Bandai Namco Games, known primarily for its versus fighting titles like the Tekken and Soul Calibur series, is stepping into the multiplayer online battle arena, or MOBA, scene with free-to-play Supernova. Although the well-known publisher may be established with the multiplayer community, it is new to the esports arena and the rapidly growing market. Will Supernova’s unique tweaks to the MOBA genre turn heads and be welcomed with enthusiasm or disgust?
Supernova is a space-themed MOBA set in a futuristic sci-fi universe, unlike fantasy-themed MOBA giants League of Legends and Dota 2. Developed by Primal Game Studios, Supernova’s conflicts are between humans and cyborgs, and its playable characters, or commanders, employ unique technology and otherworldly powers. You can choose between human mech pilots, gun-for-hire mercenaries, or an alien commander. The game also has the fundamental components of a MOBA, such as 5-on-5 teams and a symmetrical map with three lanes. However, what’s really unique about Supernova’s gameplay is its reminiscent real-time strategy, or RTS-like control of creep waves.
At its current state, Supernova plays like a MOBA with RTS resource management mechanics, though it did not start out like that. Primal Game Studios originally designed Supernova as equal parts MOBA and RTS, which included direct unit management on top of commanding your hero. That proved too complex, which resulted in automatic lane pathing for your armies. Despite this limitation, it’s easy to see some semblance of combat depth in the studio’s latest iteration (via VentureBeat).
As for the typical and daunting learning curve that accompanies most MOBAs, the developer’s studio director, Zoltan Zsuffa, had this to say:
Currently the game has a lot of depth and complexity, but there are a lot of features that make it simpler for players to just jump in and start playing. For example, if you’re a new player, you won’t really need to bother with your armies. There’s an automatic army composition feature. And there are other features that make it completely or partially automated like the distribution of the building points for commanders (via GameSpot).
I don’t know about you, but I’m intrigued and have signed up for a taste of what Supernova has to offer. If you are interested in trying the game too, a public Alpha for Supernova went live today. You can sign up at Supernova‘s official website.
What are your thoughts on Bandai Namco’s entry in the MOBA genre?