Time is a limited resource.
As someone who’s been into video games for well over two decades, I’ve felt the sting of that fact pretty damn hard. With each new obligation, there comes less time for indulging in what I like.
Now an adult in body (if not in mind), I’m forced to skip titles I’d have otherwise eaten whole. And what I do play, I play terribly late. For instance, it took me five whole years to finally get around to playing the Arkham series. Big mistake. Those games are awesome.
There was one exception to this rule: League of Legends. I’ve played that game since beta. I have lived on the Fields of Justice. But year after year, the game kept changing, becoming more and more polished. More and more competitive. More and more… boring and team-based.
And thus, little by little, I started hating it. Gone were the insane ultimates, the radically powerful effects that let one snowball like crazy and blow everything up. Oh, sure, it’s still doable, but everything’s been done to make the impact of a single loose cannon (i. e. me) as limited as possible. I realize it is a team game. It always was. But it is not the insane thing I fell in love with.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Enter Paladins.
As most everyone, I didn’t even try getting into this game’s closed beta. The ponderous, supposedly strategic tone that Hi-Rez seems to have aimed for was not what I wanted, and the schizophrenic graphics didn’t do it at all for me at all. But this has completely and utterly changed once I’ve tried the open beta.
Wow, is this a different game than I expected.
Things explode, champions fly around and people die. That is the best summary I can give of my experience, and if this sounds exactly like any other shooter ever, that’s because it’s supposed to. This is the essence of adrenaline. Only less mindless.
Just like its evil step-brother Overwatch, Paladins is a team-based shooter with some MOBA elements. One picks a character, gets comfy, and proceeds to murder everyone on the opposing team, or instead be on the receiving end of mass murder. Supposedly there is also a strategic point to capture and a payload to deliver, but don’t believe that. All lies. The whole thing is hectic, colorful, and insanely fun.
Just the way League was back when it was fresh.
Add being free to this, and the fact that its player base is growing immensely (leading to practically no queue time), and I think we’ve got the Next Big Thing.
RIP Battleborn. It’s been fun.
M. T. Miller