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Supervive may be the reason I quit League of Legends

League of Legends style MOBAs come and go, seldom leaving an impact, but Supervive may be the one to finally tear me away from Runeterra.

A green-skinned woman with a blue mohawk-style haircut stands pointing two guns towards the camera

I’ve been playing League of Legends for far too long. It’s the game that inspired me to get into news writing in the first place, and the one shining light during the darkness that the COVID-19 pandemic cast over the supposed ‘best years of my life.’ And yet, my relationship with it remains complex; at the moment, I just can’t bring myself to love it like I used to. So, in its absence, my eyes wandered over to Supervive (formerly Project Loki), the all-new MOBA experience from Theorycraft Games. I’ve been watching its progress for the past few months and recently had the chance to take it for a spin myself. After hours of pure, unadulterated chaos, I can confirm it may be the game that finally steals me away from League.

If you haven’t seen Supervive before, it’s essentially a mashup of League of Legends, Apex Legends, and Smash. Akin to Apex and Fortnite, you drop into the map instead of spawning somewhere randomly. From here, you gear up, hunt down your opponents, and obliterate them using League of Legends-esque abilities, while simultaneously dodging the ever-encroaching storm ring. You can choose from a roster of varied characters (or Hunters), each bringing their own unique skills to the MOBA’s ever-changing battlefield.

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As we load in and prepare to yeet ourselves out of the dropship, I’m immediately reminded of Fortnite. The colorful map visuals and names like Kaiju Korpse are reminiscent of Epic’s battle royale, but the map itself looks notably different. Supervive’s perspective is top-down like League, and each zone has its own special characteristics. Frozen Temple and Frozen Waste, for example, feature breakable ice that you’ll need to leap from to avoid a watery death.

Speaking of environments, one of the things I love about Supervive is its verticality. You can gain the high ground, zip over chasms at your own risk, and dodge behind terrain. One of the things that bothers me about League or Dota 2 is that they’re both set on a linear playing field. Supervive, by contrast, is more dynamic and fluid – it feels like you’re playing a game, versus clicking buttons really quickly.

Two characters jump over an icy pond in a top-down MOBA

As I’ve also alluded to, though, the terrain doesn’t always work to your advantage. My duo partner, animation director Jesse Davis, warns me that if you’re hit while soaring over one of the vast canyons, you’ll be spiked into the abyss and sent to your death. While I heed his advice and try to stay safe, an unexpected ambush ends in me getting cast down into the depths, never to be seen again.

Except, that’s not the case. Just like in Apex, surviving players can bring their allies back into the fray using various beacons scattered across the map. While it’s nothing new, it’s a cool idea that I’ve never seen implemented in a MOBA before, and I made use of it many, many times.

A player flies in a futuristic setting, viewed from the top down

While I’m a support main in League of Legends I, of course, decided to go all guns blazing and pick up Shiv, a glass cannon assassin, and Huntress, an archer akin to League’s Ashe. Huntress provided me with the safety I needed in the first few rounds, but switching to Shiv was a pure adrenaline rush (I played a mean Akali once upon a time). I was darting in and out of the fray, finally getting used to her mechanics when I got squished by a massive train. Who put those there?

You see, every time you drop into Supervive, something changes. Matches often have modifiers that can switch up terrain elements and cause absolute havoc. In this instance, it added three high-speed bullet trains that the overarching storm is attracted to, meaning that the final rings would always have a train running through them. This led to some seriously impressive endgame teamfights, where players were forced to dodge the screeching locomotive and, of course, their enemies. It’s clever, innovative, and genuinely exciting – our entire team would scream “TRAIN” anytime one came near. Safe to say, by the end of our run, we did not, in fact, like trains.

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But there’s so much more to Supervive’s map than just choo-choos and chasms. While gameplay is inherently PvP, there are PvE elements scattered around that can help you level up. As day changes to night, new terrors appear to challenge you, and vicious world bosses spawn across the map for you to defeat.

There are also a slew of vaults, each containing high-tier gear, but these take quite a bit of time to crack open. It’s absolutely worth the effort, but it leaves you vulnerable to being backdoored, so you’ll need to keep your eyes on your surroundings, not just on the prize.

The gear system generally is a welcome respite from repeatedly buying the same items, but it is quite complex. Given my time with the playtest was relatively short, I wasn’t exactly theorycrafting mega-busted, super-broken one-shot builds; I was running whatever made sense. For newer players, I worry that the sheer volume of gear (and systems in general) may prove overwhelming, but for those who spend hours researching new ways to splatter your enemies, Supervive has you covered. For me, where Dota 2 is a more complex League, Supervive is a more complex Dota 2.

A group of superhero style character in a top-down videogame fight to break open a vault area

Despite its initial intricacies, though, Supervive is incredibly fun. It fuses MOBAs and battle royale games in a way that’s innovative yet fun and punishing yet exciting. The skill ceiling is going to be high, but the explosive team fights make the steep learning curve worthwhile.

If you’re looking to try it out for yourself, a new Supervive playtest is set to begin on Thursday, June 27, running through to Thursday, July 4. Note that slots are limited, so it’s worth tuning into some Supervive Twitch streams, where access will be available via random drops. You can check out all of the info here.

Fresh, innovative, and fun, Supervive is an exciting take on a genre that has largely grown stale. Only time will tell if it can match LoL – after all, the latest League of Legends mode is exciting – but I’m quietly optimistic. I want to see a fresh rivalry blossom in a stagnating space that will hopefully be forced to evolve to keep up with this plucky new adventure.