Hi-Rez isn’t exactly a newcomer to the online gaming scene, but they are venturing into new territory with their latest free-to-play adventure: Smite. This time, they attempt to tackle a DOTA-style game running on the Unreal engine. As a seasoned Dota 2 player (“seasoned” here having the meaning of a rookie playing her first season in the big leagues), I could not be more excited.

Scant information is available so far, save for the gameplay teaser trailer and official Facebook page touting its pre-alpha status. Even so, it’s enough to have me refreshing my inbox every few hours and willing a beta invite to appear. Hi-Rez is sure to be more restrictive with beta keys for Smite, however, than they were with a broader game like Tribes: Ascend. After all, anyone can put finger to trigger (virtually, of course) and make his or her way around an FPS battlefield with at least a cursory idea of what’s going on – shoot the baddies, save your buddies, and so on.

Smite, on the other hand, will require more extensive knowledge of MOBAs in order to beta test it properly. This will likely result in a beta pool comprised entirely of non-newbies, who are participating with dual motives of providing feedback to Hi-Rez and gaining an edge over their potential competition who were not so fortunate as to get a beta invite. And considering the hype that Hi-Rez has managed to create around Tribes: Ascend, a free-to-play first person shooter that hasn’t even been released yet, the eSports scene had better watch out. There’s a new competitive game on the rise and it’ll surely hit the ground running.

Be sure to bookmark us here at MMOAttack.com and check back in the coming months to see our staff’s impressions of Smite once the beta hits. You can check out Smite for yourself and sign up for the beta at http://www.smitegame.com.