I would like to start my usual preamble with a simple statement: I LOVE THIS GAME. Gigantic, a free to play, strategic shooter, from Motiga, presents fast gameplay with an interesting array of characters that are all unique and enjoyable to play (Aisling is the best btw).
Gigantic combines refined MOBA elements with third person shooter components in rapid, team based combat exchanges that, in many ways relies heavily on teamwork and team support. So, the core of Gigantic is the Guardians, massive NPC boss type characters that you must defend and attack simultaneously.
Each team has a Guardian and while there may be more added in the future, currently you will get sorted into either House Aurion led by Leiran the Griffon or House Devaedra led by Grenn the Naga. Core gameplay does not change depending on what team you are on, the objective remains the same, but your mascot changes. Not only that, but each has their own power, filled voices (Grenn is better in my opinion) and unique attacks if an enemy hero ventures too close.
So with your powerful mythical beast behind your team, it is time to airship in and fight your way to victory. How you do that is simply by killing the enemy team, which charges the Power of your Guardian. Each kill grants you 10 Power and in a truly mathematical fashion, you must get to 100 Power in order to rouse your Guardian. It is very similar to how I get up in the morning – it is a five man operation that usually results in death, I am clearly a pleasure in the mornings. Simply think of it as a percentage based system, ten kills are all it takes to gain enough Power.
Once your Guardian has generated enough Power, they go on a Rampage in which they storm towards the enemy Guardian and pin them down. As soon as one team has accumulated enough Power a timer begins to count down allowing that team time to get to the enemy Guardian. Once the enemy is pinned down, a weak point is exposed that can be attacked by the defending team. The goal is to reduce the enemy Guardian to zero health. Once their health hits zero, the Guardian is wounded and the fighting begins anew. In order to win, you must wound the enemy Guardian a total of three times.
When you are on the defence in a Rampage scenario, you can accumulate health for your Guardian by eliminating members of the enemy team. It is essentially the Power system again, boosting your Guardian’s health in the process. The best matches, however, are the intense, non-stop ones where neither team can gain the advantage, and it takes a few power cycles for the Guardian to become wounded, which is why the fast-paced gameplay is so great!
Not to mention, Gigantic caters to players who do not want to play against another player controlled team, with the ability to play Bot matches. These do not grant great rewards after a certain level but they are a good way to complete Fortune Cards, just have some fun and even collect that first win of the day bonus.
Let’s Talk About Those Skills
Due to the MOBA elements that are prevalent in Gigantic, each Hero has skills that they can choose in-game. You accumulate skill points over the course of the match by doing violent things in a virtual world. Each ability provides you with two choices for skill upgrades and choosing one grants you a choice between two new ones. This leads to a total of ten maximum skill upgrades over the course of the match, which means that every match can potentially be different and also opens up each character to multiple playstyles.
Moving on to the big skill, THE skill as it were. This is a special ability that is charged by gaining Focus, which is accumulated via killing, summoning or dealing damage. This is a heavy duty skill that is unique to each Hero and which can turn the tide of a match, but not in a drastic way. Each Focus Skill can be charged up to three levels, over the course of the match, with each level providing a larger boost to the skill in question. It will take longer to generate three levels of Focus but it will be a bigger payoff. One thing to remember is that activating your Focus skill will completely drain the meter so use it wisely.
There are also abilities that are specific to each Hero and which become active once the player reaches level five over the course of the match. You have a choice of three abilities which affect one of your main skills and become fully active in the Clash round. This round is the final round where, if you’ll excuse my language, the shit hits the fan. The environment starts to fall apart and the Guardians move closer towards the centre of the map. This is designed to force players into the centre of the map for intense, skirmishes that will create a fast paced and desperate last round.
One of the downsides to the skills is not with the skills directly, it is with learning how to utilise skill upgrades. While the tutorial goes into great depth about the game and how to play, it does not really brush over the skill upgrades, which can leave players a little confused when they first see them or worse, they will be put at a disadvantage when they enter a match. Fortunately, the skill system is something that many gamers would be familiar with so it would not be too big a hurdle. On top of that, the first few matches played are by default Bot matches, meaning you have plenty of time to learn the ropes.
It’s All About Those Kills
One of the greater things about Gigantic is that the game is played and won via kills. You need kills to charge up a Guardian’s Power and you need kills to defend your Guardian. It revolves around those kills meaning it caters to those players who are not a fan of objective-based gameplay. Yes, there is an overall objective to Gigantic and it is a game with a lot of complex components but if you are good enough at slaying the enemy team, you will ultimately prosper and be victorious.
