If Kali was to fight Agni who would win? Find out with SMITE, a new game in the offing which pits gods against each other
A US-based game developer is working on a game that will pit gods against each other, but what makes the games really interesting for Indians is the presence of gods such as Kali, Agni and Vamana in the game.
Gamers will be able to play as any of the many gods in the game, SMITE, which is being developed by Hi-Rez studios. The PC game follows the style of Warcraft DoTA, but adopts a third-person point of view instead of the more traditional top-down view used in such games.
The objective of the game is to dominate the playing area by capturing or destroying enemy towers and increasing the power of the character while at it. The game can be played as a team alone with each clan (team) comprising five players on an average. So in a game there could be up to 10 gods split over two clans.
This game falls under the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre and in such games, gamers only need to click on the enemy and select the attack of choice. However in SMITE, gamers will have to aim with the mouse before firing or hitting, like in an action games. According to Todd Harris, Chief Operating Officer of Hi-Rez Studios, the setting of SMITE is a battleground between gods. “You see the graphics and animations in more detail. The combat also plays very differently. In those other games you are clicking on the map to move but in SMITE you move your character very directly and smoothly using the W-A-S-D keys. Also, because of the camera view you can’t see the other characters at all times, so the game is tense and there are many surprises.”
The game has been in development since January 2011 and has been in beta since May 31. Also, the game is being distributed online only. It follows the micro-transaction model which lets you buy more powerful weapons and unlock more gods which will make the gameplay more interesting.
The inclusion of gods however kicked off a big debate online with Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish groups based out of US expressing their displeasure. These groups believed that the game “trivialised the believes of Hindus” and requested the company to “change the product accordingly”. The groups took an exception to the “porno” portrayal of Kali.
The developers however said that they have no plans to remove Hindu gods from the game despite the protests. “The Hindu tradition provides some of the richest, most complex and interesting world literature about deities. One gentleman from a Hindu group within the United States asked us to exclude Hindu gods. We’ve since been contacted by many more Indians pleased and excited about the inclusion of Hindu gods,” Harris said.
In the game, Kali is a melee character – one who fights hand-to-hand combat and uses less of long-ranged attack. She attacks very quickly and has the ability to “steal” life from opponents and increase her own health. Her first special power is ‘rage’ which increases her physical power and allows her to move more quickly. With her ‘ultimate’ power she spins around feverishly. The company was inspired by the diverse literature from around the world about gods fighting one another. “Those stories and characters are very interesting to us. “We currently include gods from various pantheons worldwide including Hindu, Norse, Chinese, Greek, and Egyptian,” Harris added.
The 50-person studio currently has 15 people working on the game. If you’re interested in trying out the beta version of the game head over to www.smitegame.com.