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Hi-Rez Studios has launched the open beta for their MOBA game Smite. All interested gamers in North America and Europe can download the game and start playing immediately for free.
Smite is similar to League of Legends and Dota 2. Two teams of players take on the role of "hero" characters and attempt to destroy the opposing team's base. They'll have to battle the other team's players as well as their A.I. defenses. The characters acquire gold and experience over time that allow them to buy new equipment and earn new abilities, respectively.
One thing that sets Smite apart from its competitors is that all of the "heroes" are established mythological figures. The playable characters range from Norse mythological figures like Thor and Freya to Ares and Hercules from Greek legend. The inclusion of Hindu gods has been met with controversy.
Over 900,000 players have participated in the closed beta. All player progression from earlier testing will carry over into the open beta. Hi-Rez doesn't plan to wipe progression for the official release either. By reaching level 30 in beta, players will unlock a limited edition skin for Ymir at launch.
Hi-Rez has introduced several new features for the start of open beta. The Conquest map's graphics have been enhanced. A new Refer-a-Friend program will encourage players to recruit new blood. New players can now sharpen their skills in practice matches against A.I. opponent Ra. For a look at the game's latest changes, watch the trailer below.