Lay your hands on me, pleads

Hyper - - CONTENTS - Daniel Wilks

When Pal­adins was first shown it was quite quickly brushed off as some­thing of an Over­watch clone. At the time the claim was un­der­stand­able as a num­ber of char­ac­ters looked very sim­i­lar and had all but iden­ti­cal suites of skills, but as devel­op­ment has pro­gressed and the char­ac­ter ros­ter has grown the com­par­isons have be­come less and less ob­vi­ous. There are still a few char­ac­ters with a re­sem­blance to those in Over­watch, but more than any other hero shooter on the mar­ket, Pal­adins feels like a first-per­son MOBA.

Two teams of five bat­tle against each other over four dif­fer­ent game modes: Siege, in which the teams bat­tle over a cen­tral cap­ture point then the suc­cess­ful team tries to push a payload that spawns there to the en­emy base; Payload, a sim­i­lar mode but with one team push­ing and the other try­ing to stop them; Sur­vival, a small map team death­match with no respawns; and On­slaught in which the teams bat­tle to cap­ture con­trol points to raise their score. The 35 char­ac­ters cur­rently in the ros­ter are bro­ken into four dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories. Front Line char­ac­ters are your bul­let sponges and tanks with high health or shield pools and de­fen­sive abil­i­ties. Dam­age char­ac­ters do what it says on the tin. Sup­port char­ac­ters are buf­fers and heal­ers and Flankers have high mo­bil­ity and some form of self-sus­tain to make up for their lack of health and the fact that they can rarely rely in the cover of a tank.

Although these four cat­e­gories of char­ac­ter de­fine their pur­pose, each char­ac­ter has five ba­sic skills to call upon; pri­mary and se­condary fire, and sep­a­rate skills at­tached to Q, F and E (or face but­tons on con­sole). This range of skills makes the char­ac­ters feel more in­ter­est­ing and nu­anced than the car­toon­ish de­sign might oth­er­wise in­di­cate. Pip, a sup­port char­ac­ter that looks some­thing like a Chi­nese boot­leg of Ratchet (or maybe a chibi Jak) hurls po­tions that can cause sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to en­e­mies, oth­ers that can heal al­lies and can even turn en­e­mies into chick­ens. An­droxus, a flanker with a six-shooter does de­cent dam­age at medium range but also has dash moves and a short term dam­age shield that re­flects 75% of the dam­age ab­sorbed.

In ad­di­tion to the ba­sic skills, Pal­adins also fea­tures a deck build­ing me­chanic that al­lows play­ers to cus­tomise their char­ac­ters as well as an in-game Burn Card me­chanic that lets play­ers spend cur­rency they earn in game for short term buffs that last un­til the end of the round. Play­ers can equip five cards with a max­i­mum value of 12 points com­bined to aug­ment their char­ac­ter. These cards are found in-game, crafted with in-game cur­rency and can be found in loot boxes. The more pow­er­ful cards are worth more points and may have draw­backs to bal­ance their power. The Burn Cards can be bought back at the spawn point and give buffs un­til the end of the round, giv­ing faster move­ment, cooldown re­duc­tions and the like.

Pal­adins is free to play, but if you don’t want to have to un­lock char­ac­ters there is a “Founder’s Edi­tion” avail­able for $20 USD with all of the char­ac­ters un­locked, a few new skins and some loot boxes.

Part Over­watch, part MOBA, part deck build­ing, Pal­adins sure wants to be liked.

DE­VEL­OPER PUB­LISHER PLAT­FORM RE­LEASE DATE Hi-Rez Stu­dios Hi-Rez Stu­dios Xbone, PS4, PC Open Beta

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