Paladins Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Paladins RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Forget Movies, These 5 Video Games Need Their Own Comics https://www.gameskinny.com/qbu5q/forget-movies-these-5-video-games-need-their-own-comics https://www.gameskinny.com/qbu5q/forget-movies-these-5-video-games-need-their-own-comics Sun, 16 Jul 2017 12:00:01 -0400 stratataisen

Video games have some amazing stories and deep lore, most of which can be told, or retold, in other forms of entertainment. Just look at the Warcraft and Assassin's Creed movies from last year or the Uncharted movie in the works. While many games certainly have the potential to become good movies (and some cringe-worthy ones too), other forms of storytelling media are often overlooked. Comic books, for instance, are an excellent way to visually tell a story without all the cameras, actors, and expenses.

Here’s a list of 5 games that don’t already have a comic about them or their lore, but seriously should!

SOMA

SOMA is from the creators of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. While not nearly as scary as Amnesia, Frictional Games gave SOMA a thoroughly in-depth story that made the player sit and ponder the question “What does it mean to be human?”. This plus the underseas location of PATHOS-II, and the mechanical horrors lurking within its confines would make for an amazingly dark and gruesome, sci-fi horror comic. A comic of the game could follow the story exactly or even expand further into the game's lore, such as the events leading up to PATHOS-II’s demise, Catherine's struggle in trying to save the small remnants of humanity, or digging deeper into the protagonist's past.

Final Fantasy Franchise

The Final Fantasy franchise has a long history of fantasy based games--that never seems to be the final fantasy, oddly enough--with many rich stories, interesting characters, and breathtaking locations. This gives Square Enix more than sufficient material to create several great manga series. This includes squeals like X-2, Tactics, and the Dissidia games, but excludes Final Fantasy XII and Type-0 as both already have manga series of their own.

An excellent first candidate for a manga would Final Fantasy VII. It is by far the most popular of the series, with a number of prequels and sequels, as well as a remake in development. The main story would obviously make an excellent manga series, expanding on what we already know from the game. However, a perfect stand alone would be of Sephiroth's past, seeing what made the games greatest villain who he is.

There’s also some outstanding potential for very silly manga, where characters like Biggs and Wedge get together for a hilarious side character convention.

Paladins

Paladins: Champions of the Realm is a team based FPS created by Hi-Rez Studios. While Paladins is a great game, there isn't much of a story, leaving a few unanswered questions. What is this realm? Who are these champions? Why are they fighting? Unfortunately, a story is something which Hi-Rez stated is not a priority for them. However, if they did decide to switch gears and start expanding on lore for this vast, vibrant world and intriguing characters -- they could easily do so through a series of comics.

Comics would be a great start for origin stories for characters such as Ying or Viktor. I know I’d like to find out more about Torvald. I mean, what is his...um ‘power glove’? It appears magical in nature, made of stone and carved with runes. My assumption is that he’s a scholarly explorer that stumbled upon an ancient magical weapon. Am I right? I don’t know, but this is something we can find out if there were more lore to the game.

Transistor

Praised for its visuals and soundtrack, this ARPG by Supergiant Games would serve as a fantastic comic series. Transistor has a phenomenal art style, color scheme, and enthralling story that would blend well with a comic format -- creating a gorgeous visual novel. It would even do well as a motion comic, so more can enjoy the amazing and beautiful soundtrack that the game has to offer.

While I would like to see the main story show in this way, there’s also the potential of seeing the story from another point of view. Maybe Red’s dead lover, or the enemies that you face as Red.

Subnautica

Subnautica, the crafting survival game by Unknown Worlds Entertainment, is one of those games that pulls you in and leaves you wanting to know more. In the game, the lore and story are discovered through exploration and finding data pads. If comics were made, I think they would do well as prequels, such as following the survivors of the Degasi or seeing more of the expanded universe. They could even delve into the precursor aliens and their research into finding a cure for the life killing disease.

While it’s fun to watch a video game come to life on the big screen, they don’t always delve into the story or lore as much due to time, money, and real world limitations. Comics are a great alternative to this, and all the games listed have potential to become fantastic, unique series.

Do you agree with these picks? Did we miss a game that you think would make an excellent comic? Let us know in the comments below!

