Supervive Playtest / First Impressions Preview

I got to play the Supervive playtest on day one, and found myself pleasantly surprised.
Supervive Featured

I got the opportunity to play Supervive, a brand-new experimental MOBA that just entered its early access playtest this weekend. Billed as an exciting new experience made by veterans of some of the most popular online titles, Supervive is most certainly something special. It shows promise already in its incredibly early state.

Supervive is a MOBA that claims to have been made by developers from League of Legends, Overwatch, and Apex Legends. While I don’t know who these specific developers are, judging from the product itself, I wouldn’t doubt it. The game is a heavily stylized, post-apocalyptic, futuristic, techno-fantasy game that combines elements of the MOBA, battle royale, and hero shooter genres into one colorful mix that works better than one might expect.

Oh, and for clarification, I’ve taken the liberty of blocking out the usernames in my screenshots of this game. I wasn’t actually planning on reviewing this when I signed up for the playtest, and I don’t want strangers on the internet linking back to my username on other games, nor do I want this for the strangers I played with.

Supervive Stats
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

You start a Supervive match by queuing up with your favorite character selected. Still, you’ll get the chance to choose a different one if you’d like in a pre-match lobby that displays a cool little cinematic animation as each member of your squad locks in. Animations and cinematic moments are something that Supervive does incredibly well, especially for the genre, but that’s something I’ll touch on a bit more later. Once you’ve locked in, your squad is then queued up to find a match; I don’t know if I love the game having two separate queues (finding a team and then finding a match), but I would have to see what the game looks like with more players to judge if it’s a significant drain on time.

After your squad finds a match, you drop in to the map like in Apex Legends, Fortnite, or other battle royales. Something thankfully excluded from this process is the lengthy drop times some games in the genre can have. In Supervive, you just launch straight down, and you’re in the action immediately.

Supervive Drop
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

Like in any MOBA or Hero-Shooter, each character in Supervive comes with their own abilities: A main attack stylized as your weapon on the left mouse button, one or two damaging or utility abilities, a dash ability, and an ultimate. The complexity of these abilities varies per character, with Brall seemingly being the most mechanically complex hero in the game (which is fitting for someone taking a sword to a gunfight). Unlike most MOBAs, however, Supervive does not feature lanes, minions, or an item shop.

Instead, as you would in a battle royale, you roam the wide-open map from your drop point, looking for loot and enemies. Various NPC monsters exist instead of minions that can be killed for experience points and items. Items are far less complicated or specialized: Each pickup applies a flat increase to two stats, with most items increasing the same stat (ability power), so you can’t really go wrong with your build. Killing more NPCs or players drops duplicates of the items, automatically picked up to make your build stronger.

When PVP happens, it’s fast, chaotic, and exciting; Players usually go down in three to four good hits, there are no long CC abilities – though you can get chained by a well-coordinated team – and encounters feel fairly even across the different character classes. The use of escape moves, healing items, and the fact that aim is important can make fights tense and feel longer than they are (usually not lasting more than a minute.) When you do go down, you can be revived by your teammate, or you can get executed by your foes in some really cool finisher animations.

Supervive Finisher
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

In contrast, I feel like the matches can feel really slow outside of PVP. This is sort of just a trait of the battle royale genre as a whole, and players can easily find themselves spending a lot of time just running around and looting before finding a player fight. Or they can land in an area with ten other teams and really duke it out.

Any MOBA or Hero-Shooter is made or broken by its cast of characters. I often find myself having trouble investing in a game because I can’t get interested in any of the playable cast. This is not an issue with Supervive.

While I’m usually more into the fantasy genre, Supervive has some really cool designs that I seriously get down with. You can probably tell from my use of screenshots in my review who my favorites are, but even in the game’s beta playtest, they have a solid cast of characters, and I’m excited to see what comes next.

Supervive Kingpin
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

This cast is carried a lot by the game’s art direction, which I will downright say is excellent. Sure, the future-esque Valorant / Overwatch / Apex style is a little overused and sure, the game has a bit of a “same-face-syndrome” problem with its female characters that we see in a lot of games these days, but the use of colors is super unique (a lot of purples and blues and toned-down vibrancies) and everything is incredibly animated.

Goodness, I love how animated the game is. It features a ton of squash-and-stretch as well as other animation techniques to really make finishers, intro animations, and characters in general just feel super alive, super animated, and cartoony in a way I feel the genre needs right now.

Supervive Lobby
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

If I could complain about just one thing, I’d say the game overuses current memes and internet jokes, which you can see in abundance in the progression track. That’s sort of nitpicky, but I’d like to see the game build on its own humor if it wants to go that route. A lot of these jokes are going to be dated in six months, and it’s not a great idea to build your game around popular, fleeting humor.

Overall, Supervive is a fun, interesting take on multiple genres of game, and one that I think is sure to stand out amongst the crowd. If the game continues to receive the level of dedication and creativity its developers have shown in the game’s launch, we’re sure to have something special on our hands for the long run.

Pros:

  • A great take on multiple gameplay genres, combined into one unique experience
  • Fast paced, tense PVP combat
  • Great characters, art, and a wealth of animation that makes the game cinematic and exciting

Cons:

  • An overuse of ‘internet humor’ that can make the game feel dated in about six months if they aren’t careful
  • Some genre-specific issues, such as the low-energy points in battle royale games.
Erik Hodges

Erik Hodges

Erik Hodges is a hobby writer and a professional gamer, at least if you asked him. He has been writing fiction for over 12 years and gaming practically since birth, so he knows exactly what to nitpick when dissecting a game's story. When he isn't reviewing games, he's probably playing them.

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