Recently, I’ve been playing Paladins, an upcoming team-based FPS from Smite developers Hi-Rez. It’s currently in beta, and is free, similar to other releases from the studio. However, underneath it all lies a dark nest of manipulation and money-grabbing that I couldn’t ignore.
The game itself is pretty good, and that’s the ironic part. It’s obvious that these developers wanted to make a good game. The graphics are great, the maps are fleshed out, albeit rather small at times. There are a lot of characters and every one of them is different from the other. There are problems with the game mechanics, but the game is in beta, and I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt for now.
Please also note that I’m not going to be doing a review of the game, just addressing a specific point.
What I can’t forgive though is the blatant ripoff of the OTHER upcoming team-based FPS from Blizzard, Overwatch. Now, you might be wondering what those ripoffs are. I’ll give you a very basic rundown:
A lot of the characters are similar.
- Reinhardt (Overwatch) = Fernando (Paladins): Mobile Shield, Non-Gun weapon.
- Widowmaker (Overwatch) = Kinessa (Paladins): Gun that switches from sniper mode to assault mode.
- McCree (Overwatch) = Androxus (Paladins): The EXACT SAME animations for reloading the revolver, reflective block from Genji.
Now, some might say that ALL of these are HUGE coincidences. I suppose, at the most basic level, the game does stand on its own with its own features. As I said, it’s not a bad game. However, I’ve saved the most insulting thing of all for last.
This game, allegedly, used to be way different. I didn’t manage to find any specific details, but according to Reddit user /u/Rather_Fancy, “I just find it amusing how similar the games are now when they had so many differences before”. So, something prompted the developers to change the game in a pretty big way recently.
In my mind, that something is the popularity of Overwatch, an (at the time) upcoming open beta.
Here’s how I think it went: Hi-Rez decided to scrap the original, and remake it into a team-FPS.
So, what’s so insulting about this? Well, just before the beta for Overwatch, Hi-Rez announced that now, instead of being a closed beta, as in, anyone who buys the “Founders Edition” of the game could play it, it will now be made completely redundant because you can just follow their Twitter/YouTube/Instagram/Facebook to INSTANTLY get a key. This not only happened 2 weeks before the Overwatch beta (Hi-Rez tweeted about it on April 27), but also made the game basically free for everyone.
Now, of course, you could STILL say that this is all a huge coincidence, and I have nothing else for you, but what you’ve got to realize in the end, whether you’re a hardcore Paladins fan, or much like me (and pretty much the other 70% of the people playing Paladins at the moment) is that the only reason I am personally playing the game is that it’s a clone of Overwatch, which means I can keep playing it in the wait for May 24th.
Paladins isn’t a bad game, however that’s only because it copies a lot of from Overwatch. People will play it because they have no other replacement for Overwatch. The game is so completely similar that my brother, who had never played either of the games before had a hard time pointing out the differences between the two.
So, I’m gonna play Paladins until Overwatch releases. Then, once it does, I’ll only remember it in conversations for a minute or two. This game had potential. From the graphics to the design to the rumours of an entirely different game, I know it had potential. But, Hi-Rez, as usual, can’t help but get a quick bundle over producing a good and memorable game.