I’ve always wanted to be a longbow wielding badass and now, thanks to Paladins, my dream is a reality. Paladins is a multiplayer game developed by Hi-Rez, who has also developed notable games such as Smite and Tribes Ascend. Though not being familiar with the company’s other games, I was excited to have the opportunity to participate in this closed beta.
When you first open the game, you’re greeted with epic music and a friendly introduction. Paladins provides an easy to decode guide that lays out the basics of the game. It’s a quick read and very helpful. Since this is a closed beta, only two of the three options are available: Practice Mode and Casual Mode. The third mode, Constructed, is still locked.
Once you start a match, you’re given a choice of eight champions who each have their own unique set of skills and weapons. The match consists of ten people, with five on each side. You have to choose your champion quickly since there can only be one of each champion on your team. This method of champion select forced me to be diverse when I couldn’t decide who I wanted to be; in doing so I was able to learn a little about each character. Cassie ended up being a favorite of mine, so I used her for most of my missions.
The mechanics are simple. There is classic WASD movement, and your mouse controls your view with left click firing your weapon. You have three main abilities and a fourth being your mount. The cards you obtain are your enhancements. They apply per level and will reset when entering a new match. Upon leveling, you will be presented with three cards chosen at random and may choose which ever one you think will best help during the battle. These are such simple mechanics, but with the added diversity of the cards, the game draws you in very quickly.
Similar to other online multiplayer games, you wait in a spawn area for the capture point to open. Once it does, you ride out on your mount to the objective. A siege engine will also spawn that you need to escort to your destination. You repeat this a few times until you reach the enemy’s vault. Once you blow up their vault, you win! Only one siege engine may spawn at a time from point captures, so make sure to destroy the enemy siege engine.
What makes Paladins so appealing is that it’s simple yet diverse. You can sit down, play one match and log off, or play until sunrise. The game has enough character diversity to satisfy most play styles and allow you to branch out into something new. As the development of this game continues, I hope that more maps are added and even more cards are developed for each champion. Over all, Paladins has a very friendly atmosphere. You open the game and are greeted with a great soundtrack, bright colors, simple mechanics, and an appealing style of gameplay. Even just in beta, this game is addicting and a fabulous game for players of all calibers.