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Fangs hands on preview – the next Battlerite?

Fangs

The MOBA genre is far from as popular as it was back in its heyday in the early 2010s. While games such as League of Legends, DOTA 2, and even Smite are still going on strong. It’s still a far cry from when new games were joining the market on a near regular basis.

Fangs hopes to change that, led by one of the creative minds who helped create the genre in the first place, Steve “Guinsoo” Feak alongside the team at Hidden Leaf Games. Though unlike the aforementioned titles above, this game hopes to achieve a completely different direction instead of competing directly.

Gone are concepts such as laning and item builds. Instead, Fangs directs its focus towards one major aspect of the MOBA genre: the late game team fighting once everyone’s gotten themselves built up. This isn’t a brand new idea, another notable game known as Battlerite had similar philosophies, but has since been shut down.

At the same time, Fangs is looking to be an entirely new title, not just a carbon copy of something else. This becomes apparent when looking into the details for their main game mode.

Players compete in 4v4 matches, where you can select any character you please. In the full game, these will have to be unlocked, but only through in-game currency that cannot be purchased with real money in any way.

During these 4v4 matches there are two possible win objectives in order to secure a round. Either push the aspect, which is a neutral objective in the middle of the map, all the way to your opponent side – or kill the enemy captain 4 times.

The idea is to create dynamic scenarios and decisions throughout the game, each round, and each match in total. Captains are randomly assigned each round, so it’s likely you’ll become a major target at least once during a game.

These aspects force players to consider their options when it comes to itemization and how they approach combat. This keeps things fresh so one doesn’t fall into a rut of doing the same exact thing game after game, just for the sake of a meta build.

It’s clear Fangs is targeting those who want to challenge their skills while also spending a fair bit of time theory crafting builds and team compositions. Considering Guinsoo’s background, it’s highly likely Fangs is also aiming to make a splash in the esports gaming scene.

And there’s certainly a lot which will separate players when it comes to their skill level. There are a plethora of item choices affecting every characters abilities, some of which are unique to each character, while others come from a pool of common choices.

There are so many combinations to create that players will definitely spend a lot of time experimenting builds to find what suits their needs and styles the best. So while Fangs currently has a limited roster compared to more established MOBAs, they all carry with them a lot of depth when it comes to using them.

When it comes to using them, this is the second part that Fangs is working towards aiming for that competitive crowd. Every ability is a skillshot, there are no autoattacks like in games such as League of Legends or Dota 2.

So there is a high skill ceiling when it comes to who can bring out the most of their character in-game, but there’s also a very high floor at the same time. This can be a bit worrisome for more casual players who are looking for a MOBA with shorter matches compared to the competition.

Ultimately, Fangs will be at the mercy of the size of its playerbase. As with any multiplayer games, it’s no good if no one’s playing. So hopefully their promise of constant updates once the game launches is kept and succeeds in capturing the attention of players.

The same goes for its monetization model, which is important as they do need revenue to continue to support the services and update the game. Fortunately, it’s not pay-to-win as nothing gameplay is put behind a paywall, not even in an optional sense.

There’s a lot of potential with a title such as Fangs for those looking for a game to test their skills, while at the same time providing fresh ideas in the now old MOBA space. All it needs is solid support and a strong community to aid in its growth.

Fangs will be launching in Early Access on November 30, 2022 for PC via Steam and Epic Games Store.

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Got into gaming thanks to a nice old lady who lived across the street. Enjoy most genres of games.