Paladins Review: Overwatch clone?

When Paladins first released, it was always known as ‘the free Overwatch clone’. Paladins, developed by Hi-Rez Studios, made a name for itself and quickly blew up. If you have never played Paladins and you’re thinking of starting, we have the pros and cons right here.

Similar to Overwatch, Paladins has various champions you can choose from. Each champion in Paladins has their own unique abilities and fighting style and there are currently over 41 champions you can choose from. Champions are organized into 4 different classes: Front Line, Damage, Support, and Flank. Some Champions are free, while others are purchasable with real money or you can purchase them with Gold which can be earned by playing the game. I personally love the champions system that Paladins has set up. I’ve spent over 40 hours playing Paladins and I have never noticed one champion being particularly powerful over the other. The abilities are always enjoyable to learn and I love the idea of the Ultimate abilities. Newer players start with five free permanently unlocked champions and also get access to four free other champions that are rotated every two weeks. You can also unlock all present and future champions with a one time purchase if you wish.

The card system is what makes Paladins unique. Cards are really important, especially in ranked and competitive modes. Cards essentially let you choose your playstyle by offering players the ability to empower Champions’ attributes and modify their skills. An example of this could be giving your champion a card that increases their reload speed by 5%. Cards can be made more powerful by increasing or decreasing the strength of their cards. You can have up to five cards at one time and a set of 5 cards is called a loadout. You can use the pre-built loadout or you can make a custom one.

The maps in Paladins are all beautiful. The level of detail is insane. As I have mentioned in many reviews, games with detailed and high-quality maps always win me over. Each Map has its own special, distinctive elements that make it unique. There are plenty of different maps, each designed for a specific game mode such as siege or Team Death Match. If astonishing and detailed maps are something you look for, you will love Paladins.

In Paladins there are four main game modes: Siege, Onslaught, Team Death Match, and Ranked mode. After playing each game mode for an extensive amount of time, I’ve come to the conclusion that they all are extremely enjoyable. Siege is a round-based game mode where each team works to earn Objective Points to win the match. These points are earned by taking control of a Capture Point, escorting the Payload into the enemy team’s base and Stalling the enemy team’s Payload until the time runs out. Onslaught is a king of the hill styled game mode. Players can earn points by eliminating other players or taking control of the point in the middle. The first team to hit 400 points wins the game. Team Death Match is your classic deathmatch. The first team to hit 40 eliminations win.

Ranked mode is a bit strange at the moment. Due to player numbers declining, the ques for Ranked mode has increased significantly. I’ve watched streams where a player was in a queue for 20 minutes before getting a match. If you are a competitive gamer and don’t fancy sitting in ques for 20 minutes, you probably won’t enjoy Paladins competitively. However, the normal matchmaking (non-competitive) ques times are just fine.

It’s worth noting that Paladins also has a battle pass. The battle pass has exclusive skins, mounts, announcer packs, gold and more. I’ve personally never bought the battle pass as I don’t really use the skins in Paladins but I would recommend buying it, especially if you are trying to unlock all the champions as it is an excellent way to earn additional gold. I might consider buying it when the new battle pass comes out with the Sun and Moon update.

The VGS in Paladins is an absolute genius move. VGS allows you to interact with your team via hotkeys if you don’t have a microphone or feel uncomfortable talking with strangers. I’ve gotten excellent use out of the VGS and have enjoyed using it. I have even noticed it is quite satisfying using the VGS to communicate with your team. Good job Hi-Rez.

One of my favorite features in Paladins is the fact it has cross-platform gameplay. Nowadays, cross-platform is crucial in FPS shooter games and I am really pleased Paladins has taken full advantage of this feature. You can also use a keyboard and mouse on console, which is a pleasant addition if you can’t afford a decent PC.

One thing I don’t particularly like about Paladins is how slow the characters move. However, you can mount up and increase your movement speed with cards. I just wish the characters walked a bit faster by default but that’s just a personal opinion.

Right now Paladins is also going through a weird phase where there are a lot of bugs present in the game. Hi-Rez has spoken out and said they are working on a fix for multiple bugs, however. Most of them aren’t game-breaking but are incredibly annoying. One thing Paldadins does to cut down the number of bugs present on the live servers was introduce a test server. Players can play on the PTS and give feedback/report bugs before the patch goes onto the live servers. This is something other popular games such as Fortnite should do.

In conclusion, Paladins is a free-to-play Champions based FPS that I’ve had a lot of fun playing. As Hi-Rez rolls out new updates, the future is looking bright for Paladins. I can say with confidence that Paladins is fun for the normal casual player. If you are looking for something more competitive, Paladins will still work for you, it will just be incredibly annoying at times. Go, install Paladins, why not? It’s free.

Developer: Evil Mojo Games

Publisher: Hi-Rez Studios

Price: Free

Platforms: SteamXbox OnePS4Nintendo Switch

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