Paladins is Hi-Rez’s first attempt in the team-based shooter genre, but is it a contender to watch out for?
Paladins: Champions of the Realm is Hi-Rez Studios’ newest entry into the online battle arena genre. Paladins is a team based game where teams of 5 players complete over objectives around the map from controlling points to securing and escorting payloads to the enemy gates.
Battles happen on bright and colorful maps that are quite large and open rather than tightly confined spaces. This gives players the opportunity to scout, flank, and ambush the enemy. The size of the map isn’t too much of a concern as the game also provides mounts to faster traverse to the action. There is lot of strategy involved, right from the champion selection phase, with each champion filling their own unique role.
Paladins has 3 game modes as of now. Capture and Payload, Payload, and Survival. In Capture and Payload the teams need to work together to capture one of the three possible points on the map, after a team has successfully captured a point, it spawns a siege engine or a payload that the team then needs to escort to the enemy camp. The opposition meanwhile has to delay the payload until the timer runs out. In the Payload gamemode, the capturing part has been done away with. One team is tasked with escorting the payload to its destination while the other is tasked with stopping them till the timer runs out, in traditional Team Fortress 2 style. The final game mode is Survival. In this mode the teams are confined to one area of the map in a free-for-all kill fest. The last surviving champion is declared the victor and their team takes the win. This is excluding the Practise vs AI mode which is also a Capture and Payload scenario. The game features no tutorial as of right now but does have a link to its beginner’s guide right on the home page. The guide will give you a brief introduction to the game and champions and explain about the card and deck system within the game.
Paladins is all about building the right deck for your playstyle. Each card affects the champions’ playstyle or abilities in some way or the other. In addition to this, players get to purchase burner cards while in game, up to a total of 3 if they can afford to. These cards are one time use cards that are consumed once you die or when the round ends. These could be damage, defence, or utility based, from giving the player increased damage to increased health or higher movement speed while on their mounts. Cards range from common to legendary, in order of rarity and effect or impact of said card. In order to collect cards, players need to either craft them or acquire them through chests. Chests can either be bought or gained through leveling up. The game provides three pre-built decks for newer players till they can figure out the game and create their own custom decks once they have the cards they need.This collect-them-all feel for cards along with the mastery progression for champions gives a feeling of progression within the game.
Paladins has 14 playable champions as of right now, with more on the works. Every champion feels unique and no two champions feel or play alike. Each champion has 3 castable abilities not including the primary and secondary fire skills, i.e., the left and right click buttons. The key bindings are relatively easy to get used to, and you can change them if it so pleases you. Champions have their own distinctive roles. If you’re good at aiming there’s a champ for you, if you prefer stealth and flanking there’s a champ for you, if you prefer fighting up close and personal, there’s a champ for you, if you like jumping around like crazy and firing explosive projectiles, you guessed it, there’s a champ for you. Champion design is also quite colorful and vibrant which matches the game’s’ overall theme. Players have the option to customize their champion’s skin, weapon, and mount as well, but they need to be purchased directly or acquired via a chest.
Gameplay is fluid and feels great. The aiming and controls feel smooth and there hasn’t been any issues with the FPS. The game isn’t too large at the moment and it was a quick download though this is subject to change as more content is added. The game isn’t too graphics intensive either, so you don’t need a high-end rig to thoroughly enjoy this game. Quirky, cartoony graphics seem to be the “in” thing right now, and it works well for Paladins.
OVERALL FIRST IMPRESSIONS – PALADINS
Overall Paladins is a fast-paced and exciting game, the rounds are short and remain within the 10-20 minute sweetspot. There’s always something happening to constantly keep players on their toes. Respawn times are also relatively short in order to let the player get back to the action asap. Of course Paladins is still in BETA and there are likely to be many changes and additions to the game in the coming future. It will definitely be interesting to follow the direction in which they take their unique card and deck system and expand their champion pool. All-in-all Paladins is a fun game and we would definitely recommend you to give it a shot, after all it’s free-to-play, what do you have to lose?
P.S. We have 12 beta keys to give away. Leave a comment if you want one. Join the party.
Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.