Megalith Review

January 15, 2019
REVIEWS
PSVR

With Megalith, Disruptive Games has brought the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) genre as a timed exclusive to PlayStation VR. As one of five Titans equipped with a range of powers and abilities, it's your job to reach the Core of the opposing team in a 2v2 battle and destroy it before they manage to do the same to yours. So far, so MOBA. The problem is that the barrier to entry is significant since the game assumes you are already very familiar with the genre and know how to play it. There are no in-game guides or tutorials; if you're here to learn, you’ll have to somehow work things out yourself. To learn, you will either need to go to the "How To Play" page on the official website, search the subreddit, check YouTube for a fan-made video guide or join the Megalith Discord to get help. And this is only the start of game's problems.

Navigating the icons initially will require patience.

First off, I want to congratulate the developers on the great art style and character design. It is one of the best looking games I have seen on the PSVR. Its graphics and overall design look like a AAA title, but it is seriously lacking — not in just player guidance but also in content. For example, there is only one playable map. Disruptive has confirmed it is working on more maps, modes, Titans, 3v3 matches and some kind of help system. But as it stands, one map may become boring very quickly, and coupled with the lack of instruction it could create a frustrating experience.

As for gameplay, the player movement is quite slow which can make it hard to dodge incoming attacks in open areas. Each Titan has a set of four attacks that need to be charged up by attacking enemies, or are on a timer after each use. Hunter — as you may guess by the name — uses a crossbow which makes him great at long-range attacks, whereas Taur has a set of close-range or melee attacks. As you would expect, each Titan has their strengths and weaknesses which encourages the player to change tactics based on which Titan you choose. Your best bet as a new player is to learn how to play with one Titan at a time. The primary attack — which is the weakest — can be used at all times, but if two or more enemies approach you and that’s the only weapon left in your arsenal, then you do not stand a chance to fight back or retreat.

Respawn times really need to be lowered given the map size.

Which brings me to the respawn time. Twenty-five seconds may be a reasonable amount of time in a larger map, but it feels way too long for such a small map and for the amount of players per team. This can become tedious if, for example, your AI teammate is stuck running against a wall (which happened a few times) or the other team is close to your Core, since that is where you spawn back in. Additionally, the enemy AI is unnaturally good — far better than most real players. When you combine an unbalanced training mode with a lack of guidance for the game itself, it's almost begging players to switch off. There is support for the Move controllers and the Dualshock, and what you choose is down to preference. There is soft feedback from the controller’s vibration when using an ability, but there is no vibration when you deal damage. If you are being attacked from all sides, you are too busy concentrating on fighting back to notice your health bar — even though it appears in front of you when you’re hit — and before you know it it’s game over. Despite the visual cues, the lack of feedback in your hands makes it hard to gauge how much damage you are taking in these intense moments.

Like a traditional MOBA, each team has an army of AI minions. They help you fight your way to victory, plus you can fill up a Fist icon that allows you to summon some stronger minions (which again, is not explained anywhere in the game and is left to you to either find by trial and error, or research on the internet to understand the mechanics of the system). The minions take a lot of damage before being killed, which is another issue when it comes to balancing things out in the game. You can become overrun with minions and enemy players all at once, and you simply do not have enough powerful attacks to take them all on. More experienced MOBA players may not feel the same, but what about the inexperienced players? If after a few hours of play you have yet to win one game, then you are likely to be put off.

Megalith is undoubtedly pretty, and has a lot of potential.

This is a shame, because underneath the issues, Megalith feels like it has the potential to be a really decent game. All of the problems with this gamecould be fixed once a tutorial or guide is added, multiple maps introduced, spawn times reduced and some balancing of the gameplay elements is introduced. It has the framework and the eye candy to form the basis of a really good MOBA VR experience. And based on the knowledge that the developers are working to add more content as free DLC, I’m confident that the game has a good chance of being a great multiplayer experience. As the game stands at launch, you will need to do some digging online to find out what does what and then hope that the various other issues do not frustrate you too much. Experienced MOBA players are likely to find more enjoyment in the game as it stands — those who are not, could be left disheartened.

6
If you’ve been patiently waiting for a MOBA VR game, Megalith may be just what you were looking far. For those new to the genre, however, this may not be the best entry point in its current state.
Joe Sheldrick

I have a deep love for story-driven and cinematic games, but after one of those I love to play a game where I can just run around shooting mindlessly. I will take stealth over action any day, and I mean in real life as well as in games.