I’ve logged about 13 hours in DOTA 2 beta in the past couple of days. Without a doubt, this is a quality production. The feel of DOTA is there, and when I say DOTA I actually mean Defense of the Ancients and not “MOBA.” There are a few beta-like glitches with sound, but for the most part the entire game feels remarkable polished. A few traits stand out.
There’s something to be said for the truly wonderful multiplayer experience Valve has crafted. It feels like the original Battle.net and in many ways looks like it too. Your Steam friends are listed right on the UI and those playing DOTA are highlighted separately. Forming groups and/or inviting to games is also seamless and equally spectacular because of Steam.
Graphics and Performance
The game is beautiful and runs how I wish every game would run. It even ran remarkably well on the four year old rig I have back at home. The game feels polished — you know that ‘feel’ I’m talking about? It’s like a tangible psychological feeling… like a warm blanket of fuzzy awesomeness that envelopes you and imbues you with mental clarity.
The art design is spot on. Valve went with their classic stylized graphics but captured what I remember about DOTA from Warcraft 3’s engine.
Valve did a great job implementing the heroes currently in the game. There is some artistic license at work with some of the heroes and some of the abilities look and behave slightly different from how I remember them in DOTA1, but for the most part it only took a couple of hours to feel right at home.
DOTA 2 is easily going to take the crown for best MOBA game. I’m extremely curious to see what Valve does with their TF2 style itemization as well as their payment options. Valve has the ability to take this game places that other MOBAs have not and cannot go, because they are Valve.