"No, not the nerd expo" explains Julian Rizzo-Smith
In the past, developer Primal Game Studio has referred to Supernova as a MOBA/RTS hybrid, a statement that could be construed as being more than a bit muddled given how MOBA gameplay arose from RTS. With a little digging, however, it makes complete sense: Supernova is bringing elements of RTS gameplay back to a genre that had previously excised them. On the surface, it looks like a sci-fi take on a traditional three lane MOBA, with teams of five taking each other on to destroy the enemy’s base. Dig a little deeper, though, and Supernova reveals itself to be a whole lot more.
Whereas MOBAs tend towards the micro in terms of control, with players doing little more than controlling their character, Supernova brings back elements of the macro planning that comes with RTS games. Players not only control their characters and cooldowns but also a tech tree and economy for building minions to send in waves at the enemy.
It’s an interesting little wrinkle that gives identity to the game. Rather than using in-game currency to buy equipment and upgrades, Supernova instead features a personal upgrade system, with experience accrued through battle used to upgrade stats and abilities, RPG style.
The different types of units available for construction all have different strengths and weaknesses, so deciding what set of units are best for your lane is paramount to smooth play. If the enemy is concentrating on infantry it could be advantageous to build some flying units to take them out relatively safely. Of course this could leave your units very vulnerable to anti-air or turret attacks, leaving the commander alone to try and advance a push.
The game utilises a traditional three lane MOBA setup with jungling, spawns to kill for powerups, and the like. This lends Supernova a powerful sense of familiarity despite the fact that the resource management and building mechanics distance the game from others in the style. At its current stage it’s a fun and relatively fast moving affair that contains both multiplayer and single player vs bots to get you familiar with maps, spawns and play styles. The game will be free to play when it finally releases with some form of microtransactions (most probably the buying of new characters and skins).
The only area in which Supernova really falls flat is in its presentation and story. On the surface it looks like a rudimentary Starcraft II expansion, with all the variety and flash that implies. The two factions, Humans and Cyborgs, are pretty uninteresting as well, with the two sides essentially being humans in robot suits and robots in human suits. It’s a functional premise, and MOBAs are definitely games that don’t really rely on story, but a little more effort with the background would be appreciated.
Supernova has been in open Beta for some time now, so we should expect the final game some-time in early 2017.
Players not only control their characters and cooldowns but also a tech tree and economy for building minions
Oooh, now this is awkward... who gets right of way?