill. Again, this can become a little complicated and absolutely interrupts the flow of battle given that there are four skill tree options for the five different skills, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, requiring the player to have an intimate knowledge of their character beforehand. Though the game does offer a quick and easy option to level up through a recommended skill tree set for those who just want to stay in the game.
The battles are all very fast paced and exciting, and require a lot of strategy in how you tackle getting the energy for your guardian while also keeping yourself alive for the longest amount of time possible. The characters are all vibrant and full of life, just like the stages, the art direction is absolutely beautiful and the art team really should be commended for the work they’ve put in. The best part is, the characters skills all feel so unique that each character is an entirely new play style.
The game has no tanks, healers and DPS in the traditional sense, but rather, various characters have a mish-mash of skills across the board and can be useful in all kinds of situations. And this can change again depending on how their skill tree is fitted out. While this does add another layer of complexity to an already complex game, once a player gets the hang of it, matches can quickly become exciting and tense.
The characters themselves aren’t all available from the start and instead are on a rotation of a week by week basis, with the option to permanently purchase them for the games currency, which can be earned through matches or bought using cash. And, unlike some games, it’s not hard to quickly earn enough to buy your favourite heroes. There’s also an option to buy either a starter pack or an ultimate pack which offers 8 heroes or all the heroes, plus future heroes, respectively. Not to mention all kinds of little bonuses.
All in all, Gigantic is a game that’s bringing something new and vibrant to the MOBA and hero shooter plate. It’s a little overcomplicated and despite being out of beta, I have run into a handful of glitches (some of which have gotten me killed), but given the team provides regular updates and positive responses to feedback, I’m hoping these are all things that will be solved given a little more time.
But for the delightful price of 0 dollars, I’m willing to overlook a lot of things just so I can have a good time with a game that looks like it stepped right out of the beautiful dreams of cartoon artists who spent too much time studying mythology.