One of the first Xbox Play Anywhere games is back from the dead — 'Gigantic' has been officially resurrected, and we played it!

 Gigantic: Rampage Edition 2024.
Gigantic: Rampage Edition 2024.

What you need to know

  • Gigantic was a former Xbox and PC exclusive free-to-play third-person multiplayer shooter with heavy "MOBA" leanings, blending sensibilities of games like Team Fortress 2 and SMITE.

  • The game was one of the first native Windows 8.1 store "core" PC titles, complete with the earliest version of the "Xbox Play Anywhere" APIs that are now commonplace for Xbox Game Pass titles.

  • Sadly, the game didn't get the traction it needed to survive long-term, and its developer, Motiga, shuttered its doors.

  • Fast forward to 2024, and Abstraction Games and Gearbox Publishing have teamed up to revive Gigantic as a priced title, without microtransactions, complete with all content unlocked — with new modes and heroes for good measure.

  • Gigantic: Rampage Edition will launch on April 9, 2024, for just $19.99. It'll be available on Xbox One, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, PS5, and PC, complete with full cross-play.

Gigantic has a special place here on Windows Central.

We're by no means a traditional gaming outlet. We sit within the tech vertical of our wider business, and while we love games, we also love the systems that power them. Gigantic was of particular interest during the Windows 8 era, as it was one of the first games to emerge as part of Microsoft's "Onecore" vision, which imagined a world where cross-play and cross-purchasing would become commonplace.

To that end, Microsoft worked with Motiga to pilot their 5v5 MOBA-like multiplayer action game "Gigantic" right into this cross-buy, cross-progression universe. It was among the first "native" Windows Store games, using the earliest Xbox Play Anywhere APIs to support cross-play, cross-purchasing, and cross-progression between Xbox consoles and Windows PC. These days, practically all games that hit Xbox Game Pass on consoles and PC come with these systems baked in as standard. You can pick up Resident Evil 2 on Windows 11 right where you left off from Xbox, for example, all via the Xbox app on PC.

Sadly, Gigantic didn't survive to see the vision it participated in pioneering come to fruition. While fun, Gigantic wasn't one of the best Xbox games in the universe. The free-to-play title didn't garner enough attention to become self-perpetuating. Gigantic and its developer, Motiga, sadly shuttered their doors.

Fast forward to 2024, though, and Gigantic is getting a second chance at life.

Gigantic: Rampage Edition is a new $19.99 version of the game, complete with new modes, new characters, a revamped progression system, and microtransactions removed. Gigantic: Rampage Edition joins upcoming Xbox games and upcoming PC games lists for April 4, 2024, and we recently had an opportunity to give it a try.

Gigantic: A rampage revived

Gigantic: Rampage Edition 2024
Gigantic: Rampage Edition 2024

Gigantic: Rampage Edition drops the game's free-to-play leanings and has gone all in at what I'd consider an incredibly generous $19.99 price tag, giving players access to all heroes from the outset. It's an interesting departure from the format, considering similar titles like Overwatch 2 went in the opposite direction, moving away from an upfront cost to per-hero purchases through its controversial battle pass system. Whether or not it works for Gigantic long-term remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: the game is still good, pure-hearted fun.

Gigantic is a 5v5 third-person action game at its core, with heavy MOBA sensibilities. Think of games like Smite or even World of Warcraft PvP, in some cases. However, Gigantic has a lot of room for gameplay variety baked in on top of that. There are heroes that require heavy doses of precision aiming and others that handle more like melee tanks and brawlers.

In my hands-on time with the demo, I went back to my old main, "Sven," who is a crazed alchemist endowed with flasks that can either scorch enemies or heal teammates. Sven doesn't require a huge amount of twitchy precision skills to get the most out of him, given that his attacks all have explosive splash damage. However, there are also sniper-style characters for those more inclined to hang back and pick off enemies from afar. You can also grab a tank and march straight into the thick of it, protecting your allies while wreaking havoc on groups of incumbents.

Gigantic: Rampage Edition 2024
Gigantic: Rampage Edition 2024

For the Rampage edition, Abstraction Games is mixing things up a little, too.

While the classic "Clash" mode will remain, which is a slower-paced, gradual tug of war complete with tower-style areas and lanes that MOBA players will be familiar with, there's a new, faster-paced mode called Rush. In Rush, all players start at max level immediately and can use a pre-defined build using the game's build manager to instantly get into the fray. This game mode felt a little more like Overwatch in that vein, eliminating the need to level up and hunt EXP and instead focusing on strategic slaying.

As players capture points, eventually, a clash will be initiated, giving the round-winning team an opportunity to damage the opposite "Gigantic" guardian at the end of the map. The same is true in both game modes, but in Rush, achieving victory is an incredibly fast-paced affair. I didn't time it, but it felt like a typical Rush match was anywhere between 4 and 7 minutes long, which is markedly quicker than your typical classic MOBA hero-shooter game mode.

I was playing with the game's developers, who are undoubtedly more knowledgeable about playing their chosen heroes than I am. But Rush felt significantly more chaotic than I recall Gigantic ever being. Perhaps increasing the time to kill a bit would help new players ease into this mode and learn their heroes and the flow of play, but there's little doubt Abstraction will continue to fine-tune the mode post-launch.

Indeed, Abstraction and Gearbox also offered some context as to why they decided to revive Gigantic now, where competition for our free time is more aggressive than ever.

Why revive Gigantic now?

Gigantic: Rampage Edition 2024
Gigantic: Rampage Edition 2024

A short while ago, Gearbox and Abstraction ran a "limited" Throwback event for Gigantic, and the team says they were galvanized by the positive reception to the test. It seems that Gigantic does enjoy a dedicated following. The main Gigantic subreddit is relatively active, and so, too, is the game's Discord, despite being offline for a few years at this point. Indeed, some fans took the game and modified it to keep it online long past its official shelf life, and therein, Abstraction and Gearbox saw the opportunity.

Abstraction believes that the game's "complete," microtransaction-free format will help it stand out in a crowd of titles increasingly going in that direction. I mentioned Overwatch 2 going free to play a couple of years back, and reactions to that venture have been mixed to be generous.

Diablo IV players are currently up in arms over some $30 recolors of the game's portal spell, a simple recolor cosmetic that costs more than Gigantic itself. Something has, without a doubt, gone horribly wrong with video game monetization in recent years, and I'm not suggesting that a game like Diablo IV with dedicated online servers isn't expensive to run ... but I'm also not sure why it needed to be always-online in the first place. To that end, Gigantic offers a very classic "buy once, get everything" format that has become increasingly rare in games like this. And I, for one, welcome its return.

The original Gigantic launch trailer, now six years old, remains a good peek at what new and returning players can expect from the game. However, no longer will you need to pay for heroes piecemeal nor grind restlessly to access the game's full breadth of content. That does leave a question mark over post-launch support in the long term, though. Abstraction already discussed post-launch skins and balance updates and things like that but acknowledged that how the game is supported after the fact depends wholly on the game's reception.

Perhaps something that is a little more traditional, a little less desperate to lock in our time with battle passes, FOMO, and gambling boxes, is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Hopefully, a happy ending for Gigantic

Gigantic: Rampage Edition 2024
Gigantic: Rampage Edition 2024

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Motiga might be gone, but Gigantic: Rampage Edition enjoys the support of the original developers, who consulted on the concept to revive the title for a new era. Motiga's CEO Chris Chung reportedly said that Gigantic: Rampage Edition is closer to the former studio's original vision for it.

Gigantic: Rampage Edition is undoubtedly fun to pick up and play, and while I do think Rush mode may need some tweaks in some places, it could be a great springboard for users who want to get in and see what it's all about before getting into the game's deeper "Clash" core mode.

I lack the crystal ball to determine whether or not Gigantic can find its voice in a market that feels busier than ever. But I hope it does. Gigantic's story of rise, death, and rebirth is vanishingly rare in this business — and for it to be revived in a generous, fairly-priced, fully-featured, microtransaction-less way is rarer still.

Gigantic: Rampage Edition launches on April 4, 2024, for $19.99 across Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, and PC, complete with cross-play.