Crytek have announced Arena of Fate, a new 5 vs 5 player MOBA under development for PC and consoles.

The above image may clue you in that there’s a bit more to this thing than the somewhat bland title may suggest, and you’d be right with its roster of heroes comprising of cultural and historical figures rather than the high-fantasy style characters we’ve seen from DOTA and League of Legends.

The game’s website (Where you can sign up for the game’s beta) lists the following playable characters:

  • Fenrir
  • Robin Hood
  • Nikola Tesla (Bowie skin DLC plz!)
  • Joan of Arc
  • Little Red Riding Hood

The press release also lists:

  • Frankenstein
  • Jack the Ripper
  • Baron Munchausen

Quoth Crytek Black Sea’s Managing Director and Game Director Vesselin Handjiev: ” Imagine Joan of Arc and Robin Hood cooperating to hunt down Little Red Riding Hood – Wouldn’t that be terrific? But besides the game’s iconic heroes, which everyone in the team really loves, we are challenging ourselves to carefully craft a streamlined player experience that allows for greater accessibility and rich, deep action-packed gameplay.”

arena_of_fateIt’s the ‘greater accessibility’ part they’re going to have to nail if they want this gloriously mental take on the MOBA genre to catch on. MOBAs are in a similar position to where MMOs were four or five years ago, where the field is dominated by one or two games that are so obtusely complex getting into them takes months of work which engenders a fanatical fanbase, but also makes the genre impenetrable to other players. I’ve done university units that were less work than learning DOTA, and when you throw in a community as notorious for hostility as those for the big MOBAs it’s unsurprising that despite these games’ hardcore followings many players have dropped them like hot potatoes sprinkled with SARS.

However, as with MMOs newer games have sought to ease the learning curve with more streamlined mechanics, such as Ronimo Games’s excellent and criminally undersung Awesomenauts (which is a no-brainer recommendation to anyone who liked the idea of MOBAS but found DOTA/LOL diffeicult to parse). Hopefully Arena of Fate will follow this trend.

Or, it could just be another barrage of numbers and Mumble screaming. We’ll know more when Arena of Fate launches its beta this summer.