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Paladins Introduces New Champion in OB40 https://www.gameskinny.com/8tjc0/paladins-introduces-new-champion-in-ob40 https://www.gameskinny.com/8tjc0/paladins-introduces-new-champion-in-ob40 Thu, 15 Dec 2016 12:21:10 -0500 Lydia M

During the live patch preview show Thursday, Paladins lead designer and lead developer announced a new champion entering the realm in the latest patch, OB40. 

Tyra, The Untamed

Her weapon is an automatic rifle. Unlike Kinessa or Victor, she doesn't look down the sights to aim -- all firing is off the hip. Her abilities are as follows: 

  • [LMB] Battle Rifle- 180 damage on headshots, 120 regular damage.
  • [RMB] Grenade Launcher- Launches grenade at target that deals explosive damage.
  • [Q] Molotov Grenade- Tosses fire grenade that spreads on the ground dealing percentage health.
  • [F] Hunter's Mark- Marks an enemy for a short duration. Tyra can do extra damage while they're marked. Teammates can see marked enemies through walls. 
  • [E] Unleash- Shooting speed, movement speed is increased for a short duration along with unlimited ammo for the duration of the Ultimate.

Looking at the gameplay preview, it looks like Tyra is definitely going to be a tank shredder -- especially when using items like Wrecker and Nimble. We didn't really get to see what cards would be provided to her quite yet, but as she becomes available on the Public Test Servers, players will get to try her out before she is added to the live servers.

Tyra will be available in the OB40 patch next week.

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Dial M for MOBA: Why battle arenas are replacing MMOs https://www.gameskinny.com/pjquw/dial-m-for-moba-why-battle-arenas-are-replacing-mmos https://www.gameskinny.com/pjquw/dial-m-for-moba-why-battle-arenas-are-replacing-mmos Tue, 19 Apr 2016 11:07:34 -0400 Seth Zulinski

If there's one formula we're familiar with as players and fans of video games, it's this: gain levels, get gear, and go whomp on people and things that need whomping on. From Dark Souls to Dark Age of Camelot to Dota 2, anything with an even remotely RPG element tends to abide by this basic formula. We've come to know it. We've come to embrace it.

For many of us, months of years of our lives have been dedicated to it. Not so long ago, Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (or MMORPGs/MMOs) were the talk of the video game world. Millions of hours worldwide were dumped into Runescape or Ragnarok OnlineEverquest, and of course the biggest of them all - World of Warcraft

Now, sure - I've dinked around in Elder Scrolls Online a bit lately. I've been the very best Cricket I could be for a week or two in Blade and Soul, and I'd at least watched a stream or two on Black DesertBut something has changed since those years of Friday Night Molten Core runs. Something has led me away from the pizza box and Monster Energy filled basement of my youth - from the endless grind of new epic loot and (once again) defending the Arathi Basin from the fury of the Horde. 

I hadn't hit a raid in years. On a quick check, neither had most of my online crew. None of us had really felt the desire to, either. "What changed?", I wondered. 

It hit me when my Ranked queue popped. 

Online gaming's new M.O.(BA)

"Get stronger, roll face into keyboard." 

Once championed by the MMOs, this basic formula has propelled the next evolution of the genre to fantastic heights. There's differences, of course - MOBAs are undoubtedly a more competitive genre than their M name predecessors, and have flipped the script on the PvE/PvP focus of the older days. What once was the sidebar to massive PvE encounters is now the main event, with the bosses and creeps of old relegated to the bit parts in the jungle.

But that core philosophy of survive and smash is still there - and while the MMO legions may still be around, it's hard to argue that MOBA isn't the new face of the online grind. Every day more and more MMO players fall off, to return only casually (if at all), and MOBAs are growing stronger than ever.

It seems many of us have swapped our Ashbringers for Infinity Edges, and we're not looking back.

But why?

The Clone Wars

One of the major reasons for the slow decline of the MMO and the rise of the MOBA is something most of us old guard MMORPG players are familiar with - the attack of the clones. 

Now in the beginning, the MMO frontier was close to the Wild West. Everyone was trying new and exciting things, each company and brand had its own personal take on the Swords and Sorcery (and eventually Scifi) genre in a massive multiplayer world, and things were new.

Things were different

Didn't like the straight Dungeons and Dragons feel of Everquest? Then you could try the more complicated Realm vs. Realm combat of Dark Ages of Camelot.  Wanted an actual second job? EVE Online. Something recognizable? Final Fantasy XI. 

Then everything changed when the World of Warcraft nation attacked. 

