Battle for Graxia Review

Battle for Graxia delivers a strong multiplayer online battle arena experience that nudges the genre forward with some innovative features.

You might haphazardly throw phrases like "quick learner" or "strong attention to detail" on your resume, but if those qualities don't actually describe you, good luck getting anywhere with Rise of Immortals: Battle for Graxia. Every match is a lesson in action, reaction, and, if things are going poorly, crisis management. The game is built on the framework of Defense of the Ancients, a popular Warcraft III mod that pits multiple players against each other--hence the term multiplayer online battle arena or MOBA. Battle for Graxia is simple to learn and tough to master, and because every match unfolds differently, you're always adapting and picking up new strategies.

Teaming up is usually the best option, especially for new players.

Excluding a few innovative and welcome features, this is a factory-standard MOBA. Battle for Graxia will instantly feel familiar to those who play League of Legends or the aforementioned DOTA, though it can't yet stand toe-to-toe with those giants of the genre. The pool of a few dozen immortals is woefully small in comparison, though to its credit it manages to stuff a ton of tactical and aesthetic variety into such a short roster. There's Kaos, a stealthy soldier who can be skinned to look like a certain blond, crude first-person shooter action star. Trovoc is a dragon that excels in area denial. Ichorr is a lumbering tree with access to useful support skills that heal allies or snare enemies. This variety serves a great purpose: if you want to be a valuable teammate, one character is sure to have a skill set that will let you contribute. Also, it's hilarious to see a dude with an assault rifle fighting alongside a dragon.

The game makes its characters' strengths and weaknesses visible so you always know what you're getting into. For example, the dwarven sniper Balak is a ranged, single-target damage dealer with high offense and low defense, and he's moderately difficult to play. This information can be consumed in a glance, which is helpful for combating role confusion, especially for new players. Like in many other free-to-play MOBAs, fewer than half of Battle for Graxia's immortals are available for play at a given time. They can be purchased permanently from the in-game store, which is recommended if you find yourself really clicking with a certain character.

The short tutorial explains the basics of movement, attacking, and a few other mechanics, but it doesn't thoroughly address team composition, path management, or any of the deeper MOBA essentials. You can arrange player-versus-environment matches, which are useful for new players and for testing out immortals. However, it quickly becomes clear that AI opponents rarely attack you in the same way a living, breathing foe would. If you're interested in getting better, it's smarter to just participate in player-versus-player games with up to four teammates and review matches with the built-in replay system. It's easy to use, and because you can see what players were doing at all times, it's an invaluable learning tool.

The replay mode makes it easier to learn from your mistakes.

Battle for Graxia's gameplay closely mirrors the systems of its predecessors. That is to say, it's very good, if unoriginal. You're still inching down pathways, or "lanes" in MOBA-speak. You're still taking out the enemies' turrets and eventually their main base. Creeps, both friendly and hostile, still stream ahead and clash, gaining and losing ground as forces ebb and flow. Matches are tense encounters that require you to think about item choice, geographic positioning, micro-movements, and skill management. Communication is key, and you always have to consider your next move. Handling all of this at once is challenging, and hectic.

Every character has a standard lineup of combat skills, but each also has a one-time-use signature skill that can turn the tide of battle. It should be used only in dire situations when a conventional victory doesn't look feasible. One of the coolest is an ionic plasma strike that scorches everything in a huge radius. Another buffs the entire team with invisibility and grants the caster more striking power. The inclusion of these super abilities sets Battle for Graxia apart and adds a constant layer of tension to each encounter. After all, even your strongest, most well-coordinated assault could be stalled at the press of a button. Or, knowing your enemy just wasted a signature move, you might be emboldened to attack in a way that you weren't attacking before.

As you spend time away from your base attacking enemies, you earn coins to spend on items that increase your stats. The store is crowded and complex to such a degree that searching through it during a match can be a serious detriment to your team. You can view the store outside of a live game and tag your favorite items for easy access, but this option is hidden deep within the real-money store at the main menu. It doesn't make sense to bury such an important element of the game within a shop that many players might never visit. Also, the static art style might throw off inexperienced players at first. Why should you buy a bow to increase the stats of your sniper rifle? Why does your character still swing an axe even though you just purchased a hammer? To their credit, item upgrades have been simplified. Unlike in DOTA, where items can be combined, Battle for Graxia's weapons and armor scale linearly. It's a small design choice that keeps you out of menus and in the action.

Knocking on the enemy's front door.