That being said, Gigantic is all about that team strategy, a good team, as in most games, will dominate a group of solo players or an inexperienced team. No matter how good you are, a solo player will be hard pressed to win a skirmish against two or more opponents. This game wants you to play as a team and not try to be a hero. Play smarter not harder.
Fancy Having Your Fortune Read?
A lot of games have optional quests that you can complete for experience and other rewards, but Gigantic takes this up a notch and adds Tarot-type cards to the mix. Each card has a Gold reward and an experience reward, and for the most part are not too hard to complete. From winning a few matches under the gaze of The Empress to generating some Power for your Guardian under the blazing view of The Sun, there are so many cards that you can complete. There are even some that reward you for playing certain Heroes, which rather significant EXP and Gold bonuses.
Fortune Cards are quite easy to acquire, with a Daily Draw every day, which grants you a choice of one card out of three. On top of that, you can gain a Fortune Card draw every time you level up, which is awesome and not stingy in the slightest. They can also be purchased with the premium Ruby currency, for a relatively cheap amount.
Meet The Creatures
A unique but welcome gameplay element in Gigantic are the Creatures – adorable little things that provide bonuses and buffs to the team when they are summoned. By default you gain access to three different types;
- Cerberus: Reveals enemies that are roaming around near the summoning location and becomes a rather vicious attack dog when an enemy comes within range.
- Bloomer: Heals allies and yourself with a healing beam that can target two at a time. Also, boosts healing when allies stand in the general vicinity.
- Cyclops: Builds walls in the general vicinity that will recede when an ally comes towards it. Will block enemies, but if the wall drops for yourself or an ally, an enemy can slip right past right behind you.
It’s easy enough to summon a Creature – simply run to the Summoning Circles which will be marked on the map and your HUD, and hold down the corresponding button on your D-Pad for the Creature you desire. Easy enough. Luckily or unluckily, depending on how you look at it, you cannot summon Creatures on the enemy team’s Summoning Circles, which is a great element as it prevents skilled teams from getting a massive monopoly on the battlefield.
That is not all that the Creatures do, providing a 10 Power bonus, every few minutes, per Creature that you have summoned. This means each team can get a 20 Power bonus every few minutes which could put your team over the edge and into Rampage-town. It also makes taking down enemy Creatures that much more important, as it denies the support benefits and denies any Power gain.
You can also upgrade the Creatures utilising your Heroes Focus, which will not only strengthen their abilities but make them harder to kill and even more adorable in a lethal kind of way.
Anyone that knows me understands that I am a huge fan of unique character design and lore and the characters of Gigantic are no exception, like the above Ramsay. A combination of unique and badass Hero design, as well as dynamic abilities, make for some very interesting gameplay. The abilities suit the way the Heroes are designed and since the characters are interesting, so too are the abilities.
For me, my favourite would have to Aisling, the especially badass Irish summoner, who roams the battlefield swinging a too-large sword and summoning the ghost of her father Sir Cador, from the aforementioned too-large sword, to terrify and smite her enemies.
Everybody Gets A Prize
One of my favourite things in Gigantic is the after match scorecard, which presents all the stats from the course of the game. If you play any type of competitive game, you should be familiar with this concept. However, the reason I love the Gigantic scorecards so much is that every player gets to be the best at something. There are a large variety of player types and Gigantic seeks to reward different playstyles with certain accolades. That means if you went around and healed everyone like a relentless guardian angel, you can get the Most Healing category (like me: GO AISLING). Or you can be recognised for your ability to stay alive or your prowess in scoring kills. There is something for everyone.
Gigantic is an incredibly fun, third person strategy game, that relies heavily on team cooperation and skill in order to pull out a victory. There are a plethora of unique Heroes to choose from, which accommodate to a large variety of playstyles, with more being planned additions to the game. The fast-paced gameplay forces players to think on their feet and to react, while overstepping your reach and your ability is punished with a trip back to the airship to await respawn. The skills are interesting and useful, without them being incredibly overpowered and broken to the point where one Hero can dominate the field. My main issue with Gigantic is that there are no servers in the Oceania region so there are some unstable connection issues but that is on my end. All in all, I would highly recommend downloading this amazing free to play game from Motiga. It has grown to occupy a large space in my heart, you could even say a Gigantic space!