Back when the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were announced, there was a game announced for both devices that was meant to use iOS 8's Metal graphics to utilize them to the fullest. It was called Vainglory, and we got our first taste of it at the special Apple event back in September. It's a special MOBA that's finally been rolled out to the US and several other countries, and as one of the most hotly-anticipated titles of the year, it's smartly living up to the hype surrounding it and showing that even mobile MOBAs can still be a hot property.
Vainglory is easily one of the best-looking titles on the App Store, with lush and gorgeous environments, meticulously detailed characters, and a strong selection of MOBA characteristics that make it a joy to play. You take three members of a team and do your best to attack the enemy base, with squads taking their battle solely online. Once one squad destroys the crystal located at the other's base, they've won.
You and your squadmates face up against enemy armaments like turrets and other strategically placed defenses in order to push through and conquer. You've even got minions to do your dirty work, and there's plenty of it to go around. Winning matches and pulling off impressive combos nets you gold, which you can use for upgrades specifically for each match, as well as maximizing your special abilities that come in truly short supply.
Each match takes about 30 minutes to complete, and there are already tons of players abound to engage with. It's decadent and satisfying, and though rife with several of the tropes that make up the genre, it's still an absolutely enjoyable experience overall. Played on iPad, it feels nearly flawless, especially given the fact that mobile developers seem to have trouble getting these things right.
Vainglory is free-to-play but instead of limiting how often you can play, it limits the characters you have access to. You'll have to pony up to unlock other characters, and this can be frustrating if you don't feel like you particularly jibe well with a certain characters. There's also no voice chat, which can make things particularly difficult, especially when in the heat of a match and communication is so sorely needed.
Vainglory is an excellent showcase of what can be done with iOS 8's Metal engine, and exemplary of MOBAs in general. It could even go toe to toe with PC releases. For that reason, it's certainly one free-to-play title that you'd do well to download.