Game Review #109: Paladins: Champions of the Realms (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Bradford "The Waffinator" E.
Developer: Hi-Rez Studios
Publisher: Hi-Rez Studios
Category: Action, Multiplayer, First/Third Person shooter
Release Date: 06.12.2018
Price (at time of review): F2P (Free to Play) with in game purchases.
Download Paladins: Champions of the Realms on the Nintendo eShop here.
Sparking That Old Flame
All my life I have been gaming. Well, ever since I was a young toddler. I can remember still to this day the first time I picked up an NES controller and played Excitebike and then Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt. I can still remember that feeling of getting totally lost into a game for the first time, and getting that slight adrenaline rush of getting lost in another world. I am now 32 years of age, and I find it getting harder for me to get totally lost in a game that stops me from putting the controller down. I don’t know if it’s because there are so many games out there that it’s hard to be original enough, or visually appealing enough, for me to want to beat or conquer the game. I am constantly playing the newest and greatest, but I never seem to want to beat them. But, I have found a game recently in the Switch marketplace that has me hooked, and that game is Paladins: Champions of the Realms.
Make the Dream Work!
Paladins is a first/third-person shooter that is based off of team work. In fact, there are three types of matches, and all three are team-based matches. The three types of matches under quickplay are: Team Deathmatch (first team to 40 kills wins), Siege (where you capture an objective then have to push it back to base), and Onslaught (where you have to capture and hold the objective spot). There is a Ranked mode, but you have to be at least level 15, and own at least twelve Champions. I am nowhere worthy of ranked gameplay yet, but I hope to be soon, haha!
I did manage to make it to level six with a good solid four hours of gameplay. There are daily missions that will help you gain experience points a little bit quicker, and daily log-in bonuses (extra gold or gems, based off the consecutive log-ins). There is an in-game store where you can purchase things like gems, and “season passes” and “character passes”, which you can tell is for the more serious players of the game.
The characters you play as are called Champions. In the F2P (free to play) version of the game, you can play as nine champions. If you were to buy the Character Pass, or the Season Pass, you can get the remaining Champions, totaling up to forty now, with one just being released not too long ago. Each Champion has one of four different classes to which they are assigned: Support, Damage, Flank, and Frontline. I really haven’t found a class that I tend to stick with yet; I tend to play as all of them.
Each character also has a good amount of customization options such as emotes, skins, weapons, and even loadouts. Loadouts are basically skill cards that you can assign to each Champion to determine how they will play out.
What I like is that, in order to level up each Champion, you have to actually play as each champion! It’s not one of those games that has your characters level up the same across the board, so if you want a certain Champion to become stronger, you have to actually use them. What I did notice though when playing is that it didn’t seem to matter what class you and your fellow teammates picked, it didn’t seem to affect the outcome of the match. I do wish that was more of a determining factor of the match outcome. For example, you can all be Damage or Frontline with no Support class, and it would still have the same outcome. I also wish you had to have a member from each class to make the match a little more intriguing, making it more strategic.
During the matches, as time goes on, you get credits, and you can use those credits to buy perks for your Champion that are used specifically for that one match. You start off with 400, and it just keeps going up as the match goes on. I did find that using the credits to buy the in-match perks can make a difference. This makes it kind of strategic, because you can only buy four, so it makes you choose wisely. They will reset after the match is over though, so if you make a mistake and buy the wrong perk, don’t worry, it’s not permanent!
The controls were almost easy to jump right into, being a shooter fan. ZR being the fire trigger button, ZL, L, and R are your skills that are assigned to your champion. X is your Ultimate attack, Y is reload, B is jump, and A brings up the Store. Left Stick is your walk around with Right stick doing the looking around. Overall, the controls were very basic and easy to jump into right away, so I was a big fan of the control layout. The only complaint that I have about the controls is there is no melee button. I love me some melee, especially if you can get close enough to the enemy, you should be able to give ‘em a good whack or two.
I was a big fan of the visuals, being a big WoW (World of Warcraft) fan. I found the gameplay, character visuals, and sound effects to be very similar to WoW. It’s almost like this game was a Shooter based off of WoW. I am not usually a big fan of cartoonish shooters, especially Fortnite, but I feel like this game was well-executed in terms of being an entertaining cartoonish game, while being a first/third-person shooter. The only complaint I have about the visuals is the aiming, and what I mean by that is that all you have for your aim on the screen is a crosshair. You can’t fine aim, unless you are using a character where one of their skills is a precise aim. So, basically it is aim and spray.
Not all F2P games are good, in fact not many are, but once in a while you come across a gem that you find and want to hold onto, and that’s what I found in Paladins: Champions of the Realms. What I do like about this F2P game is it isn’t like a lot of other F2P games where “noobs” get stomped on by “veterans”. It honestly can be anyone’s game as long as you are a team player, because that’s what this game is. Don’t think you can come jump right in and one-man-army this game like CoD and win for your whole team, or you won’t last very long--unless you are me! Ha!
Seriously though, I was a big fan of what I have seen so far, and I look forward to getting the Character Pass so I can get me some Ranked Match gameplay, see where all the big-timers of the game are, and go for a real challenge! If I were to make a recommendation to the developers of the game though, it would be to add some more styles of matches to make it more entertaining, like some Capture the Flag, and Free For All, etc, etc. I hope that you all give this game a quick try if you are a shooter/multiplayer fan, because it is pretty fun, and I don’t think you will be disappointed in this FREE TO PLAY game. I hope to see you all out on the field. Who knows? Maybe I will start a team for it. Make sure to stay tuned to find out.
Download Paladins: Champions of the Realms on the Nintendo eShop here.