E3 2015 Final Recap – Strike Vector Ex, Ace of Arenas, and The Banner Saga 2!
Ace of Arenas
Keeping to the simple yet innovative theme of Strike Vector Ex comes Ace of Arenas by GAEA, the latest brave souls to enter the elephant graveyard that the MOBA genre has become. Yet this game isn’t coming straight out to be the best of the best. They recognize their niche potential, and they nail that niche hard with quality in all the right places.
Ace of Arenas offers fast and furious mobile play MOBA action for your gamer on the go that might need to feed his addiction, but can’t risk entering four minute queues to battle it out in half hour + matches. How? Tweaking the numbers, and tweaking the victory objectives is how! If you’re short on time, you can queue up for a 1v1 battle on a single lane, with only one tower per side standing between you and your precious core. But the game might not even get that far, as feeding or letting your foe farm freely can lead to a much faster mercy rule victory. 60 minion last hits, or six kills earns you the win just as well as destroying their core. With three ways to win/lose, the pressure to stay on your game from start to finish has never been more real.
If you have a bit more time on your hands, you can even team up with friends to hone your skills in 2v2 or 3v3 battles, as well as bot matches to practice your skillshots when your free time is too uncertain to queue against a real opponent. Of course it wouldn’t be a MOBA without ranked matching, and that feature is ready and waiting as well.
Now a lot of other MOBAs that have come and gone made the mistakes of throwing out the core concepts of the MOBA in what they believed would make the game more casual and mobile friendly. Ace of Arenas is NOT following the ship of fools. Progressive unlockable champion masters are ready and waiting to let you customize your favorite champs as you see fit. Plus each match you can spend in-match gold on equipment to push your advantage, or counter an fed enemy’s damage type with defensive/utility items. The item tree is surprisingly expansive for a mobile MOBA, yet quick one touch recommended items pop up for newer players to let them focus on the gameplay rather than stat adjustments.
The champion roster is also huge for a yet to be launched MOBA. It puts most PC MOBA’s launch roster to shame. While most thematically aren’t too creative, their kits are diverse enough to give each their own personality. More importantly, each skill is a skill-shot style attack. I’d give them serious props for pulling this off if some of their champions weren’t 1:1 ripped from existing MOBAs. Here’s looking at you Camellia and Hiti!
If you’d like to play with me, you’d better be sure you know me from another game.
There’s nothing more boring to me than skills in a MOBA that involve only two things to land. 1. Be in Range. 2. Click your foe. Thankfully Ace of Arenas leaves automated attacking to auto attacks, while the actual damage skills come from targeting areas or launching targeted delayed AOE attacks. It makes for quite the test of your finger dexterity as you juke and duke, launching attacks while staying just unpredictable enough to keep out of your enemy’s line of fire. Constantly respawning free hp potions on each side of the map keep you in the thick of battle longer so the intensity never slows.
I’d need more than two games in Ace of Arenas to decide just how strong its replayability factor is. But for a yet to launch MOBA vying for the mobile sector, Ace of Arenas has a shot. Vainglory has already proven there is a market for this type of game, and GAEA is poised to take their slice of it later this year.
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