Realm of the Titans Preview
Defense of the Ancients, also known as DotA, has spawned other games just like it. We can thank DotA's popularity for the League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth, two popular DotA clones. Now, Aeria Games—the California-based publisher that is part of the Japanese Aeria Inc.—is getting in on the action-RTS hype train. Known for their bevy of anime style, free to play MMORPGs, they hope to be capturing part of the DotA community with Realm of the Titans.
Realm of the Titans (RotT) is currently in closed Beta. As a big fan of League of Legends—the first DotA style game I've played—I was interested in seeing what would be different about Realm of the Titans. It is closed Beta, so I am not going to hold things like loading times against the game.
There's a lot that we've already seen from other games like this, but there's some nice features as well. RotT features an achievement system which serves as bragging rights for you. You have a list of different achievements you can accomplish by performing different tasks. There are also hidden achievements for those that like to achievement hunt in games.
It seems like RotT is going for a more "hardcore" crowd from the get-go. You don't have to wait until level 30 to see your rank; you get to see it from your very first match. Your rank is increased by winning and defeating more highly ranked players. Of course, losses reduce your rank. You can also view multiple pages of detailed stats after every game, and even in your character page you can view an array of statistics. The matchmaking system matches you up against opponents of similar skill and rank, so it won't be often that you join a completely unfair game. Also, for those of you that hate when a teammate leaves a game, thus sealing your fate, in RotT a bot takes that player's place. Don't expect the bot to lead your team, but the A.I. holds its own.
While there are two maps in RotT, much like League of Legends, the game plays quite differently. There's Titan’s Eye and Omeka Divide. Omeka Divide is your typical 5v5 map, where your goal is to push towers in multiple lanes in an effort to destroy the enemie's base. Titan's Eye adds different paths to victory. There is a total kill count goal for the game based on the amount of players in the game. The maximum is 66 for a 5v5 match and 15 for a 1v1 match. Yes, you read that correctly. 1v1 matches. Another cool feature that changing how matches are played boss battles. There are bosses (mobs in the jungle) that when you defeat them, your team unleashes its own boss that will push toward the enemy base and destroy whatever is in its path.
Realm of the Titans even tries to be different in how you buy items. Not only are you able to equip more than six items, but you have a backpack to store items that you want to buy but haven't collected yet. Upon reaching a spot to buy them, they are automatically transferred into your inventory.
As of now, there are about 20 characters that you can choose from. Each one has four skills—assigned to Q,W,E, and R—and a Titan skill (T). The Titan skill is able to be changed every 150 seconds depending on what you need at the time. Some examples are passive bonuses or effects, teleporting to towers, and a team heal. It adds a new layer of strategy to your typical MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) match. This is a different take on League of Legends' summoner skills, where you pick two at character selection and are stuck with them the entire match. Also, LoL's summoner skills are never passive, and there aren't nearly as many as what RotT has.
Want even more features that LoL players have been asking for? You got 'em. Realm of the Titans is launching with a spectator mode—it is delayed by a few minutes to avoid cheating—so you can watch your favorite players' matches. The game also has replay, so you can capture, edit, and share your best moments/matches.
One aspect of the game that I didn't love is the art design/visuals. This is all just preference, but I didn't love the color palette and textures of the map, creep, and Titans (characters). When in fights, I sometimes had a hard time distinguishing creeps from Titans, mostly due to the fact that Titans don't always stand out enough. Everything just blends together. Animations are decent, but at times feel a little lackluster. I do like Riot's approach to skill shots and abilities in League of Legends more. There are no blue arrows that show the trajectory of my skill shot in RotT. All you have is a little, gold reticle that you use. For some skills you get a blue zone or an arc, but the distance of the skill is deceptive. Maybe I just like the art style of LoL better, but RotT's style might grow on me.
You do get experience in RotT, as well as currency to spend in the game's store. You can use this currency to buy champions and such. Like LoL, it looks like you can buy currency that can be used to buy skins.
Ultimately, Realm of the Titans looks like a promising DotA clone that has a lot of features that are new to the genre or features that have been asked for by other games' fans. It is a promising game with a staff dedicated to frequent content updates (every two weeks), patches, skins, and more. I'm not necessarily going to leave LoL for it, but Realm of the Ancients already has my interest. This is definitely worth a try.
What are your thoughts on the Realm of the Titan's beta, and how do you compare it to League of Legends?
You can follow Lance Liebl on Twitter @Lance_GZ