What are Jordanian gamers playing?

2021 has witnessed exponential growth in the already ever-expanding videogame industry, providing gamers with a much-needed escape from reality. (Photo: Unsplash)
2021 has witnessed exponential growth in the already ever-expanding videogame industry, providing gamers with a much-needed escape from reality. (Photo: Unsplash)
AMMAN — 2021 has witnessed exponential growth in the already ever-expanding videogame industry, providing gamers with a much-needed escape from reality. In Jordan, gaming went from a popular activity to a daily excursion, with network gaming spots always packed to the brim with avid gamers playing a whole bunch of different genres. اضافة اعلان

We have compiled the most popular genres and games played in Jordan, along with some tips for new gamers to choose their favorite of the bunch.

Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas, or MOBAs, is a top down 5v5, where players compete against each other on a predetermined battlefield, usually to destroy the opposition’s base. MOBAs are an extremely popular genre of games all over Jordan. There are several reasons these games are so popular: first of all, MOBA games are a good social activity; any game you can play with a group of your friends tend to have a longer lifespan than most, allowing these games to grow in popularity.

Screenshots from MOBA games Dota 2 (left) and League of Legends.

Secondly, these games are complex, with hundreds of abilities, items, constant character releases and so much more, which keeps them fresh and engaging.

Thirdly, they usually require a high degree of skill. This is not to say that a non-skilled player cannot enjoy the game to its fullest, but that the more you play, the better you’re bound to get, the ceiling is almost indefinite.

There are two big contenders when it comes to which ones are being played: DotA and LoL.

In essence, there is no real difference between what both these games are trying to accomplish, but let’s cover the minor differences and see which one is right for you.

Defense of the Ancients 2, AKA, DotA 2, is what many people would call the OG of the two choices. It differs from LoL in its skill requirements, aesthetics, character design, ability usage, player base, and map typography.

DotA 2 is notorious for being a challenging game to get into, but is much more worthwhile when you put your time into it. Its design is gritty and darker than its counterpart, and glaringly so; everything from the appearance of the map and the characters you play are generally darker. The abilities you fire off are also mechanically different, requiring more precision to land them.

DotA 2’s player base consists of 43 million players, many of which are players who used to play its prequel. Finally, the map is much more packed, with its countless “secret shops”, jungle camps, and rune spawns.

League of Legends (LoL), on the other hand, believes that accessibility trumps all. With a far more common character release schedule, easier to learn mechanics, and less depth, many find LoL to be a simpler choice out of the two. This is not to say that the game lacks substance, or is for those who do not enjoy a challenge, LoL has a faster-pace style that makes it a bit challenging for some people to get into, while having a whopping 155 playable characters whose abilities you will need to learn. There is a lot that LoL offers that makes it many players’ choice, evident in its 70 million users.

So, play DotA 2 if you enjoy a game with a steeper learning curve, a slow burn, and more substance. But if all that sounds a bit grueling, then play its less intimidating counterpart, LoL.

First Person Shooters (FPS) games are extremely popular around the globe, and are a constant staple in Jordan as well. Many FPS games also have a social aspect, buoying their popularity; from 3v3’s to 6v6’s, there is no wonder so many people are hooked.

Screenshots from FPS games Counter Strike: Global Offense (left) and Valorant.

That and the clear requirement to constantly get better has many glued to their screens trying to score win after win. But which games are being played the most here? Below you’ll find two popular picks, both free to play and polished in its own way.

CS: GO, or Counter Strike: Global Offense, needs no introduction. But to those of you who have been living under a rock, CS: GO is a 6v6 classic team-based shooter game that has had 21 years to polish its formula to perfection. With multiple game modes, a popular professional scene, and even custom map making, it is not surprising to see why it has roughly 24 million active monthly users.

With the game hitting its mid 20’s, many also find themselves back on Dust 2, the most popular CS: GO map, just for the sake of scratching that nostalgic itch. All this makes CS: GO a solid choice when it comes to the FPS genre.

Then we have Valorant, which takes the typical FPS tropes and puts them through a blender. So what makes it so special? Valorant stays true to the typical shooter tropes while adding an unconventional twist. With the usual game mode variety, multiple maps, and different weapons to master, the game tends to feel like many others of the same genre, but where Valorant shines is with its implementation of character abilities.

