Paladins: Champions of the Realm

Paladins: Champions of the Realm is a first- and third-person hero shooter game developed by Hi-Rez Studios and Evil Mojo in 2016. As of now, the game is on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, and Nintendo Switch. It’s also a free to play game, which is pretty sweet. Though I’d highly recommend purchasing the Champion Pack for a one-time purchase of around $30. This pack also unlocks all the future characters to come.

My first thoughts about the game were a couple of obvious positives. To start off, the graphics are breathtaking. On the Nintendo Switch, the maps, champions, and colors all pop beautifully on the screen. Second, I really enjoy having the option of choosing from a wide variety of champions. Champions are divided into categories: flanks, damage, support, and front-line. Flanks are quick characters who usually win the one on one battles, damage champions are meant to deal a ton of damage, support characters are meant to heal teammates, and front-line characters are meant to be bulky and able to withstand some hits from the opponents. Another great thing about the game are its online categories. There is team death match, siege, and onslaught. Team death match is basically whichever team gets 40 kills first wins, onslaught is whoever is able to stay in an area for a few minutes’ wins, and siege is based on pushing your payload from your territory to the opposing teams. Usually whenever I would play, I would focus on siege and team death match the most. Those two game modes require more strategy, especially siege. As a player, you have to know when to push and go on the offensive, or when to go on the defensive and fire off your shots from afar.

 

The online games in Paladins are really fast paced. This means in order to do well; you must be able to know your champion pretty well in order to win. For me, the main characters I play with are Omega Vivian, and Imani. Omega Vivian has an automatic gun that sprays bullets for days, while also having a shield and drones to aid her. For her ultimate move, she busts out two additional drones that does a crazy amount of damage. If used properly, her ultimate move can definitely kill off the opponents quick. Her ultimate drones also stay with her as long as she doesn’t take damage, so this is where the shield comes in handy. As for Imani, she is completely different from Vivian. She can throw ice bolts that deal good damage, throw a frost bomb that freezes opponents for 3 seconds, shoot a stream of fire that almost always results in a kill, and shoot fire balls that can be charged up. She has many options when in combat, which makes her very versatile. She also has a frost glide which is quicker than walking, so she can escape if she needs to. Her ultimate move, however, is truly a game changer. Once activated, you get to pilot a dragon that breathes fire for 20 seconds. While up in the air, you pretty much get to see all of your opponents on ground, and you can just barbeque them. This ultimate is on for a short period of time, but if used properly, it can be good for pushing for wins, or defending your entire team.

Having played Paladins for almost 100 hours, I can’t really say there are any major negative issues with the game. My only complaints are the loading screens can sometimes lag and take a bit of time, but sometimes it’s also the WiFi’s fault. Another issue is the bots- sometimes you have to play with them on your team, and it makes it tougher for you to win. When you have two or three bots on your team of five, you might have to carry your team to victory yourself or with very little aid.

Overall, Paladins is a great game, especially on the Nintendo Switch. I have always been fond of first-person shooter games, and Paladins executes really well. I also like the idea that it is a skill-based game, so you need some skills in order to properly win. It is also easily to learn, as some characters are autopilot like Vivian, though others take skill to master like Imani. I would rate Paladins 8.6 out of 10. It is the game I keep coming back to the most on my Switch, and it’s just so much fun.

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