Plural of Paladin

By – Trevor Shanahan

 

Do you know Hi-Rez Studios?  What if I asked if you knew the game Smite?  On August 3rd, just prior to Gamescom 2015, Hi-Rez announced a new multi-platform title; Paladins.  Hi-Rez is using Paladins to bring “strategy” to the competitive, team-based, first-person shooter genre.  With titles like Smite, Tribes: Ascend, and Global Agenda: Free Agent I am personally interested to see design influences and overlap (if any) with Paladins.

 

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Left: Fernando, Right: Grohk; two characters from the upcoming Paladins.

 

According to the p ress release the same sounds approachable; when coupled with a YouTube video I found from Gamescom 2015 featuring actual gameplay (thanks SupremeNexus) I really feel Paladins is approachable.  The game is a team versus team format with each player choosing a character, corresponding primary weapon, and small arsenal of movement and combat abilities.  Players have sets of skill cards correlating to strength, defense, or utility categories that can be upgraded in-game during the battles.  Players also have mounts that can help them cover distances and can be summoned and dismounted from at significant speed.  This made sense as I watched coverage of a battle that took place on a very large map that could be easily traversed from skirmish to skirmish with the mount.

 

After watching some Gamescom videos and reading (and re-reading) the press release I can honestly say I am intrigued.  At a personal level, the game does seem approachable and minimizes excessive depth and complexity to appeal to a broad audience.  As a consumer with some industry knowledge I like the concept; a multi-platform team-based shooter that (according to Hi-Rez) can be augmented by community feedback – which is something they really want AND have done with other titles like Smite.

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The team-based shooters will be involved in their own 3 game free-for-all for the hearts, wallets, and time of consumers.

 

With a relaese date of “TBA” (to be announced), it is near-impossible to perceive how well Paladins will do.  Why would I even bring this up?  Because Blizzard’s Overwatch (release date also TBA) and Gearbox Software’s Battleborn (looking at Q1 2016 release) are attempting to have similarly low barriers-to-entry.  For consumers, eSports enthusiasts and competitive gamers this is a great time; we have 3 titles from talented developers across multiple platforms all vying for our attention – it’s enough to make me blush.

Keep Paladins in mind.  As we near the end of 2015 we still have a few major expos and conferences to go and the stream of content is only beginning.

 

About the blogger

ccccccMy name is Trevor Shanahan and I am finishing my undergraduate degree in Marketing with a minor in Media Studies.  I am interested in video games and everything they touch (their industry, development, games as art, psychology of games – like gamification, industry issues, cutlure, etc.).  I have come to realize that the more I learn ( and learning is so important) the more I do not know.  Learn as much as you can about what you love and   try to give back to it.