Jumping into a team-based online match in a fresh new game is an exciting moment. Gigantic may have a unique concept but is there currently enough content to provide enjoyment after a handful of rounds?
Before I get to the review, I should mention that I played Gigantic with the Ultimate Pack installed which grants use of all the characters as well as some in-game currency, etc. Anyway, Gigantic is played like most other MOBAs where you duke it out with other players, defend your team's assets (in this case, creatures), and hope to emerge victorious. However, Gigantic's battles revolve around feeding and unleashing giant god-like beasts. Basically, you feed your team's giant by accomplishing tasks such as defending your creatures and slaughtering your opponents. Once one of these deities achieves full power, it will "rampage" as it flies towards the opposing team's giant and tackles it to the ground where the players can hack and slash away until it loses one heart. As soon as a team's giant loses three hearts, the other team wins. This gameplay dynamic featuring elements of tower defense, third-person combat, and kaiju-like epic battles makes for some seriously fun matches.
The best part of Gigantic by far is its selection of heroes to play as. As of writing this, there are 19 characters including anthropomorphic beasts, an array of different human warriors, a turret-like robot, a few alien-like and demon-looking folks, a kung-fu frog, a tubby potion-throwing alchemist, and (my favourite) a giant goofy fuzzy fellow who looks like a massive stuffed toy. As you can tell, these characters are bursting with personality so anyone is sure to find one that clicks with them right off the bat. Each hero plays differently, too, with their own weapons and sets of skills. Speaking of which, the controls are handled very intuitively with every attack being mapped to its own shoulder button, shortcuts on the digital pad, and a powerful attack usable by pushing in both sticks. In order to traverse the topography and avoid enemy attacks, you can conveniently run, jump, and dodge, too. As you progress in each battle, you can upgrade your skills upon levelling up which adds a rewarding sense of accomplishment even in the heat of combat.
After each match, you can browse through a collection of menus to monitor your progress and unlock goodies. The main area of focus here is the fortune cards system which allows you to activate seven simultaneous cards that correspond to various challenges. Upon completing a challenge, you're awarded with currency that you can use for skins and such and you're given the opportunity to draw another card if you have at least one in stock. Additionally, you'll earn badges and both character-specific and general medals. All of these unlockables and challenges come together to make performing well in battle quite a rewarding feat.
Unfortunately, Gigantic is a bit short on content in its current state. Although the amount of characters is nothing to sneeze at, there is essentially only one mode to play. You can enjoy it via the normal 5 vs. 5 player mode or by choosing to play 5 players vs. 5 bots. On top of this, there are only three arenas and if you decide to play against bots then you can only do so on one of them. The lack of mode variety and poor selection of environments makes Gigantic get repetitive after only a handful of matches. My only other complaint is that the combat itself feels rather disconnected. Characters appear to just attack the air then other characters take damage with little reaction. As a result, it feels way less visceral than you'd expect although the constant commotion often distracts from this issue.
Gigantic is a heck of a lot of fun and has one of the most unique premises and impressive casts of characters that I've ever seen in the genre. You may not play it for hours at a time but it's definitely worth booting up whenever you want some crazy online action.
- + Unique and fun gameplay dynamic
- + Awesome selection of characters that are bursting with personality
- + Rewarding unlockables and challenges
- - Essentially only one mode to play
- - Very few arenas makes the gameplay become repetitive sooner than you'd hope
- - Combat lacks a sense of viscerality