By Brett Todd
In Gigantic, developer Motiga has put together a MOBA that colors within the lines at the same time as it expands your expectations of the genre. An impressive roster of character types provide significant tactical depth, while your goals at large emphasize teamwork and tactful coordination of offense and defense. And the whole experience is wrapped up in a charming setting that blends Saturday morning cartoon art with comic book superhero personality.
What’s immediately noticeable is how familiar Gigantic feels. It’s a fairly standard team shooter-styled MOBA. Matches pit teams of five players against one another in cramped battle arenas. Each of the two sides–House Aurion and House Devaedra–serve a Guardian, a big beastie that sits at the back of each map. Your objective is to power up your team’s Guardian through killing enemies and summoning creatures at power circles to scoop up spawning power orbs (these summoned beasts serve as guards and healers, as well.)
Hitting 100 power points through the above activates your Guardian’s abilities so that it can fly across the map and briefly subdue its counterpart. At this point you converge on the scene of this wrestling match and blast the exposed nethers of the enemy Guardian enough to cause a wound. Do this three times and it’s winner winner, chicken dinner.
What’s most enjoyable about Gigantic is the wealth of wacky characters you can choose from to wage the mano-a-mano Guardian slugfests. It’s like the protagonists of nearly two dozen fictional franchises escaped from their respective universes and wound up here. This lineup is what makes the game so distinctive among the MOBA crowd, even if Gigantic isn’t all that innovative when it comes to mechanics and features.
Each of Gigantic’s 19 characters come with a unique look and set of skills that can be classified for their primary talents. But like the overall game, characters are more than the sums of their parts. They feel like heroes with real identities–catchphrases and all. Xenobia is a witch who helps control the map by casting spells that drain enemy health and slow movement. Elfin Zandora totes a massive sword and is a legitimate tank, but also a leader who buffs ally damage, movement speed, and health regeneration. Beckett is a steampunk shooter with a jetpack who can either snipe foes or blow them up with grenades and bombs. And that’s just a handful of highlights from a lineup where every character is distinctively weird.