WoW did something no other single title could manage to do in the brief history of the genre - it provided a single, profitable standard for the MMO. Massively profitable. It kept itself on top of the pile not only by having both easy to pick up but hard to master gameplay (for an MMO, anyway), but by constantly updating itself with the new and best ideas from other offerings. For a long time, whatever you wanted in any other MMO was eventually added to Warcraft's repertoire. 

The success of the genre was never higher than at this peak - World of Wacraft literally grossed more income than small countries. It was a known entity even among those who didn't game themselves. Talk shows had days dedicated to the "problem with addictive games", and WoW was front and center in most of them. 

When South Park dedicates an episode to you, you know you've hit the big time. 

Of course, the evolution also kind of stopped here. Whatever gimmick or design your MMO had - whether it was the keep-based RvR system of games like DAoC (then modeled to Wintergrasp), the loot rarity system of Everquest's ilk (since WoW's inception), preset character classes, anything - World of Warcraft would add it to the amalgam. It was the best of the best because it was a hodgepodge of everything good about every other MMO. You couldn't beat WoW, as an MMO, because you were WoW

So you didn't try. You did your thing, or cloned their formula, because there was now a standard bearer for everything the genre was doing - a gigantic posterchild for "how to make a successful MMO". 

So WoW set the pace for the whole industry - grind. Days, weeks, months. Raid and PvP. Grind. Level. Become stronger. Whomp things. Grind. Whomp bigger things.

Every game, every title after it just was it, or close enough. Why play "pretty close to WoW" when I could just spend my years in WoW

So we got complacent. We fell into a routine. We were still logging hours and hours, sure - but we were getting bored for hours and hours. This iteration of the formula had gotten stale after hours and hours of the same old WoW or WoW clone.

Incidentally, "hours and hours" brings us to the next step in the fall of Rome...er...MMOs -

Powering up

If you've played MMOs, or know someone who has, you are more than likely familiar with the following conversation, or something close to it: 

"You coming out tonight?"

"Can't, in a raid." 

Maybe there's more, but that's the core of it - MMOs, especially large Guild-based events like raids - were about time. Time put in. Time invested into your specific character or characters. You couldn't get strong enough to whomp the next big thing that needed whomping unless you put in the hours. 

The short story is, there were a lot of Friday nights I spent in my room with delivery rather than anything else because as an MMO player, and as a Guild member, I'd made a commitment. That commitment took time

Now, try this one: 

"You coming out tonight?" 

"Sure. I'm in a game right now, but I should be out soon." 

Sounds better, right? A little newer, a little more flexible? That's the sound of the MOBA, and the single strongest siren call of the genre over the MMOs that came before. 

I can leave if I have to, or want to, much more immediately than I could previously. My commitment was down to 20-60 minutes at a time, usually, rather than whole nights. I could walk away and not suffer for it - because every game, every match, you started back at square one. Your only requirement to experience the content to its fullest was (outside of the Rune system of League of Legends) clicking the "Play" button. 

MOBAs, in stark contrast to the MMO world, were less of a commitment, and took less of my time. I start from scratch every match, way back at level 1 - but so does everyone else, every game. It took months of MMO playing to max out and acquire reasonably powerful gear, but 15 minutes into a MOBA, I've already gone from plinking at mudcrabs minions to...well, this: 

Pictured: Fully built hypercarry

What all of this amounts to, really, is that the lessons we learned as gamers and game developers in the MMO days are the exact things that led to the slow decline of the genre - MOBAs give us that same feeling of power, that same satisfaction of "gain levels, gain gear, and go whomp people and things that need whomping", but they do it much faster and with much less commitment. 

In much the same way that WoW took and adapted what we liked about other MMOs, MOBAs like League of Legends took what we really liked about MMOs - getting stronger, whomping things - and boiled it down, refined it, and gave it to us in bite sized chunks. 

Most importantly, MOBAs let us whomp in new and different ways - we aren't just spamming various Rend clones on various Bandit clones anymore. Core philosophy aside, the most prominent MOBAs are still fairly unique in identity despite having obvious leaders. While Dota 2 and League of Legends are certainly the front runners, companies are still putting out unique content and gameplay mechanics like the third person MOBA SMITE - and that's not even mentioning the recent MOBA-esque/FPS mergers like Overwatch, Paladins, and Paragon, among others. 

It was the biggest question on the net, and in the gaming community for a long time. "What can beat WoW?", "Is [insert title here] the WoW-killer?", "What can possibly top MMOs?" 