Most impressively, Battle for Graxia includes a new mode that alleviates one of the MOBA genre's biggest problems: quitters. Whether because of a poor connection or just a good old-fashioned rage quit, a team that loses a member is instantly at a severe disadvantage. Battle for Graxia's white knight system draws kind, queued players into a game to replace missing immortals. Leaving doesn't seem to be a huge issue in the community so far, but when it happens, a white knight is quickly and reliably sent in. Most of the time, you probably won't notice that someone left in the first place.

Despite a few oddities like single-use skills and linear item progression, Rise of Immortals: Battle for Graxia doesn't steer battle arenas in an innovative new direction. Instead, it feels like developer Petroglyph took its hands off the wheel and nobly focused on the leaks in the MOBA boat. Players are upset about other players leaving? Let a new player join. People want access to a fast, simple replay system so they can study matches? Let's include one. It may not be the most varied game of its type, but it's very good, and it's bent on leaving the genre in better condition than it was found in.

The Good
Good variety of characters for any style of play
Item progression is easy to grasp
Persistent bonuses make your character unique to you
White-knight system lessens rage-quit frustration
Built-in replay functionality is great for players looking to improve
The Bad
Store is crowded and difficult to browse
Important information is hidden deep within confusing menus
7.5
Good
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48 comments
petez34
petez34

7.5/10 for this? orly. GS get your act straight and start writing professional reviews please.

annahid
annahid

I particularly like the graphics.

Leonagard
Leonagard

Guardians LOTR is better than those old MOBAS set on the same principle as DOTA...

fjawodfc
fjawodfc

Multiplayer-only games are stupid.

yomonkey
yomonkey

I understand these games are all about nuance and subtlety but at a glance they all look the same. Aside from the lotr one and the upcoming DC moba, they all seem to be set in homogeneous warcraft 3 derived fantasy settings. I know that's where the genre got its start, but some diversity visually and terms of setting might really help these games to differentiate themselves from one another.  

June-GS
June-GS

Hmm, okay.  I'm at least interested. How's the graphics, BTW?

Punizher
Punizher

so instead of commenting if this game is worth playing or talk about the review, kids got nothing else to do than spam comments with whats MOBa and LoL VS Dota :| this community....

Dizzy1976
Dizzy1976

I wish they would make more 3rd person action mobas like Smite.


The point and click types bore me to death.

And why do all the maps have to be exactly the same? Why can't they play with the lane configurations and what not?

wizardboyus
wizardboyus

the term "moba" is such a vague description of the genre, but i guess it's all we got..other than "dota clone"

minhnodda
minhnodda

I hope Resident evil:  the evil within will be a great game. DMC is great besides the character dante self. common dante having sex with strippers and live in a trailer. WTF. this is the guy who love pizza and has one liners in previous game. I think capcom has great games.

wexorian
wexorian

Still waiting fo Re review league of legends

WarL0rdzz
WarL0rdzz

I want a AAA star wars moba... Would turn our great... Stormtroopers/clones or droids woul be the creeps, Rankor would be Kongor/Roshan, Towers would be... towers. So much fun that would be. This is a shitty game... Dota/Hon/LoL is enough, if you cant make a game match those then don't make it.

Wensea10
Wensea10

It is amazing to see more multiplayer online battle arena games.

publius10
publius10

So is Riot gonna sue these guys to hell or what?

Dsolow5
Dsolow5

MOBA is an idiotic term. I wish people would stop using it. Game sounds good, but it's more than a little late to the party.

June-GS
June-GS

@wizardboyus So true, sir. My friends and I were just having a discussion the other day about how stupid the term actually is. It doesn't actually define the gameplay or anything in particular, or distinguish the genre or subgenre from the others. Heck, it doesn't even sound cool. Whoever coined it should be shot or hanged, 'coz now, we're stuck with it forever.

lingo56
lingo56

@wizardboyus We also have Action RTS or ARTS which Valve created to call Dota 2.

lingo56
lingo56

@wexorian Won't happen, go to another site for that GameSpot doesn't review games after updates. Which is why Valve isn't releasing Dota 2 yet because they want the game to be completely done for newcomers and for reviewers so that the game doesn't get canned just because there's content that they want to add through updating the game.

lingo56
lingo56

@Dsolow5 Why Valve uses the Action RTS label for these kind of games.

