Graphics7Gameplay7Features6.5Content7 6.9STRIFE is the the latest free to play MOBA developed by S2 Games and distributed by Asiasoft. Strife styles itself as a premier second generation MOBA that features deep, collaborative gameplay, accessible heroes, and includes purchasable cosmetic upgrades. S2 Games focused their knowledge and industry experience on a collaborative, engaging, enjoyable team PvP game through enhanced game mechanics suitable for new and veteran MOBA players. Some of the key features include modified reward system to share in-game gold among team members, improved match making system for level playing fields and role-play attributes of crafting, in-game accompanying pets and items crafting. I’ve been on STRIFE for a while now and here’s what I think while it still has many of the same mechanics of other MOBAs, It has something different as well… but is it enough? 1. Shared Gold In STRIFE, heroes that lane together get shared Gold, this means that if you take the last hit, the person who is laning with you gets a portion of the gold. I think by doing this, it has evened out the difficulty for players who find it hard to get last hits on creeps as well as for support characters. It is a great feature in my opinion as it is both a beginner and competitive friendly feature. 2. Pets STRIFE has also brought in a pet system where you can use pets to help you throughout the game. Pets can slow, damage or heal heroes. They even have levels and with higher levels come stronger abilities. This brings a personalisation element to the game as you have various pets you can buy with in-game currency or @cash which is currency that can be bought with real money (Good thing about this game is that @cash will not give you an advantage in this game as it only is used for cosmetic purposes or buying currency for new pets and crafting instead of waiting at the end of each match to earn the currency). So if you like a certain type of pet abilities or the way it looks you can train the pet to its max level and it will be completely yours to keep. I like how STRIFE tries to bring a more personal connection between players and their heroes or accounts it may give you a better reason to stay onto the game. However, I do not feel that it was necessary as they could have just given it as an extra hero skill that you could customize instead of the hassle of having several pets as an extra cosmetic feature. 3. Item Crafting As I mentioned earlier about a personal connection between players, another feature they have is the item crafting system. You can customize core items (items that require several components to form) by switching out some of the component items to change the effects of the item. For example, if you know your play style requires more health than mana you can switch out the mana component item required for the core item with a health component item at the cost of some elixirs, making the item suit your play style. It’s a great way for players to further personalize their account and get more serious about the game, but from a certain standpoint it puts more emphasis on what a player does behind the scenes to up his game, and a bigger disadvantage for a casual player who would not be bothered to get into crafting in the first place. 4. RPG element If players want to know their heroes backstories, there’s a deep lore that players can delve into. All you have to do is play the story mode where you can play as a certain hero of the ‘episode’ and know his origins and how he or she came to be a part of STRIFE. I think this is a brilliant idea as it’s great to know stories about characters and having a short story mode in a MOBA game gives the feeling of getting more than what you paid for which is just, great! 5. Bosses that aid you An interesting twist on the game is that the strongest boss mob, Cindara, once defeated, summons the giant gorilla Krytos to push a designated lane in the game for you, he does massive damage but takes a portion of his health every time he attacks. This element could turn the game around with that one push. I think this game changing element is a great addition as it adds variability to the game especially for those teams that are thrashing the opponents and do not see that game changer coming. 6. Short games Games in STRIFE only last 20-40minutes as the max level of the game is only 15. This provides a faster paced game progression, leading to more games. 7. The next big team Now for those players out there who have always wanted to go competitive but never really had the chance, Asiasoft is holding open tournaments around Singapore for STRIFE, with plans to definitely go big as if your team could be the one to go for the nationals, regionals and eventually the internationals representing Singapore! So do check with Asiasoft where the tournaments are held and who knows? Your team could be the next big thing! Overall Verdict I think STRIFE doesn’t really know what kind of MOBA it wants to be (yet) in terms of how it wants to stand out amongst other MOBAS. It has elements from other MOBAS and tries to make it blend well together, trying to make them seem like new elements but honestly they are just recycled and disguised to seem like something new such as the pet system it to me seemed like an unnecessary and seemed like the ability system from League of Legends disguised as a pet which could have totally been left out in my opinion. Not saying that everything is recycled such as the shared gold, which in my opinion is an amazing factor that was brought in as it definitely helps both beginners and veterans as well as the RPG system they implemented which is also an awesome addition cause honestly, who doesn’t like a good story. I think overall for me STRIFE just does not have enough wow factor to make it stand out from the already big MOBAS. But it’s still early to say as its still in beta, so why not just try downloading it and try it out for yourself, who knows? You might actually like the game! Visit http://strife.playpark.com/en/ to download the game and to join the game’s community, follow Strife’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/StrifeSEA.