Paladins (previously Paladins: Champions of the Realm) joins the growing number of free to play hero shooters on the market with their own unique take on the known gaming formula. With a setting that blends together fantasy with that of ancient technology the Paladins setting is unique while also similar to that of other hero shooter options.
The base setting for this PvP focused shooter is the Realm which serves as a medieval universe and home for familiar races like dwarves, elves, dragons and everything in between. Fighting for control over the land is the factions of the Magistrate and the Resistance who each have their own claim based on their ideology. This conflict is centred around the Magistrates belief that the Realm should be kept safe by limiting magical usage due to the potential for corruption while the Resistance seeks to explore the power and benefits that magic could provide. While some playable heroes are aligned to these factions many serve as neutral parties in the conflict which is primarily a game world backdrop than having an actual gameplay impact.
As a hero based shooter the heart of Paladins gameplay is the range of champions available to control on the battlefield that come with their own special set of abilities that can be further customised as players see fit to specialise. All of this is wrapped within a level up system alongside quests and achievements for cards, costumes and weapon skins that provide players those ongoing account goals to prove their talents against others.
The champions of Paladins are designed to fall into 4 broad categories and archetypes being front line, damage, support and flank. While there are 4 champion types the game modes of Paladins are 5v5 focused which can make for some interesting meta dynamics as two teams match up against each other. With map and game mode design intended to reward those players who create a balanced team of heroes and communicate effectively.
Front line champions feature high health values and pair it with defensive capabilities that can protect their team mates accordingly. Support champions are similar with their team focus but instead offer healing and high utility that make them a great asset on the battlefield. On the other hand the two aggressive archetypes are damage and flank who both possess great damage and abilities to position themselves in a place to do so with the main difference being that damage are consistency focused while flank specialise in burst output.
Further customisation comes through the fact that all champions are armed with their own special weapons, different abilities and their ultimate which slowly regenerates or charges faster when contributing to your team. These abilities are not fixed though with some flexibility in loadout options and further advanced configuration through the game card system that can provide small tweaks to your abilities with minor tweaks of defence, damage or utility. With a current roster of 58 heroes on top of this customisation the level of variation in your own play and the combinations you’ll encounter is at the heart of Paladins gameplay replay value.
Paladin game modes are the final piece of this replay value puzzle with three core modes of Siege where you capture a central point and escort an objective along a track, Onslaught which features multiple point control and lastly Team Deathmatch for a focus on combat over objectives. Game modes are further layered by map variations and ranked modes for the dedicated competitive player to provide varied choice in each gaming session.
- Master over 50 unique champions with their own visual and gameplay designs across four champion types.
- Customise your champion with card collections that provide specific utility to suit your playstyle.
- Play across multiple maps and game modes with siege, onslaught and team deathmatch options.
- Join the competitive ranking system with ranked game options for the 5v5 game modes.
- Multiplayer hero shooter for Windows, Mac, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
- Official Website
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Review Platform: PC