“Ripping off” controversies aside, Hi-Rez Studios’ MOBA PvP shooter game, Paladins, has cultivated quite a devoted community of gamers. This, of course, breeds not from the reductive perception of mainstream gamers that the game is merely the poor man’s Overwatch, Blizzard’s more polished, more expensive MOBA game which rivals Paladins in terms of gameplay.
On this post—a two-parter series I’m writing with Ritz (who’s arguing for the case of Overwatch)—I list down five reasons why I think Paladins is a superior game than Overwatch.
Before that, some housekeeping: I’ve played only a couple of hours of Overwatch, but in those few hours I’ve concluded that, 1.) I enjoy it and can definitely relate to the millions of people who are devoted to playing it, and 2.) it is a fundamentally different game to Paladins, so take the following reasons as a means to make clearer those differences that will hopefully help you decide which game you’d enjoy more.
If you’re an Overwatch fan, I hope you’ll still love me.
Paladins is free-to-play
The most obvious reason why you’d want to pick-up Paladins over Overwatch is money. If you want to hold on to your dear dollars, Paladins is the better choice.
Being a free-to-play game (Overwatch costs 40USD on PC), Paladins draws in some setbacks. The production design, for one, is less sophisticated than Overwatch’s famously Pixar-like environments and characters. However, with the overall quality that we’re getting for zero dollars, Paladins is definitely worth your while.
It’s also worth to note that Paladins is still in beta and that means two things: 1.) there are a lot of things the developers would want to improve on, and 2.) there are virtually endless possibilities where the developers could take this game, which makes it, at least to me, that much more exciting.
Paladins wears your computer less
If you’re running these games on PC, you might want to consider Paladin’s lighter weight graphics. Sure, Overwatch boasts a gorgeous, more dynamic animation, but that comes at meager processing power to none. If you’re running Overwatch on PC, make sure you’ve got ample supply of power.
Paladins’ card system and item shop make for a dynamic, deeper gameplay
Let’s talk gameplay. Obviously, there’s a long list of pros and cons to both games, but let’s look at what Paladins is currently thriving at. This, to me, these are the game’s card system and item shop.
The way you power up your champion in Paladins is by using a deck of cards called “loadouts” and through an in-battle boosters which you pay with in-battle game credits. While I agree that this nullifies characters’ base skill, it’s also because of this that the gameplay is rendered more dynamic. You can assume that the opponent team has a champion poised as Support, but with the right cards and skill, that character might pull the rug under you and cause troubling damage, costing you the game.
Paladins’ micro-transactions have greater in-game value
Both Paladins and Overwatch have micro-transactions. Because the former has the card system, the loots carry more in-game value versus the latter’s which only carry skins whose purpose are only purely cosmetic.
Paladins’ character selection has higher stakes
Unlike in Overwatch, the character you select in Paladins pre-battle has higher stakes. In Overwatch, you can swap out heroes mid-battle. In Paladins, you can’t. This pushes the player to really think through team composition, loadouts, and skill. This, in my opinion, shows the biggest difference in the respective mindsets both games are putting players. It forces the player to use skill despite and in spite of the power-ups available.
The proper in-game term is “mount”, and they help you gallop faster into the action. A conspiracy theory: Paladins is the MOBA adaptation of My Little Ponies.
If you haven’t yet, check out Ritz’s arguments for the case of Overwatch, here: