Megalith is an upcoming first-person arena brawler from Disruptive Games which puts you in MOBA-style combat against other heroes as you—and your pint-sized minions—sally forth to destroy the other team’s base.
Fans of MOBAs like Dota2 and League of Legends will immediately recognize many of the mechanics at play here; you spawn on your team’s base on your side of the map and tactically destroy enemy towers and face off against the opposite team’s heroes, all the while fending off enemy minions that nip at your heels. Two teams of two faced off for the demo, which played out on a battlefield intersected by a large common area rife with columns to hide behind and side areas to sneak around for that surprise attack.
Predictably, each hero has their own unique abilities. I got a chance to play two of the three heroes currently featured in the public E3 demo—a hulking tank-style minotaur called ‘Taur’ and golden creature named ‘Cypher’. A hero named ‘Aurora’ was also available, who could throw lighting and hover high in the air to get a better vantage point above enemies. More heroes are most certainly coming too, I was told, although it’s still too early to say. Promotional images hint at six heroes so far.
Each hero has one primary ability, three secondary abilities, and one ultimate. For example, playing as Taur, you can melee (pressing the primary button on PS Move), ‘charge’ for quick advances, ‘magma spit’ for ranged shots that did a wide area of effect, and do a ‘bloodlust’ move, which increases speed and melee damage for a limited time. Taur’s ultimate ability, which had the longest cooldown time of all, could create a giant circular fence of stone, either keeping you safe, or trapping an unlucky victim inside with you so you could maul them to death.
While Taur was fun, melee isn’t really as satisfying as it could be, as you have to press a button to swipe your giant claws at the enemy instead of naturally using the motion controllers with a physical movement. Cypher’s abilities, which were mostly ranged, were undoubtedly the coolest out of the two, and played to the strengths of the PS Move controllers in general. With Cypher’s ultimate ability, which lets you spawn knee-high spiked orbs that can track down enemies and explode, it’s easy to imagine the sort of chaos that can erupt when explosive orbs, lightning, and minions all enter the fray at the same time.
I did find however that casting my abilities was somewhat fiddly, although that comes down more to PS Move than anything. Abilities are mapped to the small action buttons (Triangle, Square, Circle, and Cross), which made for some confusion in the heat of battle. A handy menu is omnipresent, including cooldown timers, although the control setup seems like it’ll require a bit more practice to master than my 20-minute demo provided.
Megalith demo employed ‘free’ locomotion, letting you move using controller-relative smooth forward movement with snap-turn. Speaking to the dev team, I was told they’re investigating more locomotion schemes, but haven’t publicly committed to anything yet.
Having played two full matches, it’s clear to me there’s some real potential here for fun, fast-paced co-op brawling, even though I didn’t find myself coordinating much with my teammate during the demo, as we mostly went our own ways into battle. Creating heroes with balanced abilities is also an important step for Disruptive Games as they push forward towards release, which is slated for sometime later this year on PSVR as a timed exclusive.
It’s logical to assume the game will be headed to respective PC VR headsets such as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift at some point in the future, which could smooth out some of the controller woes I experienced with PS Move.