Today, Hi-Rez Studios has announced SMITE 2, the sequel to the popular free-to-play action MOBA game released ten years ago on PC before making the jump to consoles. Over 40 million users have played the game at some point, but now Hi-Rez is moving into the future.
The developers are saying this is a true sequel that aims to be the next-generation action MOBA, featuring dynamic lighting, physically based rendering, cloth simulation, more detailed models, and more. It’s currently powered by Unreal Engine 5.2, with plans to upgrade soon to Unreal Engine 5.3. The goal is to take the core of SMITE and make it better, more streamlined yet deeper at the same time on the gameplay level. Targeted improvements are being made in specific areas to accomplish this. The Relic and Item systems have been fully overhauled to open up greater experimentation potential. The items in the inventory can potentially have an active effect (like Blink) beyond just passive improvements. Gods are also no longer magic or physical; each god can specialize in Strength or Intelligence, offering various playstyles.
Moreover, the abilities of the gods, the playable characters in this mythological MOBA, will be more impactful and spectacular. For example, Ymir’s wall now knocks up enemies and can be used to rocket jump. Anubis will have new, smoother animations. And there are brand new gods as well, such as Hecate, the Greek goddess of sorcery.
She has been the number one request from the community for many years and will finally be playable in SMITE 2, bringing a ranged playstyle with her magic abilities. Hecate can reach through dimensions and travel within the liminal space. She’s the first of five new gods coming to the sequel at launch.
A custom matchmaking system will power the new game, which will support cross-play between PC (Steam, Epic Games Store), PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series S|X. Fans can also expect an improved user interface (UI), including a refined Item Store, and updated audio.
Hi-Rez clarified its plans to support both SMITE and SMITE 2 at the same time, so there’s no danger for those players who will prefer to stick with the original. Moreover, a Divine Legacy program has been introduced to reward players for all their time and accomplishments in SMITE and will also honor their spending. Every gem players have previously spent will be converted into Legacy Gems in SMITE 2 that can be spent for 50% of most in-game purchases. Purchasing a Founder’s Pack for the sequel will give players double Legacy Gems.
The Divine Legacy program will offer 11 unique skins, badges, Gold Mastery levels, and cross-generation skins that work across both games. Beginning this year, all new gem-purchasable skins in SMITE will be cross-generation.
The Closed Alpha is set to begin in Spring 2024, with signups already available through the official website. Hi-Rez said this would be a true Alpha, but the community’s feedback is believed to be critical ahead of the full launch. A SMITE 2 development insights show with further information on the sequel will air on Sunday, January 14, at 1:30 PM Eastern Time.