Published on October 18th, 2015 | by Patrick Garde0
Call of Champions Review
Call of Champions from Spacetime Studios is another attempt at an iOS Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA). Instead of focusing on the slow build up towards the more intense end-game of it all, the developers have thrown that all at you within the first few seconds in nice, light, 5 minute bite-sized chunks. Each and every game you get in and play will last no longer than 5 minutes, maybe even quicker if you get yourself to the enemy core and destroy it before the game timer is up.
The gameplay of this action real-time strategy game consists of the typical MOBA setting, where you pick your character, and then get started in-game to push your lane. However, where Call of Champions has decided to make itself unique to the typical MOBA scene, they’ve removed the minions, the gold, and instead have added a timer and rearranged how the jungle works.
Let’s start on the biggest change, and that’s the lack of economy. Instead of having minions that help push the lane, and provide you with a source of income when you take them out, you have a ball. This ball appears on both the top and bottom lanes of the map and will move towards the enemy’s side when you stand in its ring. Push the ball far enough and it will reach a structure. If the ball reaches a turret, then, it will lower just how much damage you take when standing in turret range, giving you the opportunity to destroy the turret. Manage to push the ball through both turrets and then towards the enemy wall that blocks their core, you’ll destroy the wall, and their core will be vulnerable for your team to destroy it. Finish off the core; you win.
If you don’t manage to finish off the core in less than 5 minutes, the game will be over. The winner will be the one who has the most turret kills. If turret kills are equal on both sides, then it moves to whoever has the most champion kills, instead.
In the middle of the map is an altar, and above and below this particular alter you’ll be able to find a couple of buffs to help your team out. Collect one of these buffs and stand in the middle of the altar until it process, then your entire team will receive the buff instead of just you.
With your chosen champion, you’ll have a selection of 5 separate abilities, all of which does something different. It’ll be your job to make use of them the best you can, whether that’s in the form of supporting your team and keeping them alive, or being the main or have the most Damage Per Second (DPS) of the team, whose task is to murder anyone and everyone.
To make sure that the 5 minute game dynamic the developers went for, they had to deal with the problem of how big the map size actually is. To solve the issue, they’ve reduced the map size by a significant degree when compared to other MOBA’s, and the way the game plays, it’s a change that was most certainly needed and works well.
Visually, the iPhone game doesn’t look all too bad, but honestly it doesn’t take your breath away either. It’s a nice game to look at, but there are definitely other games out there in the genre that look much more stunning and appealing that warrant a little more attention to the graphics than Call of Champions.
Now, in a genre as competitive as the MOBA, controls and communication are two very paramount features that need to be done right. Thankfully, control wise the iPad game works well, as it’s the typical tap the screen, watch your character move to that location. It’s hard to get wrong. The issue I do have though is that I feel characters have too many abilities. 5 separate abilities are a lot to keep in consideration when you’re playing, and when compared to the usual 4, it just seems silly to add an extra one. 4 abilities or possibly even 3 would work better in the games favor, as 5 are just a little too much.
Something that isn’t quite so good, however, is the communication aspect. While in-game you have the option of putting down 4 different pings: missing, danger, defend, and moving to. These pings will give you an initial, but general idea of what’s going on, but it isn’t the optimal way of communicating with your team when compared to other MOBA’s, especially ones on the PC platform. The lack of depth that comes with the communication of a touchscreen MOBA, gives the feeling that it’s not quite as competitive when compared to its rivals.
Speaking of competitive, there’s one thing you don’t do if you want every player in a MOBA to have a fair, and equal chance, and that’s to have levels affect the outcome of a game. Something – sadly – Call of Champions appears to do. You see, after playing a certain champion enough times, they’ll level up. When they level up, you’re given a chance to pick a talent. A talent will give that character a passive boost for the rest of their days. The problem with that is that if a player who’s trying a champion for the first time goes up against someone who has a maxed level champion, then they’re at a much higher disadvantage. That would all be okay if it was a disadvantage due to skill, but the fact there’s the addition of passive buffs you have to play to unlock, makes it all a touch more unfair.
As intense as the gameplay is, forcing you to play every moment by moment, there just feels like something a little lacking from Call of Champions. Graphically, the iPhone game doesn’t look too bad, but the gameplay is where the focus on this genre lies. The differentiation on the general gameplay of the genre is in this game’s favor, as it’s something a little different that I’m happy to have experienced and is definitely recommend trying it out for yourself, as something new in this genre doesn’t appear all too often. Casually, it’s a fun iPad game, but when it comes to the more competitive side of things, it isn’t the optimal way to play a MOBA, especially when it’s got the daft level up system for each champion that throws some of the balance out the window.
Summary: If you’re someone looking for a more competitive MOBA for the iPhone and iPad, then maybe you’re better off looking somewhere else, but if something on the more casual side of the spectrum is more up your alley, then it’s definitely recommended to give Call of Champions a go for yourself. You’ll know within the first few minutes of gameplay whether it’s for you or not.