Demigod came out three months before League of Legends and was also based off of Defense of the Ancients, operating on a similar basis when it comes to mechanics and abilities. You can see the effort on their part to make Demigods a different MOBA, however. As opposed to LoL, DotA, and HoN, Demigod doesn’t have a massive pool of heroes to choose from. It has only ten playable characters, five of which are Demigod hunting Assassins, and the other five are army commanding Generals. The pool of maps is rather stark as well.
The reason why? Other MOBAs are more popular. Demigod is a cheap, one time pay game available on Steam, and it has no cash shop or paid for downloadable content. For this reason, Demigod was not extensively developed following its release. Despite this, it’s still pretty damned fun and unique enough. Keep that in mind when you’re playing and comparing.
Generals are what give Demigod its unique edge, really. Assassins, meant to slay other Demigods, play like standard carries. They don’t require a lot of feeding to murder their enemies, however. Killing is their bread and butter. This isn’t anything particularly innovative for this genre of strategy game. Generals, on the other hand, aren’t too different in the way that they can still slay Demigods with relative ease. What sets them apart is that they can purchase unit totems and conjure mini-armies with which to swarm their foes or hard-push lanes. Since the Generals typically have their own summoned units, that plus the three item shop options give you quite the array of soldiers to choose from.
The maps are large, and movement is particularly slow even with speed upgrades. There are scrolls of teleportation that can take you to friendly buildings, and these tend to be the main means of transportation if your team’s got even a miniscule gold income. Regarding the map designs, the aesthetics are definitely high quality. That doesn’t mean too much, but at least you have something nice to look at while you’re playing.
Now for the issues. The first issue is the unchangeable camera controls. The key bindings QWEASD are permanently bound, along with the spacebar. For regular online gamers, the WASD keys are always used for movement or spellcasting, which can make learning Demigod’s controls a real pisser. All other keys, such as the Demigod/creep selection and ability keys, can be changed freely.
A second issue is that Demigod operates on Stardock through Steam. You buy it on Steam, then you have to play it on Stardock. Unfortunately, logging in can be a bit of an impossible task if you don’t know the system. You make a Stardock account using your email as the account name, then in Demigod you make a profile as your username. When you log into online multiplayer, it asks for your username, whereas you actually need to put in your email and Stardock password. A little confusing, but once you figure it out once, you’ve got it down for good.
All in all, I’m of the opinion that Demigod ranks as “just barely positive.” Since the fanbase is incredibly small, and since the game has no real money flowing into it, there’s little to no chance serious tweaks and improvements will be made. As it is now, I enjoy playing the occasional round or two when I’m burned out on DotA 2. It’s only $10 for the game, which seems just about appropriate, considering the content.
Here’s a review by Vince “Moesha” Massa of ActionTrip from when the game was much newer. It surprised me to discover that they originally released Demigod without copyright protection. The resulting chaos does indeed justify copyright law. Link here: http://www.actiontrip.com/reviews/demigod.phtml