hi rez studios

A studio known primarily for SMITE, Global Agenda, Tribes: Ascend, and Paladins.

SMITE unleashes the dog from hell

It’s not Hagrid’s dog from Harry Potter and it’s most certainly not the evil corporation from Mass Effect 2, but SMITE’s Cerebus brings both the bite and the bark of these entities to the MOBA.

Cerebus, this week’s new playable character, challenges players to control a three-headed dog from hell with a bad temper. Its tail can spit venom, its breath damages everyone in front of it, and Cerebus can even summon up the souls of the damned to damage and pull enemies. He’s probably not the type to do all this and then roll over for a good ol’ fashioned belly rub afterward, however.

SMITE Patch 4.25 adds a few new god skins, including Sweet Tooth Sol and Brimstone Beast Camazotz, and throws in some more Ragnarok event quests. Get a quick overview of the patch below, and check out our in-depth look at the game’s other improvements!

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Hi-Rez Expo 2018: Erez Goren, 10 more games, 400 employees, and Global Agenda’s City of Heroes roots

It is true that the Hi-Rez Expo has wrapped up for 2018, and we’ll need to wait another 12 months to attend the next one. (Folks should be over the effects of the after party by then!) There’s just something awesome about getting to gather with tons of fans in one place as well speaking with devs face-to-face. Every year has been cool, but this year has something a little extra: Founder and CEO Erez Goren attended and mingled, answering questions and sharing his love for gaming. 

Goren hasn’t given many public interviews in years, but between the dev roundtable with President Stew Chisam and bumping into him on the show floor and chatting with him individually, I got to learn a number of fun facts about the philosophy and workings of the studio from the tip top man himself. And it is true, everything did come from Global Agenda!

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Hi-Rez Expo 2018: Diving deeper into SMITE’s new map, new pantheons, fog, and more

Although the studio makes other games and each has a presence at Hi-Rez Expo 2018, there’s no denying that SMITE was the star of the show. Fans were excited for the big world championship tournament as well as announcements about the MOBA’s development.

And the expo delivered on both counts. EUnited brought the SMITE trophy back the the US for the first time in years, while devs shared some info about the upcoming Season 5.

I sat down with Executive Producer Chris Larson and Lead Designer A.J. Walker to get more details on the new conquest map, the new pantheons, community feedback, and the next adventure mode.

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Hi-Rez Expo 2018: Hi-Rez’s new game Bot Smashers isn’t an MMO, but it’s fun

After a few days of playing Bot Smashers at Hi-Rez Expo 2018 this past weekend, I sat down and talked shop with Rory Newbrough, Bot Smashers Design Director, to get a few more details on the upcoming game. I discovered where the idea came from, and learned more about what to expect in its released form.

What I didn’t learn was that the newly announced game had an MMO version hiding in the wings. Yes, I said that. I think I would totally live in a gaming world of the bots from here. They all have such personality, and they are pretty pleasing to the eye. One of them already has a cloak! The idea just oozes fun. I could see the gruff Topsy trying to maintain order, while the ever-flailing Smashbot runs panicked from life’s crazy stuff. And those Rangerbots? They’ll band together like little green army men to get stuff done. Sadly for me, the mobile game is not an MMO – only a 1v1 battle arena. Maybe someday it could be. (Hey, leave me with my unlikely hopes!) Until that pipe dream can find a thread of reality, here’s what you can expect from the actual mobile game.

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Hi-Rez Expo 2018: Our hands-on with Hi-Rez’s new game Bot Smashers

Hi-Rez Expo 2018 ended this weekend, which means my opportunity to play the studio’s new 1v1 mobile game Bot Smashers has also ended. And that makes me sad. Like last year’s SMITE Rivals (RIP) that I loved so much, the only place to play was the expo show floor. No expo floor means no playing. Now I must wait for a general release to battle some more bots — and right now there is no set time.

What exactly is Bot Smashers, you ask, and why did it enchant me so much? Well that’s exactly what I am going to share with you. Then we can wait on the game together! Hopefully the wait won’t be too terribly long; Rory Newbrough, Bot Smashers GM and design director, noted that the studio hopes to get testing for the game started in the spring, then follow with a soft launch soon after.

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The Stream Team: Drowning sorrows in SMITE’s arena

As much as Massively OP’s MJ really wanted to keep playing SMITE’s adventures, the latest round turned off today. To hide her tears and try to get over the heartbreak and anguish, she’ll be partaking of some Arena Therapy. Tune in live at 7:00 p.m. and help MJ through this difficult time. (There will also be plenty of Hi-Rez Expo talk!)

