Paladins is a new objective-based team shooter by the makers of SMITE. In general, I try to avoid reading about a game before I have had a chance to form my own opinion, but it has been next to impossible to ignore the buzz over Paladins being an Overwatch clone. I will say this. There are some similarities to Blizzard’s recent shooter that we reviewed back in June, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying it is a clone. Hi-Rez has clarified several times that they did not draw any inspiration from Overwatch – and explained the design progression that brought them to Paladins. Regardless of where they drew inspiration from, Paladins is pretty fun and that’s all that really matters to me.
While it is still in Beta, Paladins is already fairly polished in terms of gameplay. There isn’t a ton of content available yet, but that is to be expected early in development. The level design is well thought out, allowing for each hero to fill their role effectively.
Speaking of hero roles, Hi Rez has done an excellent job balancing the current roster of heroes, although the current pool is pretty small. I would like to see some sort of theme or explanation for how the strange mix of champions ended up doing battle, and I expect something like this to happen later on in development. For now, suffice to say that the game feels good to play, and thus far no one hero feels like they don’t belong or can’t fulfill their role.
I have run into my fair share of bugs, most of which have been in the menus and have not affected gameplay whatsoever. I expect more polish in that area as the game progresses. I would like to see a better store interface that gives us access to all of the available cosmetics in the same place. As it stands right now, you have to select the champion you want to buy a skin for to see what is available. It’s a small thing but something I hope to see remedied in a future patch.
Overall, I have been thoroughly enjoying Paladins. I’ve put a decent amount of time into it, and plan to continue playing. I expect to see more content and quality of life improvements as time goes on.
Please note that these opinions are of a beta version of the game and may not reflect the game at release. We plan to revisit the game when it exits beta, perhaps before that if we see significant enough changes.
Ben is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of PCGR. He writes much of the content, manages the site, and does other editorial things that would bore you to tears.