This is the Heroes of Newerth team's take on the "second generation" of MOBAs.
When we think of the current generation of MOBAs, we think of games like Heroes of Newerth. It's fitting, then, that HoN's developer, S2 Studios, is now heading up what they hope will be the second generation. They today announced that they are developing Strife, a new MOBA with community-driven, story-based design.
The narrative aspect of Strife sounds rather unique - admittedly, it's something that doesn't inform other MOBAs beyond the usual elf-laden fantasy setting, though Strife is attempting to use backstory to bolster the connection that players have with their heroes. Harbingers of darkness, known as the Dharkwave, promise to rend the world - and it's up to an Army of Light to prove themselves worthy of facing these baddies. There's not much info on the very specifics of the gameplay yet, but we do know that S2 are seeking to innovate MOBAs a bit.
Seeking to encourage teamwork, for instance, Strife is attempting to rejuvenate the genre by including in-client social systems and rewards for team collaboration. It also wishes to upend its notorious reputation for being a game for hardcore players - Strife is designed to provide instructive and informative feedback to guide newcomers and veterans alike through the game.
"We've learned a great deal about this maturing genre through a wide range of analytical studies and experience," says S2 CEO Marc DeForest. "For Strife, we want to take MOBAs to the next level, utilizing our resources to blend the processes of game development and player engagement to create a more enjoyable experience that grows the community and evolves the idea of what MOBAs can be."
S2 is currently the only studio with two MOBAs in development. Strife has an estimated release window of this winter. The below teaser doesn't reveal anything in the way of gameplay, but it does feature what appears to be a guy wearing a fairly cool bird mask. For a chance at the upcoming closed beta, head on over to the Strife website.