What: SMITE
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

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Hi-Rez Expo 2018: Paladins’ story, previewing new toon Moji, and hands-on with Paladins Strike

As much as the battle royale-flavored Battlegrounds is big news, it wasn’t the only Paladins news at Hi-Rez Expo 2018. We also learned that there is a new champion, a new map, and more coming to the shooter. But there is always more to learn about news than an announcement provides. That’s one of the things that makes the expo great: the opportunity to talk face-to-face with devs about the game. And that’s exactly what I did!

I spoke with Art Director Thomas Holt and Lead Designer Garrett Martini about Paladins, its upcoming changes, and the lore and story of the game. I also had the chance to try my hand at the mobile take on the game, Paladins Strike, that we heard about at PAX West. Read on for an inside look from the event!

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The best SMITE and Paladins cosplay at Hi-Rez Expo 2018

While the bulk of Hi-Rez Expo 2018 is taken up with the various tournaments, the fans have their own contest open to them: Welcome to cosplay. I’ve been bumping into Paladins and SMITE characters out and about all weekend, but the contest showcased some super impressive costumes. If you’ve ever wanted to see a Ao Kuang in real life, good news for you: He won first place! Second place went to Skadi, and third was Bellona.

Congratulations to all the participants, both on stage and off! If you weren’t able to make the event, you can still admire many of the costumes in the video and gallery below.

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Hi-Rez Expo 2018: Hands-on with Paladins Battlegrounds, the game’s new battle royale mode

Paladins got not one but four announcements at this year’s Hi-Rez Expo. There’s a brand-new team death match mode coming as well as new battle cat mounts and a unique new champion. And then there was the biggest news revealing the upcoming Paladins: Battlegrounds.

But announcements only gloss the surface of things, so I sat down with devs to discuss the new modes. Todd Harris, Hi-Rez COO and Paladins Producer, and Erez Goren, Founder and CEO, shared details and answered questions on Team Deathmatch and Paladins: Battlegrounds. I also got to settle in and play a few matches of Battlegrounds. Here’s what I learned in the interviews and my hands-on.

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Hi-Rez Expo 2018: Paladins introduces battle royale mode, new champion Moji, and battle cat mounts

Big brother SMITE isn’t getting all the attention at this year’s Hi-Rez Expo 2018 – Paladins is definitely seeing some love too. The team-based shooter got quite the reveal of its own during the keynote address this morning: a new Battle Royale game mode! Paladins: Battlegrounds will consist of 100 players broken into teams trying to survive while exploring and looting on a massive open map that slowly constricts with a deadly fog. The 20-minute matches play out on a map 300 times the square footage of a typical Paladins siege map. An early alpha version is playable here at HRX, so keep your eyes out for our hands-on!

Devs also revealed other tidbits, including the game’s 35th champion, Moji (a magical Flank that gets to ride into battle on a summoned two-headed dragon); a new Team Deathmatch mode with a new map (Trade District); and new battle cat mounts. The first battle cat, the Primal Prowler, will be given away exclusively to Twitch Prime members. Members will also get a Twitch Prime King Bomb King skin. Check out the trailers for all the reveals below!

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Hi-Rez Expo 2018: SMITE Season 5 heralds art update, gameplay overhaul, and new god Cerberus

Hi-Rez Expo 2018 is kicking off this morning with a big announcement for SMITE. More than just introducing a new god (Cerberus, the three-headed guardian of the underworld) and revealing the next two pantheons to join the ranks later this year (Slavic and Voodoo), the keynote address is set to reveal that SMITE is getting a makeover with Season 5. And not just any makeover – the biggest change ever.

Players will see upgraded art on the Conquest Map as well as significant – and highly requested – gameplay changes to the 5v5 mode. That jungle fog? It’s back! And the playing field leveled out, quite literally; the newly symmetrical map creates a fair playing field no matter what side you begin on. On the new map design, Lead Game Designer A.J. “Ajax” Walker says that “the Season 5 map will feature perfect vertical symmetry between Order and Chaos. Lanes and Jungle paths will have the exact same shape on top and bottom. This balances the map, and removes timing differences to each side. Overall, this creates a more consistent gameplay experience.”

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Perfect Ten: The best MMO updates and expansions of 2017

Last year was positively stuffed with updates, expansions, and cool stuff. A lot of years I struggle to remember which major updates happened in the past year, due partly to my own faulty memory but due largely to the simple fact that not a lot of them really stuck out for me. This year? We were awash in updates. Some games literally gave me multiple choices about which update I thought was “the best” just because, well, there were so many.

So the list that follows is, honestly, a fragment of what could be chosen. At least one of them is something you will probably disagree with. And that’s fine, because thankfully, last year (as mentioned) contained tons of great updates for people to enjoy. So without further ado, let’s delve into the best updates of 2017 and gush for a bit about how many cool things got added to games last year.

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