Now, years later, it seems we finally found the answer to these questions, and our new order along with it:

The MMO King is dead. 

Long live the MOBA King. 

 

 

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5 games that could become eSports in 2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/6bsun/5-games-that-could-become-esports-in-2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/6bsun/5-games-that-could-become-esports-in-2016 Wed, 30 Mar 2016 05:45:34 -0400 Kevin Cobban

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Street Fighter V

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Capcom
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This may come as surprise to some, but Street Fighter V has revived fighting games. There was so much hype around the game's release in February, and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

\n

The developers stripped the series to its core and rebuilt the game with eSports in mind. It's still the same Street Fighter that fans love, but SF5 is easier to learn and more accessible to new players. Also, Capcom increased their tournament earnings to $500,000 in 2016, which will help grow their competitive scene.

\n

\n

That wraps up our list for games that could become big eSports in 2016. Each game looks great so far so it should be interesting to see who comes out on top this year. Let us know in the comments section which of the games you plan on playing, or of any game you think could be on this list.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/bdf06a03be76a21d7964b168e2634a41.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/bdf06a03be76a21d7964b168e2634a41.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7868","description":"

Paragon

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Epic Games
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Get ready for another MOBA this year with Paragon. Instead of combining other game genres like we saw in BattlebornParagon will be a traditional MOBA with three lanes, a jungle, minions, and towers -- but with from a third-person perspective. 

\n
However, what sets Paragon apart from other MOBAs is its immersive environment and current-gen graphics.
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MOBAs like LoLSMITE, and Dota 2 have always been behind when it comes to visuals. But Paragon is setting a new standard for the genre by designing the game with the Unreal 4 engine. All it takes is a few seconds of gameplay to see that Paragon will be a beautiful game.

\n

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Furthermore, the developers wanted to enhance the environment by adding real elevation. Players will be able to climb hills for a better shot, or gank from below in the jungle. Elevation will add a new level strategy.

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Perhaps the updated visuals and immersive environment will be enough to turn Paragon into a successful eSport.

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Paladins: Champions of the Realm

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Hi-Rez Studios
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From the makers of SMITE -- an already successful eSport -- Hi-Rez is bringing out a FPS of their own this year. But unlike Overwatch, Paladins focuses on objective-based combat.

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Paladins is all about objective control. In this video, two teams are fighting over control points. Whichever team controls the point gets a siege machine. Both teams must work together to either protect or destroy the machine, and whoever destroys the enemy base first wins.

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One of biggest reasons why Paladins will be an eSport is just how easy it is to watch.
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In just five minutes of watching, I already understood the objective of the match, how to level up a character, and how to tell who is winning. Being able to understand the basics of a game by watching it is crucial for eSports, because viewers need to understand what is going on in order to feel involved. Plus, there is always something to do in matches so it makes the game fun to watch.

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Although Paladins is still in beta testing, players can purchase the Founder's Pack for just $19.99. Seems like a great deal for what you get.

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Overwatch

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Blizzard
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Out of all the games on our list, Overwatch is most likely to become a successful eSport. Developed by Blizzard, Overwatch is the companies first FPS and it is already getting a ton of attention.

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Rather than a traditional FPS like Call of DutyOverwatch is all about team-based combat. Player get to choose from 21 heroes so far, and each player has a specific role to fill. Winning is all about creating a balanced team to control objectives. No doubt Blizzard took inspiration from Team Fortress 2

\n

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In an interview with PC Gamer, Game Director Jeff Kaplan explains the team's approach to Overwatch, and why it will most likely become the next big eSport.

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\n

"When we announced the game we focused on letting everyone know that approachability was first and foremost what we cared about, we wanted to make a game that was very welcoming to as many people as possible and not sacrifice that approachability by forcing a competitive eSport environment on the game as a whole."

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So it is not so much of a question if Overwatch will become an eSport, but rather how big of an eSport will it become. 

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Battleborn

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Gearbox
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From the developers of Borderlands, Battleborn combines the fast-paced action of a FPS with the champion-based team fighting that we expect from MOBAs. Gearbox is also bringing in RPG elements, such as skill trees and field upgrades, to make matches even more dynamic.