CCGR_Pheonix
CCGR_Pheonix

@Dsolow5 Just go with Action RTS. Actualy describes somewhat accurately. That's what Valve uses for DotA 2.

publius10
publius10

@Atheosis @publius10 I have no idea what dota looks like, but based on screenshots this is completely identical to LoL in every single way - I'm surprised it wasn't made by Zynga

Jaxith
Jaxith

@CCGR_Pheonix @Dsolow5 The major flaw with Action RTS over MOBA is that MOBA covers all games in the genre.  Action RTS doesn't fit certain games like SMITE, Awesomenauts, and Super Monday Night Combat because they don't actually have anything one would think of when considering an RTS game.  MOBA is a fitting term for the genre, which while being predominantly RTS-style oriented, is not confined by it.

Atheosis
Atheosis

@CCGR_Pheonix @Dsolow5 The Battlezone series were Action RTSs.  Action RTS is not a new term.  These games have virtually no RTS elements so Action RTS is even worse than MOBA in terms of accurately describing them.

Dsolow5
Dsolow5

@Saketume @Dsolow5 "Battle Arena" isn't descriptive at all. Tons of online games have battles and arenas. It doesn't effectively describe the genre.

lingo56
lingo56

@publius10 @BuBsay Well no one really copied anyone, some of the original Riot team came from Dota so it was their idea to begin with. And really, we're talking about companies suing other companies.

publius10
publius10

@BuBsay I'm not debating whether LoL is a carbon copy of dota or warcraft 3 or whatever, because i've never seen those games. If it is then Blizzard or whoever should have sued Riot when they first started, though i think that ship has long since sailed. But this, this is like literally the exact same game. .

wizardboyus
wizardboyus

@Fia1 @red666devil @BuBsay blizzard didn't make dota, they made Warcraft 3. dota was just a custom game built by WC3 players way back in the day...those were the days :[

chano880
chano880

@Fia1 @red666devil @BuBsay No they couldn't. You can't just copyright ideas all out of the blue. And battle.net and Pvp.net are nothing alike.


I do agree that at first LoL seemed like a obvious copy of the original DOTA but even that wasn't blizzard's, it just used their engine and assets.

Blizzard would easily lost the case if they tried.

Fia1
Fia1

@red666devil @BuBsay also Riot copied Blizzard's world of warcraft GUI overall design/ skill trees/ PVP.net is a rip off from Battle.net. Blizzard could have easily sued them back in the day for all the shameless copy they did over Blizzard's games and servers, but they were a simple bottom of the barrel company back there. it might not be a carbon copy but it is a copy of ideas/characters/design/UI and even names here and there, they made profit from an empty market with a stream main game

red666devil
red666devil

@BuBsay First of all. LOL is not a carbon copy of LOL. There are alot of elements which are missing. And even more which are newly implemented in LOL.

LOL and Dota belong to a MOBA genre. As you cannot compare a COD, BF3, or any other FPS game saying, that they are carbon copy of Wolf3D, cause they use crosshair and shoot guns. Similarly Dota and LOL are not the same.

BuBsay
BuBsay

Except by that analogy Riot would be Zynga as LoL is just a carbon copy of DotA.

lingo56
lingo56

@Jaxith @CCGR_Pheonix @Dsolow5 Yeah, there needs to be a redone name for the genre. I mean if you can call, Call of Duty a MOBA by the name of the genre even if it plays nothing like it there's something wrong with the name.

wizardboyus
wizardboyus

@pal_080 @Total_mischief yea when i  heard the word "moba" i thought it was referring to games like unreal tournament or quake...games whose main features are multiplayer online battle arenas..

pal_080
pal_080

@Total_mischief  I wouldn't call it stupid but it is pretty nondescript...  An "online battle arena" could describe just about anything at all in the multi-player space.  I've never known what to expect when I hear of a game as a "MOBA" anyway...

Total_mischief
Total_mischief

@Dsolow5 @Saketume It's, technically, RTSMOBA. It's a sub-genre of the traditional RTS. The RTS is implied when you say MOBA, so no, it's not stupid and no it shouldn't be changed.

Flamewolf75
Flamewolf75

@Dsolow5 @Saketume It's kind of a thing that they expect you to know. Yeah, it is vague but most people recognize what it means when they see it.

Rise of Immortals: Battle for Graxia More Info

  • Released
    • PC
    Rise of Immortals: Battle for Graxia (formerly know just as Rise of Immortals) is an online free-to-play PC game.
    5.8
    Average User RatingOut of 56 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Rise of Immortals: Battle for Graxia
    Developed by:
    Petroglyph
    Published by:
    Petroglyph
    Genres:
    Strategy, MOBA
    Not yet assigned a final ESRB rating. Appears only in advertising, marketing and promotional materials related to a game that is expected to carry an ESRB rating, and should be replaced by a game's rating once it has been assigned.
    Rating Pending
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