Paladins is a thrilling class based objective orientated first person shooter that has fast paced action that is sure to have fans of the genre left with a feeling of satisfaction. It has however come under quite the barrage of arguments.
The so called poor man’s Overwatch. Well I personally believe that it is not quite a justified statement to make and with this article I will explain my reasoning behind it and give the game itself the spotlight without the Overwatch comparison.
I will explain my thoughts between the two titles in the outro section of this review. Let’s get into it.
The game starts out by you having to choose a hero to play from a roster of available heroes in the selection screen. After you have made your selection you have 10 seconds to customize your hero to your liking with the different cosmetics available in the game. Once that is done you get into the loading screen and boot straight into the action.
When you hit the starting game area in your team’s camp you have 30 seconds to set up your loadout of your hero. Your loadout is comprised of different cards adding passive benefits to your class that may boost things from your weapon stability, life steal, right down to cooldown reduction on your special abilities. In the beginning it didn’t really sit very well with me. Knowing that I don’t have all of the cards available for the heroes that I enjoy playing. As I was playing through a few matches I finally heeded the words that was on my screen in the spawn area to press ‘I’ to purchase items. I found this to be quite peculiar, since I already had my weapon in hand and I was curious as to what type of items I could buy.
So I open up the in-match shop window and to my surprise it was filled with things that I could purchase for credits, at first I was in a state of disarray as I didn’t know how to get credits and I feared that the micro-transaction monster has already swallowed this game in entirety. I was absolutely thrilled to be as mistaken as I was. The credits required to buy these upgrades in the shop is acquired by just playing the match. Assists, kills and objective time all gather you credits that you can spend in the in-match shop to buy offensive, defensive and utility stats. Is there someone that is absolutely hammering you in the match? You can get a small percentage of damage reduction or are you in need of some healing when the healer isn’t around? Get yourself a little bit of life-steal.
Then suddenly it clicked with me that the worry I had about the cards being a pay-to-win type thing (even though it is quite a dreaded statement to make.) wasn’t at all something that I needed to be weary of. As it stands if someone has a better loadout with regards to cards than you then you can counteract the seeming “unbalanced” nature with your in game credits to negate some of the effects. This makes the game seem a lot more fair, at least to yours truly.
So there are many heroes each with their unique kits that offer a variety of gameplay styles, snipers, healers, tanks, flanks etc. each with their quirks and tricks. The game revolves mostly around objectives in the form of capturing a point and escorting a cart to an end destination. Though in the siege mode of the game you have one capture point located around the center of the maps. Both teams contend this point and the team that captures it gets to push the cart whilst the other team goes into defense mode to try and stop the cart from reaching its end destination. This makes for a fast paced action packed round of shooting madness. There are other modes as well, team eliminations and a cart race of who can push the cart the furthest in a set amount of time.
One thing that I also really enjoy is how fast you can get back into the action in this title since you spawn mounted with a really brief time of death, mostly stretching just a few seconds beyond watching the kill cam on how you suffered your unfortunate fate.
This game looks absolutely beautiful, from the character models to the map designs. The use of colors absolutely everywhere in a way that isn’t an absolute assault on the eyes is also welcome from the doom-and-gloom type shooters that we see so often.
Given its graphical fidelity I have to also tip my hat to the way that it runs. Usually with my little toaster system I have to turn down the graphical settings as soon as I get into a game and only take screenshots with the graphics maxed out to much frustration of framerate issues. This game runs smooth and I was actually quite thrown to see that the game was running on very high settings without having me to intervene in some way.
The sound of the game is also up to standard. Even though I’ve had instances where the gunfire would distort all sounds on my earphones. This could very well be an issue on my side so I won’t hammer on that fact too much.
The sound is adequate in all aspects that the game requires. It’s good, nothing more or less to say about it.
Is this game fun? Yes, quite frankly it is fun. If you remove the comparison effect from your mind with the “This is an Overwatch clone” then this game is really actually quite good. It is fast paced, it runs well, the characters are fun to play with and you have a level of customization that other titles in this genre doesn’t necessarily give you in terms of loadouts and in match shops to adapt to what you are facing in the game.
The fact that you can cater for certain aspects of a match is also really important since you can’t switch your characters at will inside of a match, what you chose at the beginning will be the same character that you will end with, so the customization is really important in this regard.
Replayability wise, this game will keep you coming back for a few hours if you are into this genre of games and is well worth the free price that you are “paying” for it.
So why don’t I have an issue with this game as it is an “Overwatch clone”? In essence it isn’t, sure you find similar kits and abilities here and there, but for the most part the characters in this game all has their unique traits and playstyles. It isn’t a clone, it is another entry into the class based objective first person shooter genre, but it isn’t an outright rip off.
The fact that we as consumers have so many different games in the same genre means that, for one, we have a variety when it comes to our favorite games and secondly it means that there is competition between developers and publishers to make sure that they stay the best in their respective genres. The fact that Paladins is similar to Overwatch, is similar to Battleborne, is similar to Team fortress 2 is just that, it’s similar, not the exact same. So I fail to see why people are kicking up as much dust as they are doing with this title.
It is a good entry into the genre and if you get tired of Overwatch you can easily slip into Paladins and vice versa. It expands on the options you have and it is free to play. Would I personally play Paladins over Overwatch? Possibly not, but with the way that Paladins runs on my system it would be a welcome break every now-and-then. So yes, they have similarities, no one can deny that, but it has enough in terms of being unique to make it stand solidly on its own feet as a gaming title.
So for scoring in the categories:
- Gameplay – 1
- Graphics – 1
- Sound – 0.3
- Fun Factor – 0.3
- Personal impression – 0.4
Giving us a total of 4.0 Shurikens.
I hope that you have enjoyed this article and see you for the next one I set my sights on. Until then as always have fun and game on!