Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Game Review: DoTA 2

For all those that live under a rock, DotA short for “Defense of the Ancients” is a multiplayer RPG game. Where do I get started with this beauty! Easily one of, if not, the hardest games you’ll ever have played, this blackhole promises to make a full on cocaine addiction seem like a weak hankering. ‘The International’ is a DotA tournament for big shots with the biggest prize money in the history of e-sports. Its a game that’s rapidly becoming very popular. So, here’s why you should definitely play DotA .

I’m not gonna lie. DOTA 2 has an insanely steep learning curve that probably outdoes any other game. 2 teams, each with a maximum of 5 players or heroes compete against each other and you win if you destroy the enemy’s Throne which is in essence just a building.

  1. Its FREE

You’re probably rolling your eyes and exclaiming, “Hey dude, we got DC for paid games”. But, when was the last time you played an updated version of a game with the ability to play it online. Don’t recall? Right, moving on.

2. The Steep but Rewarding learning curve

The map is divided into 3 lanes (top, mid, bot), a river that cuts the map, the 2 bases of the teams and the rest of it is spanned by a jungle in which reside wild creatures or neutral creeps.

You’re accompanied by your minions or creeps. You must try to kill as many enemy creeps as you can so that you gain gold. Experience is rewarded when an enemy unit dies somewhere around you. To level up you need experience and every level up allows you to upgrade your skills. You can also buy items that range from ones that regenerate your health to those that give you extra movement speed or damage. Creeps automatically spawn every 30 seconds and march along the lanes.

Each game starts from scratch. Abilities and items are earned through strong play in the match and that is where expertise and experience counts. Also death isn’t permanent in any game. On dying, there is a time after which you respawn in your base and this time increases with your level. A typical game lasts for 30 - 60 mins where the first 15 mins are utilized in getting creep kills and gaining gold and experience, the next 15 odd minutes are spent by heroes trying to roam around the map and trying to pick off enemy heroes together with their allies. And after that is the late game which is characterized by epik 5 on 5 battles which is where teamwork and fast reflexes really counts. Sounds relatively simple right? So what makes the game so hard? It probably lies in the uniqueness of the heroes. There are over a hundred heroes to choose and apart from their character model each of them have 4 unique skills or more. It takes only a few games to get a hang of the hero but mastering one requires patience and practice.
There are decent tutorials online with the game itself having an inbuilt one.

3. Is it any good?

“There’s something tremendously rewarding about learning to play Dota. Part of this is the vast amount of information you’re asked to absorb: the abilities, items, rules, situations and solutions that constitute its secret language. Then there’s the application of that knowledge, the clutch choices that determine the outcome of skirmishes, sieges and ultimately the game. Victory feels like a genuine accomplishment in a way that it doesn’t in the vast majority of other games, because of the sheer number of variables in play: the best matches are like passing through a storm of chance and chaos with four other people and emerging from the other side clutching a win and, if you’re lucky, a couple of new hats.
Then there’s losing. Defeat is a necessary part of the equation – without it, those victories mean nothing – but it stings, and for every energising loss that teaches you something there’s a drag-out, mood-crushing face-stomp. Just as winning becomes more meaningful when you feel like the game is testing you personally, so defeat will sometimes feel like having all of your personal failures writ large.” -PC Gamer
DotA also offers you a topic of conversation. Got an awkwardly quiet moment with a friend? You could easily end up discussing DotA for a good half an hour or so.

4. Multiplayer
There will come a time after which you’re gonna get tired of playing with bots. The Multiplayer aspect of DotA is easily one of the most ruthless and hostile one. You may think that you are playing good or making valuable contributions to your team’s score, but there will always be a puberty driven, high on Red Bull kid in Delhi who’s still got better reflexes than you and doesn’t forget to CAPS LOCK YOU TO DEATH EVERY TIME HE OWNS YOU. They do make sure that your n00bness is unheeded as your mother and sister frequent your chat every time your screw up. Be ready to rage quit at some point of your life. Even then there are a few people who are actually considerate and bear with your novice ness. Try playing with friends too. You’ll sleep easier at night every time you kick your friend’s ass at DotA.
5. The Attachment
Over time you’ll definitely feel that that DotA is more than just a game. Its nothing short of a war. You’ll soon get to know that every decision that you make counts and every mistake will haunt you until you win the next game. Its also a fast paced game, so those guys who are fed up playing CS will definitely enjoy this. DotA is also a great tool for anger discharge and the sweet sounds effects definitely add up to the flavor. After a while you end up relating events in life with those in DotA. Words like n00b, owned, GG, pwn, end up in your daily vocabulary. You’ll soon start watching pro matches and you’ll end up having an emotional attachment with a specific team or so. Watch this movie, you’ll get to know why.
- Rutuj Shah