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E3 2015 – King of Wushu Hands-On Preview: MOBA-Fu

MOBA, or Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, is a term that really seems to have taken off in recent years. With the success of games such as League of Legends and DOTA, it was only a matter of time before they started coming to consoles. Enter King of Wushu, a PC and PS4 game that looks to take that MOBA formula and expand on it to create a wonderful console experience. I recently sat down at Snail Games’ booth to try it out.

Right off the bat, King of Wushu feels different from past MOBA games I’ve played because it has a very rich backstory to it. The game takes place in the background of ancient China, during the Ming Dynasty. Wushu focuses on martial arts and it shows up in everything; from the players attacks down to their clothing. Players take on the role of one of 15 unique and powerful fighters, with each being a part of a famous school of traditional Kung Fu.

King of Wushu at first glance might seem similar to games like League of Legends, but in actuality, they play very different from each other. In my demo time with the game, I was treated to 5 vs. 5 player and a tutorial. I was told though that they are looking into other modes such as 3 vs. 3 and 6 vs. 6 but that they didn’t have anything definitive yet. At the start of each level, you select your character of choice and then move out to attack various enemy positions, all in an attempt to overtake their main base in the time allowed.

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All characters have four attacks that they will need to level up during a map. These abilities can be leveled up at least four times to maximize their perks, with each level allowing you one point to add to the attack of your choice. Your character will also have two item slots that you can use to equip various buff items. These can be purchased from your main base with money that you gain during the map. All the experience you gain inside each battle can then be used to level up your main profile, gaining you various perks and then pitting you against similarly leveled players.

Where things really start to stand out with King of Wushu is with the Meridian system. Here, you can unlock stat-boosting perks as you level your main profile and then place these boosts at different spots on your body. What this allows for I was told is further customizing the type of characters you take into battle. For instance, you could make a DPS with high support abilities or a tank that does slightly more DPS than normal. I didn’t actually get to see this in action but the idea behind it sounds great.

King of Wushu looks like it could be a real sleeper hit for the PlayStation 4, though a lot depends on just how much new content is constantly pumped out. Look for King of Wushu when it releases on the PlayStation 4 as a free-to-Play game sometime in the future.