pax 2014

Hands-On With Tome: Immortal Arena

by Daniel Tack on Aug 31, 2014 at 11:20 AM

At PAX Prime 2014, I took a dive into Kixeye’s MOBA, Tome: Immortal Arena. As usual, the first thing I wanted to know was what differentiated Tome from the grand deluge of MOBAS that are arriving on the PC scene.

In broad strokes, the gameplay is much faster than many other genre titles - Games last 10-15 minutes, you heal up incredibly fast in lane when you’re out of combat, and you can purchase items in lane and they can be used immediately. In fact, during my demo match I never went back to town at all. This keeps the focus on pushing those lanes down and taking on enemy heroes. In addition, there’s no last hitting in Tome.

Towers in Tome have limited ammunition. Once they’re out of ammo, they simply sit there and wait to go down. This places heavy emphasis on teamplay that rewards push-centric, aggressive play.

The character I played during my hands on time was Orlon, a tanky initiator that had no trouble chasing down foes. With a jump attack as a gap closer, a jump AOE snare, a handy shield that blocks tons of damage and a ranged burst-damage ultimate, I had little issue tearing through opponents and filling my coffers with gold, which I used to purchase a bunch of powerful items right in lane.

There’s a brief channel while purchasing items, so it’s not quite instant, and you can be knocked out of the purchase if you get hit. Since I had no idea what to buy, I simply use the game’s auto-buy feature to pick up reccomended items and upgrades.

The game took around 8 minutes, as the bots I was playing against weren't exactly quality opponents. The game length felt great, sometimes it’s nice to be able to finish a match and move on without the prospect of a 55 minute farmfest. A variety of rewards like skins and other achievements are unlocked via gameplay. You’ll definitely feel right at home in Tome if you’ve played other MOBAs, but its focus on accessible, fast play may make it a suitable title for genre newcomers as well.