PC

PAX East – Strife Hands-On Impressions

As a complete newcomer to the MOBA genre, there was a large intimidation factor that prevented me from trying them. The wealth of information and the intensity of other players gave me the feeling that I’d have to study the game like a final exam before I ever loaded it up. Fortunately, Strife is made for players just like myself who have never tried a MOBA but are willing to try.

Years ago, the developers at S2 Games set themselves upon a noble mission of creating a “second-generation” MOBA that would be accessible to gamers unfamiliar with the genre. As the creators of Heroes of Newerth, S2 Games was well-versed with MOBAs and wanted to use their experience to build a game from the ground-up that would address the elements that have frustrated the players of games like Dota 2 and League of Legends. The conversations between colleagues about their love and frustrations with MOBA’s grew into the beginnings of Strife. Their goal was to create a game that was complex enough for advanced players while also accessible enough for newcomers.


The developers also made clear that their intention with the overarching narrative within Strife it that it will never be contrived or “tacked-on.” Many games (beyond MOBA’s) create a complete world with a tightly-wound lore but have to hammer on new content when fan demand grows strong enough. S2 Games plans to set players out in their world and reveal the lore as the game grows. Because the entirety of the story is already planned, the game won’t grow so convoluted or complex that it prevents new players from joining in the future.

Strife

Strife will have much to prove if it hopes to reach the near cult-status of League of Legends or the brand-name power of the upcoming Heroes of the Storm (made by Blizzard Entertainment). Trying to establish a new game in a field that is populated with loyalist players is a tough battle, but their strategy of aiming towards newcomers is both honorable and clever. It is a tough sell to ask a player to study up on a game before they ever even touch it, so providing a game that is accessible for newcomers is very much appreciated. All in all, Strife looks like a promising game can find its own distinctive niche in the larger MOBA environment.

For another perspective on Strife from a veteran MOBA player, check out Claudia’s take on the game here

Strife is currently in closed beta (free-to-play) for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

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