Paladins: Champion of the Realm

Greetings all! I’m Rem and I’m one of the new writers for Spiky Donut Gaming! For my first entry here, I am going to be reviewing a game that  has been created by the same studio that brought us Smite and Tribes: Ascend– Hi Rez Studios. And that game, is as the title image indicates, Paladins.

So what with Overwatch being on its first anniversary and all, that seems to be the most popular new-age FPS on the market right now. However at a price tag of $30-40 to buy the game and then whatever skin, weapon, etc purchases you need to make on the side, ends up being a little too rich for my wallet. I’m pretty poor, so I tend to game more on the F2P side of Steam of look out for ridiculous sales. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about Steam, it’s that just because it’s free or close to it, doesn’t mean that you’re getting what you pay for.

Paladins Online is a unique entry into this character-driven FPS style game that Overwatch is currently dominating. I’m not a huge fan of FPS games. So this was one of those occasions where I decided to download something random because it was free and I was bored out of my mind.

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View of the main game screen.

Straight out of the download, Paladins looks great. Very colorful character designs which I thought was a plus. Although I’ve not played Overwatch, I’ve always been drawn to it because of the personality that seems to be imbued into each character and their overall design. I was very pleased to see that this same sort of thing exists in Paladins as well.

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28 different characters to choose from. All with their own unique skill set and charm.

Overall there are 27 characters currently in the open beta release of this game. 8 of them come unlocked for you to use right off the bat. Of course the more you play, the more money you earn for unlocking more champions or items. And as with any game, you can purchase special currency which will allow you to also do the same. The 27 playable characters are broken down into 4 distinct roles: damage, support, frontline, and flank.

Balance seems to be pretty good between characters. Each character has unique abilities they bring to the fight. Although I don’t know what the heck is up with Kinessa. I mean I’m generally pretty bad at these games, but for some reason I rack up the kills with her. Not that I’m complaining – brings me back to my Team Fortress 1 days when I dominated with the sniper class. Bomb King is also pretty amazing and amusing. So far those are my top choices – although I’m rarely beaten to the draw when choosing Kinessa.

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I’m not saying people suck at playing, they just suck at dodging my bullets.

One of the things that makes this game unique to me compared to some of the other games that I’ve played, is the inclusion of a card system. You start off with what could be considered a starter deck that can be used for your characters. Each character comes with a default loadout. As you play and level up, you will received chests that will give you items like skins, accessories, or new cards. You can create a bunch of different loadouts for different situations. Once you select your loadout at the begining of the battle though, you’re stuck with it. This is a pretty cool way though to ensure that one character doesn’t always have to be played in some pre-determined way. It becomes entirely up to the player. You can also decide how many points you want to put into a card ion your loadout to increase the effects. More points means better effects. All in all, you need to have up to 12 points distributed to save a loadout.

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I mean if you’re not in sniper mode, why be a sniper?

 Another thing about this game that I think is pretty cool is that you get mounts. Mounts, in an FPS? Well it’s actually kind of brilliant. I remember from my old TF2 days that nothing was more annoying than getting blown away as say, a heavy. and having to haul your slow-moving ass across the entire map to get where the battle was going. And by that time people are probably dead. Paladins takes that whole issue away by giving you mounts that allow you to fast travel.

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I assume the losers have to go around and pick up and and all horse droppings.

Conclusion

Overall for a person who isn’t THAT into FPS games, I’ve had a lot of fun playing this and I will continue to play it. It’s a well put together game with some good characters, some great mechanics, and it looks awesome. And this is only the Beta. I’m really excited to see what Hi Rez Studio does with this game moving towards an official launch. If you’re looking for a fun FPS without blowing a bunch of money, I’d highly recommend trying this one out. As mentioned it is on Steam and Hi Rez has stated that the game will always be F2P.

Rem’s Score (Max of  5 per category)

  • Playability: 5
  • Graphics: 5
  • Customization: 5
  • Story: 0 (Don’t think there is one yet?)
  • Characters: 5
  • Music: 5
  • Affordability: 5
  • Stability (Servers): 5
    • Max Score: 35/40
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