Pokémon UNITE is The Pokémon Company's newest game in its franchise, and it now hits the MOBA scene. As the powerhouse MOBA of League of Legends is the gold standard for the genre, it begs the question, does Pokémon UNITE play like League of Legends?
Is Pokémon UNITE Like League of Legends?
The short answer for if the game plays like League of Legends is: sort of.
There are some key differences that would otherwise make it very similar to it. But, in the current state of the game for its current platform, it's a bit more like its mobile version of the game instead, League of Legends: Wild Rift, just simpler.
Though it does differ from League of Legends, the game hits all of the checkboxes of what makes a game a MOBA. It offers PvP, there are objectives to take that help a team win a game, players have abilities to take down others and there are various classes of characters that represent different roles. All the makings of a MOBA as a core concept of the game.
However, where the games start to stray away from each other is what those objectives are and how others interact with each other on the map.
There are two ways to win, either destroy all of the enemy goal zones or having a team outscore the opponents by the end of the countdown timer.
Instead of turrets, there are goal zones, and the point of them is to gather as much "Aeos energy" as possible by defeating the wild Pokémon on the map - similar to that of jungle creeps in League of Legends - in which that Aeos energy can be slam-dunked into the goal zone. The goal zones have "health points" in which each amount of Aeos energy that is absorbed will be reduced from the enemy goal zone when scored in. All of this is coupled with a 10-minute n-game timer that ends the game if all of the goal zones aren't destroyed.
When destroying the enemy goal zones, the strategy comes as the team has to advance closer to the enemy's base, which can be a bit difficult especially since the respawn timers can be short.
The Pokémon all have staple abilities to choose from and although the animations aren't exactly up to par with the bigger MOBAs in the market, it's an interesting take on the current state of the genre and how League of Legends isn't necessarily the best one to play if someone wants to have fun. Plus, there's Pokémon in it too.
On top of that, Pokémon UNITE is only available on the Nintendo Switch at the moment and a future release for mobile devices. So if players are wanting to play this game on their high-end PC, well, they're going to have to settle and buy a Nintendo Switch or just wait until it goes live on phones.
Though it can be considered a watered-down experience of League of Legends, fans of Pokémon and MOBAs alike can sit down and enjoy this game casually for a refreshing take on the Pokémon series.