For the non-informed, Gigantic is a newly released, free-to-play, 3rd-person MOBA game in which two teams of five compete in a large arena for dominance a la League of Legends. The twist with Gigantic is that instead of fighting around bases and towers, each team represents a massive creature called a Guardian that they both attempt to protect and empower using nodes around the map. The first team to generate 100 power either from the land or via defeating opponents triggers a Rampage, a brief window of opportunity in which one team’s Guardian attacks and subdues the other to allow its team a chance to attack the enemy’s Guardian directly. Matches continue until only one Guardian remains. Over the course of a match, player characters will level up and be able to improve their abilities in a branching fashion, in which each upgrade offers new possibilities. While the game operates under a 3rd-person viewpoint, it plays much more like a 1st-person game, using traditional WASD controls and aiming using the mouse. Basically, a perfect midpoint between League of Legends and Overwatch.
By many accounts, Gigantic shouldn’t exist. The game studio Motiga set out with a small team to create a big game and had to punch through every imaginable roadblock, from endless delays to the complete drain of their funding. This was a small team of 75 employees that at one point worked for almost 4 weeks without pay, all because they believed deeply in the game’s success. Gigantic was, for a precarious amount of time, a very risky passion project. That’s why seeing this game get an official release is uplifting and should be held up for all aspiring game developers as proof that passion and support can carry a project to victory. And this victory is all the sweeter because Gigantic is a fantastic game.
It’s a challenging environment that Gigantic is trying to exist in, competing with countless other games like League of Legends, Overwatch, Paladins, SMITE, Battleborn, and much more. Luckily, Gigantic has a lot going for it, both mechanically and artistically. The central conceit of warring Guardians creates a natural sense of scale, your fight carries weight towards something living, and the overall slickness of skirmishes keeps the game constantly active and with only minimal amounts of downtime. Also, Gigantic is one of the most beautiful games in its genre, sporting a strong color palette and evocative, expressive character designs. Everything in the game breathes richness of life; you can look at any part and watch it bloom. Of course, like any large-scale indie title, Gigantic suffers from lack of polish; it might be a couple months before the mechanics, balance and small cast are expanded and refined into something truly formidable, but given the journey Motiga has been through, it’s clear that Gigantic carries an intense impact with every step it takes.