Two teams of five fight across three lanes. Three specific types of shop sell sixty different magical items. There are more than a hundred characters to play, and an unknown quantity still to come. Eight types of specific role that you can play as part of your team. It’s safe to say that Dota 2 is a game of numbers.

Despite Valve’s best efforts to ease players in gently, Dota 2 is an inherently overwhelming game. The first few hours of this MOBA are relentlessly bemusing, but after that the difficulty curve becomes smoother - giving you a tangible sense of how you’ll get better.

Each match tends to last somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour, offering vast amounts of entertainment if you’ve got the time. Lengthy games can cause frustration when things aren’t going well, however, which is the main source of Dota 2’s rep for breeding a virulent strain of internet dick.

Losing isn’t frustrating if you’re learning something new, and getting to know every character will take roughly 100 hours. It’s also worth mentioning that you really get to know them - the vocal work and animations are superb, giving Dota 2 some of the best character design in gaming.

Over the next 50 hours it becomes clear that Dota 2’s complexity isn’t pointless PC-RPG-posturing. Every character, skill, and item serves a purpose. It’s a pleasant surprise to find that its depth doesn’t damage the clarity of the design.

Gold buys you items and XP levels characters up, but in contrast to the messy fashion in which the RPG genre has incrementally evolved, Dota 2’s purity shines. Whilst too impenetrable to entice non-savvy spectators, there’s no doubting the game’s quality as an E-sport.

You’ll need knowledge, skill, and a smidge of spider-sense. Friends to learn with are a must, and don’t be deceived by the lack of a pricetag: Dota 2 will cost you hundreds of hours.

Played for 600 hours. Click here to read about VideoGamer.com's new review policy.

9 / 10

  • Incredible depth
  • Everything serves a purpose
  • Some of the best characters in games
  • Will be too much for some

New stuff to check out

7 Comments

To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

fatalmeta's Avatar

fatalmeta

this game is pretty awesome, you can take pleasure from it while playing with friends, but there will be no pleasure if you lose, so better learn it before you start playing, best idea is to watch some streams, for example on WePlay you can find a lot of different dota 2 streams, but you can find them also on twitch
Posted 16:14 on 05 March 2014
BC_Animus's Avatar

BC_Animus

Not a big fan of MOBAs to be honest. Played League of Legends a while back - think I spent about 20 hours on there. The game itself was interesting, and I can see the appeal of the genre I think, but the community was unfriendly and unforgiving as hell. The bulk of the time I spent in there I was either being ganked, being yelled at, or spent unsuccessfully trying to work as a team with players who just don't seem to care.

I'm sad to say that for a regular/rubbish gamer like myself, online games like these just ain't much fun at all.
Posted 01:42 on 27 July 2013
Supra_Hans's Avatar

Supra_Hans

To be fair I've put about 25 hours in so far, mainly playing with randomers online and have generally been enjoying it. It reminds me a bit of learning counterstrike in a way - pretty unforgiving at first, but every now and then you have a game where everything works and you play well and it's an incredibly rewarding experience - I can appreciate that it would be a lot more fun with friends, but while I've not yet managed to persuade them to get involved, I'm enjoying it just fine.
Posted 19:06 on 26 July 2013
Endless's Avatar

Endless

So not only do we need 3 friends willing to put an equal amount of effort in to the same game, but also enough time to learn the game, the equipment build orders, skill progression build orders and thats before making sure you can all find a character that you like that fits the team.

Thats my biggest pain in MOBAs that a team requires a certain level of balance in characters rolls and no matter how much you love your favourite character, if it doesn't fit in the team you're in then tough luck, pick another.

It strikes me as a sport first and foremost. And a game second. Most sports you can just have fun: kick a football around, bat a tennis ball against a wall and still improve. MOBAs on the other hand seem to require a large amount of preparation, organisation and communication to even learn, let alone compete.

Seems like a fairly unreasonable barrier to entry for me. I know of one person I could potentially rely on to play a game with on a regular basis. Everyone else flits from game to game with reckless abandon, usually more of the abandon :P
Posted 16:59 on 26 July 2013
Graboot's Avatar

Graboot

Can't wait to play this now it's (officially) out on Mac. Just hope it doesn't destroy my life...
Posted 14:12 on 26 July 2013
Jam_Sponge's Avatar

Jam_Sponge@ FantasyMeister

I can't stand sports, so yeah - dunno!
Posted 14:00 on 26 July 2013
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

Hate to admit it but I just don't get it. But then I've never been into sports games so I guess it's something to do with that.
Posted 12:32 on 26 July 2013

Game Stats

Dota 2
9
Out of 10
Dota 2
  • Incredible depth
  • Everything serves a purpose
  • Some of the best characters in games
  • Will be too much for some
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 01/01/2012
Platform: PC
Developer: Valve
Publisher: Valve
Genre: Unknown
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 323 23
View Full Site