Gameplay - 9
Presentation - 9
Creativity - 8
Lifespan - 10
DOTA 2 is another example of a popular mod that Valve snap-up to make their own. I both like and dislike this system. It means that Valve have barely had an original game concept in years, the only one 2 I can think of are Half Life and Portal, and even then the main idea for Portal was from a another game anyway. However I like how Valve get up and coming game developers and give them jobs in the industry.
For those who aren’t aware, DOTA was originally a mod for Starcraft but gained most popularity as a mod for Warcraft 3. So Valve swooped in and offered the makers of DOTA a shot at the big time. The game that came out of this is of course the ever creatively named DOTA 2.
The DOTA series is widely credited with the creation of the very popular MOBA genre of gaming and the gameplay in DOTA 2 is a typical MOBA game.
The advantage with having the creator of the original DOTA on the development team means that the core gameplay is very similar to the original DOTA. The basic concept is that there are 3 lanes with an area of forest territory in-between and each team has a base that, once destroyed, grants victory. The tricky thing about making a MOBA game is that since the learning curve is so steep, the developers need to make it somewhat easy to get into. On the whole, DOTA 2 does a good job of this, with a good tutorial and practice mode against computer players it isn’t too difficult to get into.
The hardest thing I found to understand about DOTA 2 was the huge amount of items in the game. There are so many different items available in the game, maybe even more than other MOBA’s, so it gets very confusing very quickly. Luckily the recommended items help out a lot, but it makes it very hard to start trying to come up with my own item builds. Now it may just be me coming from League of Legends and therefore being a bit biased, but it felt to me that some of the characters in DOTA 2 are very unbalanced. I’d need a lot more experience with the game to really make that call, but when a hero stuns me twice and halves my health in the process I get suspicious. There are over 100 heroes in DOTA 2 and all are diverse and interesting. There are no two characters that are similar, and all have different play styles. DOTA 2 is an example of a game that is easy to learn and hard to master and it does it really well.
The graphics in DOTA 2 are outstanding.
Compared to its competition DOTA 2 stands head and shoulders above the others. The textures and models are all really impressive and run really well, even during huge fights. The only the I could fault with the visuals is that the GUI is a little big and there is no way to adjust it, however this is a really minor gripe. The music in DOTA 2 is very well written. It sounds very epic and accompanies the feel of the game very well. You can really see the effort Valve put into this game and it stands out amongst the crowd.
Each and every hero in the game has a lengthy bio written about them, providing some nice in-sight to the lore and storyline of DOTA. Each of these bios is really well thought out and well written. A lot of the other MOBA’s on the market at the moment don’t have this kind of thing in them, so it is really good of Valve to make this effort. However it is only in the bios we see this creativity, limiting it somewhat.
DOTA 2 has some solid creativity behind it.
DOTA 2 has a really good lifespan. Due to the addictive and competitive gameplay, DOTA 2 will keep you hooked for ages. The game is deep and complicated enough that there are so many strategies and builds to try that the possibilities are endless. It’s also worth mentioning that DOTA 2 has a huge esports following so there is loads of tournaments and other media to get involved in you could really let DOTA 2 take up all your spare time.
Overall DOTA 2 is one of the best MOBA’s out there at the moment, but it really comes down to personal choice when choosing which one to play. As much as I love League of Legends I can’t deny that DOTA 2 is a quality game that is worth playing.
DOTA 2 is available for PC on Steam.