First Impressions: Gigantic resurrects as a B2P no-cash-shop Rampage Edition on April 9


Gigantic still stands out in my mind as the only MOBA game that I ever enjoyed. Ever. I loved its art style. I loved its approachable game beats. I loved the tug-of-war that most matches felt like. I loved Mozu. So when the game was sunsetted by PWE in 2018 just after developer Motiga closed in 2017, I was surprisingly upset and have missed the game since.

So naturally, when I was invited to play the game again with producer Maverick Bautista and members of the Gearbox publishing team, I absolutely leaped at the chance and found myself falling back in love all over again with the now buy-to-play title.

Yes, Gigantic is coming back as Gigantic: Rampage Edition. And all it costs is $20 to get the whole kit and kaboodle.

When I say that the full game is coming back for the $19.99 price, I mean everything: all of the maps, all of the characters including a couple that were never released, all of the skins, everything. The roster is available pretty much right from the jump. The cosmetics are earned through actually playing the game. There is no cash shop and no microtransaction nonsense whatsoever: You just pay $20 and get into matches.

Of course, this isn’t strictly a 1:1 port of the original game, as Rampage Edition introduces a couple of new little adjustments and wrinkles. One of the primary ones is the addition of Rush Mode, the playable mode that was in the game’s 33-hour resurrection from last October; it serves as the primary game mode until character level reaches a certain point that unlocks the original Rampage mode, as well as the option to create custom matches with friends.

Even though I was “forced” to play Rush mode during my time with the devs, it all felt immediately familiar and fun. For those who missed out on that October play session, Rush mode is effectively the same as Rampage mode just with more condensed maps: The objective per team is to score 100 points first, sending your side’s big monster to the opposing team’s monster, weaken them, and open them up to take damage. First team to kill the enemy behemoth wins.

One of the best things about Gigantic for me was its ability to blend MOBA-like skill shots with snappy third-person shooter action, and I’m delighted to report that Rampage Edition hasn’t messed with this formula. I’m not sure if there were balance adjustments made to this version of the game, but frankly all that mattered was the responsiveness of the game, and the three matches I got to enjoy all felt fantastic.

The developers at Abstraction Games (the studio known around these parts as one partnered with Funcom on sandbox MMO Dune Awakening) have made a few adjustments to the game overall. There are some minor ones like a few new UI elements, some adjustments to some of the HUD visuals, two all-new maps (for a total of seven), and even some completely new skins for multiple characters, but the bigger tweaks are around revamps to the fortune card system and build customization.

If you’re an old Gigantic vet, fortune cards are probably familiar, only now the cards are tied to character progression. Cards come in weekly, daily, and character-specific forms, each with three different tiers of challenge that unlock as progress is made, while clearing cards gets you currency to unlock cosmetics and XP to acquire hero abilities. That might read like it’s a hard requirement, but even while the system is linked to progress, it still felt like it was a reward for playing, at least at the interim. Furthermore, Bautista also told me some of the harder challenges can basically be like optional achievements to chase.

As for build customization, Rampage Edition still has a couple of preset builds but also offers up additional custom build slots to let players select the abilities they want for their preferred playstyle. It’s a pretty simple addition but one that could open things up for some of the more sweaty Gigantic players out there.

While I was marveling at the fact that the game was back and in front of me once again, it did make me wonder: How much of the original Motiga team exists? The answer is none; however, I was told about how heads of the former studio were apparently very excited to see the game come back and gave both Gearbox Publishing and Abstraction permission to see Gigantic make its way back. A follow-up fact sheet also confirmed that members of the original dev team helped with consultation and ideation of Rampage Edition, keeping true to the original studio’s vision for the MOBA.

Of course, there is the worry about what support for this returned title looks like, especially since the game will not have any microtransactions of any sort. According to Gearbox, there will be some post-release updates that arrive to the game in the form of a ranked mode and new character skins, all of which will be added for free. This is obviously good news, but it doesn’t completely answer the concern of whether keeping the server lights on will be predicated on the game’s box sales doing well – this game was taken away from us before because it didn’t appear to be doing well financially, after all – but I suppose only time will tell.

Whether this game seems multiple updates after its return or Gearbox just keeps things in maintenance mode after a certain point, I honestly don’t fully care. The second my time with the devs was up, I immediately wanted to play the game again and again. It’s that good. It’s that addicting.

Gigantic: Rampage Edition is scheduled to make a full launch on Tuesday, April 9th, on PlayStation 5, Xbox, and PC via Steam, Epic Games Store, or the Arc launcher, with every one of them offering full cross-platform matchmaking available. Before then, there will be a day-long closed beta test on Steam on Thursday, February 22nd, starting at 3:00 p.m. EST

I for one am absolutely going to be there once the doors open. I’m pleased to say that Gigantic, the only MOBA I ever found the fun in, is coming back in a very big way, and even if there are still some unanswered concerns about how long it will be back, I couldn’t be more excited that it is.

Massively Overpowered skips scored reviews; they’re outdated in a genre whose games evolve daily. Instead, our veteran reporters immerse themselves in MMOs to present their experiences as hands-on articles, impressions pieces, and previews of games yet to come. First impressions matter, but MMOs change, so why shouldn’t our opinions?
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