The right to exist of Paladins.
Paladins is the tenth most played game on Steam as of writing. The free-to-play hero shooter from Hi-Rez Studios had nearly 40,000 gamers online at the same time at peak time. The best-played free-to-play game not made by Valve. In addition, it was celebrated in early December that the game had five million unique users. Brutus went in search of the success of Paladins and compared the game with his colleague Overwatch.
Paladins has a really bad reputation with a number of gamers, the game is called an Overwatch clone because it has some of the same ideas as Overwatch. But if you look at characters that are present in both games, for example, they are mainly generic characters. How original is the soldier with the machine gun? Or the dwarf with the turret?
Both games are hero shooters. If you like one, you’ll most likely enjoy the other too. You can compare the differences between the games with League of Legends and Dota 2 or FIFA and Pes. The same principle, but different implementation on certain points. Because almost everyone is familiar with hero-shooters, I will leave an explanation about the genre in the middle, what I will do is list the differences and from there you can form your own opinion.
One-time purchase vs. Free-to-play
What is often a problem for many young people is the purchase price of a game. Overwatch is sold for forty euros. If you are a student, that is a lot of money, especially if you work for a minimum wage in your side job and also have other expenses. Much of the success of Paladins on Steam is due to the fact that the game has no purchase threshold.
So what should you dock in Paladins for? The heroes. Each player starts with eight free characters. At the time of writing, there are 22 Champions in the game, so more than a third you get for nothing. The rest you have to unlock, you do this with gold or Crystals. You get the first currency as a reward for playing matches, while you have to buy Crystals with real money. By the way, you can unlock all Champions for twenty euros and you get some extra goodies too.
In addition to Champions, as the characters in Paladins are called, there is also cosmetic content available for purchase. You also buy this with gold and crystals. If you choose to deposit gold or Crystals for cosmetic items, you can choose which skin to buy, but you can also buy chests with random rewards. If you don’t have gold or crystals, it is also possible to get free content by following a number of social media.
Tactics vs. strategy
The main difference between Overwatch and Paladins is the emphasis on either strategy or tactics. Strategy is large-scale, you have to think of things before you go into battle. Tactics, on the other hand, are the actions you take during combat.
In Paladins, you pre-select a Champion that cannot be changed during the game. If you choose a tank, then you are exactly the same tank for quite some time. In Overwatch it is possible to change heroes at any time. If you play a DPS, but it doesn’t work out well, you can always make the tactical decision to move to another DPS.
Paladins requires a little more planning and strategy. If your team is trolling in Champion select, there is little you can do to change the composition of the team, for example. In Paladins there are also cards in the game that give you small bonuses. For example, you can choose to get a little more health or make sure you do more damage. On a tactical level, Paladins also has a MOBA-like addition in the form of items.
Quality vs. quantity
Blizzard is a fantastic developer when it comes to world building. Not only have they developed a fantastic story in the Warcraft universe, Overwatch is also rock solid. All heroes have a story and this creates certain baggage that you feel when you play. Paladins, on the other hand, has no lore at all. The characters have no background, and to be fair, it sometimes feels like a bunch of Champions.
You also notice this somewhat in the playing of the game itself. In Overwatch you have more of the idea that you are really fighting for something, although you have to invest somewhat in the lore, something that some gamers don’t feel like doing. What Paladins does excel at is the amount of mushrooms they squeeze out. Since the release of Sombra, which came to Overwatch in early November, four champions have already appeared in Paladins. Many players like this, because it provides more content. But fair is fair, those characters don’t get such a nice Blizzard story.
Two different studios
Paladins by Hi-Rez Studios and Overwatch by Blizzard, and if you compare those two developers, it’s clear there’s a much smaller team working on Paladins anyway. You will notice this in a number of small things such as custom game modes that are hardly found in Paladins and also the quality of the skins.
What Hi-Rez does better than Blizzard in my opinion are the maps. The landscapes in which you fight are all magical and each has its own theme and the fairytale style ensures that they are connected. Graphically it might be a little less impressive, but when Paladins came out with a release trailer for the latest map Stone Keep last month, I immediately felt like I was in a Disney movie, a feeling I didn’t get with a game for a long time.
Paladins and Overwatch are games that are very similar, yet have many differences. Other than those mentioned in this article, there are many more things that are different in both games. To find out which one suits you better, it is best to try both, and certainly for Paladins there is a low threshold to start. The game can be found on Steam for free and played immediately. In addition to a PC version, Paladins is also coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 soon.
At the time of writing, Brutus has spent at least sixty hours in both games. In addition, he has tried every map and character in both hero shooters at least once.