Much like the MOBA genre, the game's characters each have a unique set of abilities to be utilized, which dramatically changes the flow of each match. With strategic skill placement and counters to each in mind, the game develops an entirely new feel in comparison to others of the genre. This gives Valorant an edge with more variety and depth.

While all this sounds like something you might be looking forward to experiencing, you need to keep in mind that many of the playable characters need to be unlocked, which will require you to grind constantly to get them all.

So if you’re looking for a traditional shooter game with no gimmicks, CS: GO is the way to go, but, if slinging spells while shooting down your foe is right up your alley, then Valorant is the game for you.

Battle Royale
Arguably the most popular genre being played at the moment, Battle Royales (BRs) are the love child of traditional shooters, taking a concept that goes as far back as the early 2000s, and putting an elegant spin on it.

Screenshots of the maps of Battle Royale games (from left to right) Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Apex Legends.

Featuring large battlefields and intense gunfights, the genre groups large amounts of players into different teams, sending them on their way with only one team getting the opportunity of standing victorious.

The sheer competitive aspect blends perfectly with the ability to constantly one-up your enemies, giving these games an addictive charm. BRs in Jordan are a massive hit, with internet cafes stating that they are one of the most played game genres to date; especially when new patches hit.

There are tons of BRs out there, but the most popular ones being played at the moment are Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Apex Legends, each taking a different approach to the BR genre.

Fortnite is the only 3rd person shooter of the bunch, and one that amassed an insanely large player base (350 million players) in a surprisingly short amount of time. Having a cartoony design and a pretty demanding skill cap, many jumped on to the hype train to see what was so special about it. And what they found was the ultimate variety in gameplay.

Fortnite takes the usual concept and adds building to the mix, arguably one of the most unique (and important) mechanics of the game. You are expected to use the resources found around the map to build structures to give you an edge over your opponent. Whether it's building cover to restore your HP or building upwards to get the jump on the enemy, it’s clear that, to be good, you’re going to need to build better and quicker than everyone else. This makes Fortnite a bizarre yet engaging experience.

CoD: Warzone was a massive hit upon release, and rightfully so. Building on the already popular franchise, Warzone introduced a plethora of game mechanics that were new to the genre. Unlike most BR games, Warzone gives you a second chance once you are downed, sending you to its now iconic “Gulag”. There, you are placed in a 1v1 duel where the winner gets to redeploy into the battlefield. If you were to lose however, hope is not lost, as your teammates can also purchase you back into the game at one of the many shop spots located across the map. And boy, what a gigantic map it is.

Being one of the largest BR games at the moment, players need to utilize any of the various modes of transport scattered around the battlefield. This allows you to quickly get to where you need to be to out-position the enemy. Another thing it does differently is health; in Warzone you passively regenerate your HP out of combat, unlike Fortnite and Apex Legends, leading to touch-and-go encounters at a distance, or all out rapid gunfire at close range to close out fights before opponents get a chance to heal up.

All of this mixed with the various contracts you can pick up to make some quick cash, kill streaks you can purchase or find around the map, and the extremely punishing zone closing in on you leads to some extremely tense situations, which makes the game a fun, nerve-racking experience.

Finally, we have Apex Legends, a game which many consider to be the best BR out there right now. Just like Fortnight shines with its building mechanisms, and CoD Warzone with its large map size, Apex focuses on hyper-polishing movement and consistency of gameplay.

Apex, unlike the previous shooters, also features different characters, each having their own abilities and unique “passives” that aim to give players an edge over their competition. From gas traps, spy drones, and healing bots, there is a character for every type of player out there.

One key feature that Apex truly shines in however is just how smooth the game’s movement system is; in fact, it is arguably one of its unique selling points. Unlike the previously mentioned games, Apex, at a higher level of play, almost completely revolves around positioning and movement, and unlike the previous games, has a significantly lower TTK (time to kill) in a one-on-one fight. Apex is designed to both be welcoming to newer players, and has a high enough skill ceiling to still have something else to learn, even for players that have been playing the game for hours on end.

In summary, Fortnight is a fantastic game for those who like creative firefights, CoD: Warzone is more optimized towards grounded realistic combat, and Apex Legends is perfect for those who like to go fast with guns blazing.

It’s evident that games with a social aspect do extremely well. It’s no surprise they’re played so religiously in the Jordanian community. This list is sure to have something for everyone looking to give gaming a try.

Read more Lifestyle