Thanks to the rise in popularity of e-sports, MOBAs (multiplayer online battle areas) like DOTA2 and League of Legends have seen a massive rise in popularity. Die-hard fans of the genre have likely placed their MOBA flags in the camps of one of those two genre-defining titles, but that hasn’t stopped the competition from attempting to recapture the magic with new spins on the genre. Rather than slapping a new coat of paint on the regular MOBA hero archetypes, the folks at Wyrmbyte have decided to place the heroes on the backs of fire-breathing dragons. That’s enough to get our attention…
Dragons and Titans is a new free-to-play (with microtransactions, of course) game that attempts to bring some unique changes to the MOBA genre. With the options of three unique competitive multiplayer modes and a substantial adventure (campaign) mode, Dragons and Titans definitely brings enough new material to the table to make the game worth a second look.
The first thing that really caught our eyes in Dragons and Titans was the aesthetic. The maps are stunning, the animation of the attacks looks great, and every dragon we came across was unique and eye-catching. As far as free-to-play games goes, this one really ups the ante on art, polish, and details. Although the selling-point for most competitive games is more about the balance and entertainment value of the multiplayer modes than it is about the pretty landscapes and texture details, the high-quality look of the game definitely enhanced our enjoyment during the first few hours.
As I learned the basics of the gameplay by working through the detailed prologue (which is required to unlock the real game modes), the look and feel of the game had me pretty excited to take the Adventure Mode for a spin. MOBAs usually don’t really suck me in, but riding on dragons was a ton of fun and the flying over the well-crafted maps made me want to explore the other parts of the world Wyrmbyte had put together.
The Adventure Mode offered some pretty fun challenges that will be particularly nice for players that don’t enjoy the high-intensity race that is the multiplayer experience. Leveling up the Dragonlords and completing quests to earn in-game currency and go shopping for new dragons and weapons was pretty engrossing at first, but the novelty faded in the early hours. The main problem with the single-player mode is that the removal of team strategy makes the game (and the whole genre) feel a lot more like a button-mashing grind. Without the motivation to work together with a team and defend against strategic enemy attacks, the game becomes an exercise is memorizing an attack rotation. That said, Dragons and Titans does offer a co-op mode that should help avoid the creep killing fatigue that I experienced.
The three multiplayer modes offered enough variety to feel a bit more entertaining and diverse than the typical MOBA experience. Much like the standard MOBA map and the Adventure Mode, both the Capture Points mode and the ARAM mode feel far less grindy when playing with an organized group of friends. The races were definitely still exciting when I was playing with PUGs, but it was a lot easier to feel frustrated with teammates (or myself) when I was playing with strangers and we started to lose.
That said, Dragons and Titans was clearly designed to be a social game, so it’s no surprise that it really seemed to shine when I was playing with a more organized team. Creating teams and jumping into a match was a painless experience and felt very intuitive. Despite the shameful beating my team took in first impressions video, the matchmaking formula seemed to do a pretty good job of matching me with other relatively inexperienced players. Anyone who has logged into DOTA 2 is fully aware of how unforgiving MOBA matches (and players) can be, so it felt nice to be on an even starting ground with my teammates and opponents for a change.
Dragons and Titans feels incredibly well-polished for the zero dollar price tag and the dragons were a nice change of pace from the more typical MOBA heroes. Gameplay can feel a bit dull when rolling solo, but many of the game modes really sucked me in once I was playing with an organized, cooperative group of friends. If you’re a sucker for dragons and have a few friends that feel the same way, you’ll want to take a few minutes to download this one.
Dragons and Titans is available now for Mac and PC.
Follow Denny on Twitter @The_DFC.