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Right away, the game seems to have all the qualities of a successful eSport.
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Players will get to choose from 25 unique characters. Each character has their own leveling system, which unlocks new skills and skins, as well as a commander leveling system that ranks up player profiles. Also, players can level a character from level 1-10 in just one round of multiplayer. Thus, players will be able to focus more on learning roles, rather than grinding out a few champions to max rank.

\n

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In addition to unique builds and champion variation, Battleborn seems easy to learn and rewarding for new players. Even new players will feel satisfaction as they kill minions that spawn around of the map, or build turrets to help defend their allies. Battleborn will be accessible for players of all skill levels, which is essential for any eSport game.

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However, unlike LoLHeroes of the Storm, and Hearthstone, Battleborn isn't free. The game costs $59.99. It will be interesting to see if Battleborn can compete with cheaper multiplayer games coming out this year.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/o/v/e/overwatch-versus-98401.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/o/v/e/overwatch-versus-98401.png","type":"slide","id":"109423","description":"

2015 was a big year for eSports. League of Legends broke viewer rating records, while Dota 2's International tournament held the largest prize pool seen in eSports history. Even big networks like ESPN are airing eSports tournaments. So we can expect even more success in 2016.

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However, 2016 eSports will be much different with the return of team-based FPS.
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According to other major video game publications, FPS will be the next big thing in eSports in 2016. So keep reading to see which 5 games could take the eSports scene by storm in the coming year.

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A first look at Hi-Rez's Paladins: Champions of the Realm - (it's not an Overwatch clone) https://www.gameskinny.com/83zw7/a-first-look-at-hi-rezs-paladins-champions-of-the-realm-its-not-an-overwatch-clone https://www.gameskinny.com/83zw7/a-first-look-at-hi-rezs-paladins-champions-of-the-realm-its-not-an-overwatch-clone Tue, 12 Jan 2016 07:31:17 -0500 Robert Guthrie

This past month I was lucky enough to pick up an invite to the closed beta of Paladins: Champions of the Realm, the genre-bending shooter from Hi-Rez, creators of the popular free-to-play MOBA Smite.

The game is extremely raw, and lacks a lot of the promised features that it will theoretically launch with, but the core gameplay is well fleshed out, and gives a tantalizing glimpse into things to come.

Original Concept or Overwatch Clone?

At first glance, a fairly obvious comparison presents itself – Paladins looks and feels an awful lot like Blizzard’s new action shooter, Overwatch, down to some almost plagiaristic character designs. There’s a dwarf who throws turrets, a tank with a shield, and a bouncing, grenade-launching rodent, all of which bear more than a little resemblance to similar characters from Overwatch.

The core of the action is similar too – the combat is fast-paced, cartoonish, and somewhat less skill-based than a hardcore FPS like Counter-Strike. A cynical person might be inclined to say that Paladins is an attempt to cash in on the Overwatch hype.

To be clear, there is definitely some of that going on, but Paladins is different enough to be unique, and appears to be aiming at a different segment of the market that Overwatch is (or at least a tangential one). There are some compelling differences that make this title worth considering on its own merits, rather than in competition with Blizzard’s upcoming powerhouse.

A First Person Mobile Online Battle Arena

As soon as you actually end up in a game, the differences between Paladins and other shooters becomes immediately clear – yes, your skills and aiming ability are important, but there are also some significant RPG elements. Each character has a “deck” which they can use to customize their abilities, leading to multiple potential builds that will affect the way you play your character.

For example, Ruckus, a mech-piloting goblin, can focus on building for raw DPS, picking up skills that let him hover in mid-air and dish out sustained machine-gun fire, but he also has an equally viable build that focuses on sustain and lifesteal, letting him stand on capture points and go toe-to-toe with tanks or bully weaker characters away from objectives.

The objectives themselves reveal what Paladins actually is – more of a First-Person MOBA than a full-fledged FPS. The central gameplay element involves holding a point until it spawns a siege engine, which you then escort to the enemy base with the goal of breaking down two tiers of walls and destroying their vault (this is the primary game mode, though Hi-Rez is testing two other modes, one of which involves simply capturing points and one that involves just escorting the siege engines).

The action is fast, fun, and engaging, with respawning fast and comebacks frequent, though balance will still need tweaking to prevent stalemates and stomps, which do happen. Matches last anywhere from five to fifteen minutes, making them shorter than most MOBA games but longer than a CS: GO match.

