PSVR gains a competent, competitive first-person MOBA with Megalith
MOBAs are genuinely one of my least favourite video game genres so I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself thoroughly enjoying Megalith; the newest addition to the PSVR’s ever expanding library.
If I had to pinpoint exactly what it was that caused this change of heart, I’d say it was probably the new perspective that VR brings to the genre. Instead of playing from above like some kind of omnipotent being, in Megalith you experience the action in first-person perspective, something that makes the proceedings feel a lot more immediate and exciting.
If you want to see Megalith in action for yourself, you can watch me play through a couple of matches in this week’s episode of Ian’s VR Corner. In the video below, I cover the gameplay basics, demonstrate a couple of the Titans and even manage to do some wins. I know, incredible, right?!.
Megalith’s core gameplay combines classic, 2v2, MOBA-style arena combat with Hero Shooter mechanics. At your disposal are six Titans (although one is currently locked off to anyone who didn’t pre-order the game in order to play the Beta), each with their own special abilities and powerful Ultimate moves. In classic MOBA style, you need to fight your way past minions and defence towers in order to destroy a base on the opposite end of the arena. But of course you’ll be doing all of this whilst also going head-to-head with two hostile Titans who are trying to do the same to your base.
There’s a steep learning curve in your first few matches, but once you’ve got to grips with each Titan’s signature abilities, the tug-of-war gameplay can become quite exhilarating. Especially during that final, frantic push on a stubborn enemy’s base.
Although you can control the Titans with a DualShock, I played Megalith exclusively with two Move controllers and it worked perfectly. Movement speed of the Titans is relatively slow and with smooth locomotion and turning switched on, I was able to glide around the arena with zero discomfort. Abilities are activated using the trigger and face buttons on the dominant hand’s Move controller and selecting the right one for the right circumstance becomes second nature once you’ve learned their positioning.
Having independent control of both of your arms is also a plus with dual Move controllers, especially during moments when you need to revive your partner. To do this you have to place your non-dominant hand on their body for five seconds, like a concerned parent mopping the brow of a sickly child. This method allows you to defend yourself with your free hand at the same time. It’s a small thing but it’s one that adds an awesome sense of physicality to the proceedings.
The barriers to entry for Megalith are relatively high, however. Aside from a training mode where you can practice your skills in unranked matches there are no other tutorials available to explain things like summoning Heavy Minions or the manual reloading of certain weapons.
This, coupled with a player base that consists mainly of experienced players who learned the ropes during Beta, makes your first few matches pretty overwhelming. Thankfully, as Megalith relies heavily on teamwork, your partner will often have a microphone and in my experience players are generally quite happy to show you the ropes.
But here lies the real issue with Megalith. Empty lobbies meant I often struggled to find a full match, even during this, Megalith’s launch week. Because of this players are often dropped into matches with basic AI partners, something that’s practically a death sentence if you’re put up against two human players, no matter what their current skill level.
With only one small arena available at present, there’s also not a huge amount of variety here and the mirrored battleground quickly starts to feel stale. It’s only the strength of the gameplay that keeps things interesting, but for how long remains to be seen.
The hefty asking price of £24.99 can’t be doing Megalith many favours at this time of the year either, especially considering the bare bones content on offer. It’s real shame because Megalith is great fun and deserves to be played but I do feel like this is contributing to the lack of players. Perhaps once the price lowers or some new maps drop things will pick up a bit, but I suspect the only outcome that can boost Megalith’s player base now is a swift addition to Playstation Plus.
If you enjoyed this episode of Ian’s VR Corner, you can catch up with my previous adventures over on YouTube in our VR playlist, where I get silly with Kona VR, Salary Man Escape, The Exorcist: Legion VR, Killing Floor: Incursion, The Persistence, Detached, Pixel Ripped 1989, Rec Royale, Arizona Sunshine, Transference, Zone of The Enders 2, Downward Spiral: Horus Station, Astro Bot Rescue Mission, Evasion, Free-roam Zombie Survival, Home Sweet Home, Paper Dolls, Legends Of Catalonia: The Land Of Barcelona, Beat Saber, Arca’s Path VR, Gungrave VR and Borderlands 2 VR.