Recently, there has been an emergence of games that are part shooter, part MOBA. Paladins is one of these but it slipped under the radar due to the huge support Overwatch had. Paladins should be given a second glance, it incorporates the features of genres very well and the short games mean it is easy to play, even for busy people.
Teams consists 5 people and there are 2 teams, everyone picks a different champion to play out of a large champion pool of 24. The founders pack includes the champions pack which gives new players access to all the champions. Without the pack, players can play 8 champions and must purchase the rest with money earned in-game. There are 4 classes of champions, front line which are the heavy fighters that are best at holding objectives. Damage champions are best at dealing lots of damage to the enemy team as the name suggests, support types have a high offense and defence as well as having good utility, this means they can defend and heal teammates as well as deal decent amounts of damage to enemies. I think this is the best and easiest class for new players as the champions are well-rounded and give the player the chance to see what sort of play style they enjoy most. The last type are flankers, these champions are stealthier and excel at running around the sides and shortcuts in the map to deal surprise attacks on enemies and around objectives. These champions require more skill and thought than others but are highly enjoyable and rewarding. You earn champion masteries the more you play each champion and this is shown to other team members in the loading screen via a small border and number around your champion’s portrait, this is a clever way to show to the team who has had more experience with certain champions and who may need some help in the game.
The game doesn’t recommend champions to play and can seem to throw new players in the deep end, especially if they aren’t used to playing MOBA or Hero Shooter. This is also true of the loot system, with the founders pack I was granted some skins and chests with loot but as a new player the sheer amount of loot and all the different types confused me more than excited me. It can seem daunting therefore, I’d recommend starting this game with a friend who is also new if possible so you can learn and help each other. But if not, I found that after a few games of picking random champions you know what type you like to play and can make better decisions on who to play. The best way to get to know champions and abilities is to play them. In addition, the large champion pool means the games aren’t boring and when you first start playing, you don’t know what to expect from abilities which I thought made the game more exciting for example, when playing Pip I fired my ultimate and to my surprise it turned the enemy I fired it at into an adorable, harmless chick. This conveys the fun nature that Paladins has at its heart.
During the matches, both casual and competitive, players must capture objective points by standing on them, they won’t be able to capture the point if the enemy team are also standing on it. After a team, has won a point, they must escort a payload to another objective point which can then be captured. The first team to capture 4 points win! The rounds reset after a team has captured a point and attempted to push the payload, successfully or not. The games take between 5 and 10 minutes meaning you don’t need a lot of time to play the game, also because there is no important story, the games don’t take long to get into either. However, the game can get a little dull after a few hours of playing because the matches always have the same objectives. Since you play with other people, there is no set difficulty, this makes each game different and interesting, also, I didn’t find the game frustrating even when losing, mainly because you can still help the team and get kills and eliminations (assist) which is a refreshing change from other MOBAs where you start to become less useful the worse you do. There is an in-game voice chat for communicating, however I didn’t experience many people using it, and no one used it to troll or be annoying, I didn’t feel the need to use it myself because the game objectives are rather straightforward and maps are relatively small so my team mates were never far away. It is not possible to disable the voice chat which could lead to frustrations if people are misusing it but I didn’t personally encounter this.
The art style of the game is exaggerated, the maps are very brightly coloured and slightly cartoon-like, like Pixar animated films. It is visually appealing to look at but not too bright to be distracting from the gameplay or make players tired of looking at it. In addition, the abilities in the game are brightly coloured but again, they aren’t so bright that it is hard to tell what is happening when lots of abilities are firing on-screen. The music in the game is very upbeat, war music with instruments such as drums, it fits the game very well and the base volume of it is loud enough for players to hear but not too loud to get annoying or hard to listen to. The absence of a game announcer that states deaths, time limits and objectives is a welcome change, everything is visually represented on the player’s screen in a clean, tidy way that is easy to see and understand.
Paladins is a fast paced, fun game that you can play even if you don’t have much time. the game can take a while to get to grips with and is hard to get into, especially on your own. However, when you do, it is well worth it, the champions and abilities are varied, they often enhance the way you shoot, this is part of the reason it blends shooter and MOBA together very well. The item system is simple and effective, it helps you adapt your play style to the situation and daily rewards of coins that increase depending on how high your streak is mean you always have a reason to log in.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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