Card Collecting for Fun and Profit

Since Paladins is free-to-play, the question of whether or not it will be pay-to-win inevitably comes up, and it seems like Hi-Rez is doing a good job of allaying those fears. It is entirely possible to assemble a full deck of cards for all your characters without spending a penny (though it will go much faster and be much less painful if you spend some cash), and it appears that the only unique paid features will be cosmetics, like skins or custom mounts.

All characters are viable from player level one (though some work better with more cards than others), and player ability still matters a lot, so new players with FPS experience aren’t likely to get frustrated before they can build a good card collection.

Currently, it takes an awful lot of playtime to acquire all of the cards, so Hi-Rez may need to tweak the rate of card acquisition or the size of decks, but the system right now is fair and entertaining, especially if you’re an achievement or reward-based gamer.

Worth Keeping an Eye On

Paladins may seem samey to some, but Hi-Rez has demonstrated with Smite that they’re able to take a fairly broad game concept and add enough uniqueness to keep players interested and compete in a crowded market. What’s more, Paladins has enough going for it that’s entirely unique, even at this early stage, that it warrants consideration completely apart from Overwatch and other games in its emerging genre.

Let’s be clear, though – the game needs a lot of work. There are lots of bugs, and much of it feels raw – characters still lack an alt-fire, many of them are short on cards that would make certain builds viable, and some characters are broken (both in the “not working sense” and the “imbalanced sense”).

Still, Paladins is filling a relatively empty niche and has an experienced game studio behind it, so it’s worth keeping an eye on or picking up a beta key for, especially if you’re balking at Overwatch’s price tag or release date.

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Paladins: How often do you get to see a gnome inside a robot riding a horse? https://www.gameskinny.com/qc2qe/paladins-how-often-do-you-get-to-see-a-gnome-inside-a-robot-riding-a-horse https://www.gameskinny.com/qc2qe/paladins-how-often-do-you-get-to-see-a-gnome-inside-a-robot-riding-a-horse Tue, 15 Dec 2015 05:28:25 -0500 Luriks

In terms of making competitive online multiplayer games, Hi-Rez has already proven itself with the Tribes series and SMITE. Even though they have been quite busy with SMITE-- probably due to esports' increasing popularity -- they unveiled a brand new PC game in August: Paladins, Champions of the Realm.

Photo: Hi-Rez

Now if a name like Paladins makes you think of knights in shiny armour, war horses galloping and brave warrior rescuing kingdoms (Don't feel bad. I thought that too.) you might be disappointed to hear that there isn't that much of that in the game itself. Instead, what you will see is a furry...no, an anthropomorphic mammal (a lombax perhaps) firing toxic flasks, a probably self-appointed knight using a flame thrower and a gnome inside a robot hovering around like it owns the place. It might not seem like your type of game, but wait! How often do you see a gnome inside a robot riding a horse? 

The game plays like a first-person MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) where two teams of five champions battle to hold capture points on the map, similar to King of the Hill. Holding the point long enough deploys a siege tower that will help the team blast open the opposite team's vault. 
What really differs from the other MOBAs, in my opinion, is the use of cards. Instead of buying items in-game with gold, you will have to choose among three cards drawn from your deck every time you level up. The chosen card will not only grant you a passive power-up but it also increases the maximum health and the damage output of the champion. The amount by which it increases depends on the chosen card.

Right off the bat, I thought the cards were a strange but wonderful idea. The only downside is that, so far, this system is slightly based on luck. You could start the game with a great card that boosts your main weapon, but on the other hand, you could have the choice of three cards that only benefit that one ability you never really use. I tried believing in the heart of the cards, more than once, but I guess that stuff only works on TV.

Now I would like to focus your attention on the mounts. So far, horses are the only option but I am sure that with later updates the game will offer a wide range of different mounts. Are the horses really necessary? It seems that the Hi-Rez developers wanted to keep some things that resonate with the word paladins so much that they did not think how ridiculous that could be (again, with the robot riding a horse).

Photo: Hi-Rez

While this is ridiculous indeed, the gameplay has a lot of running around and getting to point A to point B and the mounts are the fastest option. Those segments of the game are not particularly exhilarating as the champions are unable to fight while riding. I understand that riding is a key element of the game, and I enjoy it to some degree, but it would be nice to have an alternative.

Even though the game is still in beta phase and, of course, there are still a few bugs here and there, it's pretty darn fun and addictive. If you haven't done so yet, I suggest trying to grab an access key as soon a possible. The game can only improve.

For those who would like more information, check out the beginner's guide.

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