The feature which first stood out to me in Gigantic was not its colourful graphics. It wasn't the colossal sense of scale I felt when the giant guardians in the game crashed together. It wasn't how quickly the action escalated from the start of a match.
It was the two bars in the heads-up display placed on the left and right of the player character. The green bar on the left side represented the player's health, and the blue bar on the right side represented the player's stamina. To me, these bars meant more than just how much remaining health and stamina the player had. To me, they represented a large awareness of the platforms the game is being built for.
Described by developer Motiga as a "free-to-play shooter MOBA" game, Gigantic is being made for the Xbox One and PC. I saw a live demonstration of the Alpha version of the game on the Xbox One at E3 2015, where creative director James Phinney helped provide big insight into its mechanics.
Gigantic pits two teams of five players against each other in a single map. Each team has a guardian, an enormous creature that can move around the map and possesses its own skillset. The goal of each team is to destroy the enemy team's guardian. Killing enemy heroes powers up the guardian and eventually prompts it to go on a rampage, wounding the enemy guardian and providing an opening for the team to deal some extra damage to it.
Phinney confirmed that the game will support cross-platform play between Xbox One and PC versions. The feature will be opt-in, so players can still choose to be matched up with others on the same platform as themselves if they so wish.
Few MOBA games have transitioned to console and experienced as much immense success as their PC counterparts, but simply seeing those two bars placed in the center of the screen gave me hope for Gigantic. Peripheral input aside, playing a MOBA game on a sizeable television screen is a very different experience to playing it on PC. Important information such as health and stamina could be easily lost in the interface on a bigger screen, but Motiga's design has resulted in a HUD that places everything you need to see, where it is the quickest for your eyes to see it.
When the character levelled up, the pop-up descriptive text for the skill choices on offer did not take up a lot of screen space nor was it difficult to read. Gigantic uses a branching skill-tree as an alternative to items, which typically provide an option to change up the way a character can be played in most MOBA games.
Not that there was a lack of action being showcased; according to Phinney, the goal is to have matches run for 15 minutes on average. This will be helped by the fast pace set by the combat in Gigantic, which was as colourful as it was frenetic. While having ten players duke it out on the battlefield brought with it some rather chaotic moments, it was when the colossal guardians went head-to-head that the situation felt like it really escalated. Like King Kong versus Godzilla, seeing the two giant guardians clash made the hero seem so small and insignificant by comparison.
With the promise of quick matches, a colourful setting, and epic-scale battles, I am interested to see what Gigantic can bring to the Xbox One in particular. Its control-scheme and interface make me hopeful that it will be the game that bring a new take on the MOBA genre to the console and experiences success there. Gigantic will launch its beta phase this August, with the full game to be released sometime this year.