Paladins First Look

Paladins first look feature

On November 17th 2015 Hi-Rez Studios, the makers of Smite opened the doors of the Paladins closed. We take a quick look inside of the game and how it’s preformed over its first week.

Paladins Champions of the Realm

 

Paladins is a first person shooter which offers a multi-objective game mode, focusing on a mix of ease of play and strategy. As it is still early days, Paladins has a line up of eight Champions each with their own unique weapons, abilities and concepts as well as two maps to play on. Hi-Rez made an interesting move by removing a confusing and intimidating shop which traditionally has hundreds of items in-place of a Card system which directly effect your Champion and their abilities for that game, making it easier for new players to understand what is happening and to make the best choice on what to get.

Clues for new Champions have already sprung up in the forms of blank spots reserved for new releases and cards found for unnameable Champions, there is no doubt that Hi-Rez plan to expand the line up to an even larger and more diverse selection along with other content such as maps and game modes.

So how does the game work?
Kicking right off in the lobby, you meet up with four other players, either randomly selected or consisting of players from your party and you each select a Champion. Simple so far.

When you get into the game you will be prompted to make a selection of one out of three Cards given to you, these are selected based on an algorithm and a hint of randomness, so you won’t always start off the same way. As you gain experience points by performing different actions you will level up. Each time you gain a level you can select another card once again out of a selection of three until you hold a total of five Cards in your hand. Pick wisely however, because once you’ve made your selection you can not swap them out, so some forethought is needed. Based on how rare your cards are will also determine how long they will take to come off cool-down after you die, that’s right once you re-spawn you may not be in full fighting power for a set amount of time as you cards will be deactivated, so keeping the pressure on the enemy is a good way to tilt the fights into your advantage.

Paladins cards 1

How do you gain experience? You can gain experience points in multiple ways; Dealing consecutive damage to your opponents, soaking up large amounts of damage yourself, Standing on top of a capture point while uncontested, securing objectives and of course, getting kills and assists.

The objective part of the game is split into two stages, a capture phase and an attack/defense phase. Teams will fight over one of three capture points. Standing on these points while uncontested will build up a progress meter, once the bar is filled a siege engine will spawn and make its way to the enemy’s base. Players can delay the capture of a point by forcing players off the point or by standing on it themselves and contesting it.

Paladins Capture 1

Once a siege engine has spawned, that game will move to the second phase. When the siege engine reaches the enemy base it will stop at each of the three gates, which can only be damaged when a siege engine is firing at it. Each gate has more health the the last and is further into the base, once a team destroys the third gate or “The Vault” the game ends.

If a team’s siege engine is destroyed before the Vault is, then the phases repeat themselves. Each siege engine that is spawned is both stronger and faster then the last, so as the game goes on it becomes more and more important to take control of the points.

So we’ve talked about how the game works, but he does it feel?
Each Champion feels unique to each other, with the different play styles which suit them best to what kind of duty they fulfill. Movement is simple to adapt to with it the WASD keys and space-bar to jump, or if keyboards aren’t your style Paladins offers full game-pad compatibility as well. Each Champion has a selection of two abilities, generally one being offensive and the other being either defensive or utility focused, and a movement skill. This makes the Champions easier to understand and fights more straightforward.

Every Champion also has access to a mount, allowing you to travel larger distances in a shorter amount of time. However if you are damaged while riding your mount, you will be knocked off and forced to run around as it comes back off a short cool down. Summoning your mount also takes a second so it’s important that you get on your ride when your in a safe place.

Paladins Mount

Communication should also feel familiar to Smite players as the game offers a full VGS system with voice packs already granted to Champions, allowing for quick and easily followed calls.

Navigating the map is simple, with every map having a three capture point layout it doesn’t feel alien when you play on different maps. Showing the stats/card build key (Default TAB) will also give you a mini-map, in case if you get a bit lost at any point.

Whenever there is an objective, you will be given a way-point and instructions on what to do so you always know where you have to go. The only time that you won’t have a way-point is when a new capture point is being selected, which can be any point expect the point which was previously captured.

Many people have commented saying that it feels very much like Team Fortress 2 in how it controls and looks. This means that it is very user friendly in how you move about. No fancy, flashy tricks that don’t quite work half the time. Just simple easy to use controls.

You can expand your Card collection by winning games against other players and by leveling up, granting you chest that contain Cards. Duplicates of cards in your collection can be exchanged as well, allowing you to build up your collection which you can then choice from during a match.

Card crafting

There is also a game mode yet to be available but is expected to be playable in the new future called “Constructed” which allows you to craft decks of cards before you get into the game, so you can plan your most optimized builds using the Cards in your collection. So there is very little stopping Hi-Rez from expanding this game.

Game modes

Overall Paladins is very easy to pickup and play thanks to it’s non intimidating design and easy to follow game play, offering fun game play for both solo queuing and parties. With the potential for an Esports scene developing as well as dozens more Champions to be released, the future for Paladins looks to be strong and prosperous.

Invidious content developer and former Oceanic caster

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