Paladins : A short personal preview

There has been a lot of talk about this new game from Hi-Rez called Paladins. Those of you who are familiar with their other game SMITE will feel at home with the graphics, while those of you who already play or watch Overwatch will be uncomfortably a bit too familiar with the game. I do have a few problems with the game, the game’s ideology and Hi-Rez’s business model but otherwise I sort of enjoyed the game.

It’s a bit of an understatement that it’s too much like Overwatch but then Overwatch in turn is very similar to Team Fortress 2. There is a point to be made that Overwatch is sort of a successor to TF2 rather than a direct clone, since TF2 is a rather old game where even Valve the developer has more or less given up on the game. This on the other hand feels like a blatant rip-off. The Chinese have been working on that and now it looks like Hi-Rez has done a number as well.

The game is free to play as in only a few heroes are available to be played. The rest you have to spend money to unlock. The first thing you see when you log on is the daily and consecutive day logon bonuses like those infernal facebook and mobile games. Yes, I was triggered by that. The next thing that triggered me as I was digging around was the card system. You get cards from loot chests (OW loot boxes anyone?) but unlike OW the stuff that you get actually affects gameplay meaning that longer you play the game, or more money you spend on the game, easier the game can become. I think people call that Pay-To-Win. Blizzard intentionally doesn’t allow you to spend money on OW aside from the purchase cost and the loot boxes. Paladins on the other hand allow you to spend money for every single thing and actively seem to take every opportunity to show you the moments where you can spend money on the game.

I am not going to point out the similarities with OW, there are already quite a few people pointing that out already. I loved dunkey’s video on that.

I picked out Kinessa, Paladin’s version of Widowmaker, one of my favorites from OW. She is way too overpowered thanks to the massive hitboxes. The charge up happens too fast and hitscan means you basically maul the enemies if you and your team is even half good. Kinessa replaces Widow’s hook with a teleport which only serves to make her even more difficult to lock down than Widow in OW. I finished my first Paladins session with a 4-1 record with gold in everything and I haven’t played Widow in OW for nearly 4 months now. It’s still beta, and major balancing will be necessary before the game sees release.

Currently in the open beta I had to wait less than 10 seconds to find games and didn’t have any networking issues in the NA server. The game is fun, but then I was winning far more easily than it should have been. In my 5 games I saw only 2 maps though, but I have seen others playing other maps in videos. Try the game out, it’s fun enough but I am way more interested in Battlerite as an alternative to Overwatch rather than this rip-off.

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