"Piles of Heroes!"
Paladins, the free to play arena shooter is finally released from its development and the game is looking great. It's focused on hero based combat as two sides battle it out for dominance. There are two key modes including a deathmatch and a siege option. The Siege mode is the core part of the game where the teams battle over a position which then spawns a cart that must be pushed to the opposing side. There's also a ranked option for those that want something even more competitive.
I'd consider the regular Siege area to be the primary part of gameplay and that's where I spent most of my time. This game is great for accessibility as it's really the only time in gaming I've ever had a whole group agree on it being a blast and not too frustrating. Everyone feels like they're assisting the squad and the style of team work online leans into that. I do somewhat wish there were more modes, but being free and so perfectly balanced this is fine as is.
It's a colorful and vibrant game that looks particularly great on Xbox One X. It's a shooter where you can be in first person or switch to a third person view at any time. The levels are greatly varied, look excellent with lots of detail and feel competitive. They're symmetrical in design which makes sense here and they all offer a different challenge. Some areas are bigger than others and it's all about adapting your play style for the particular arena. It's also best to take into account the verticality that's present on many of them.
When it comes to heroes the game is stacked with a large cast. There's every sort of option you would want from healers to those that just suck up damage. There's a fairly good balance here as each can be deadly, yet vulnerable at any time. Despite a large roster they've kept is consistent and most matches feel equal. They all have unique abilities, styles and ways to perform during combat. On top of that there's a pre-selection bonus to choose and an extra skills card deck that you can edit for additional benefits.
Paladins is a blast, it's competitive and well balanced offering a wide range of heroes to choose from. Being a free to play there's great value here and I didn't find any extra purchases to unbalance core mechanics. It looks great, plays very smoothly and has a selection of perfectly designed levels to battle within. Each map offers a different look, lane setup and challenge which will always have you coming up with fresh strategies.
The team work is implemented in a way that gets everyone coming together and simple commands to the squad help simplify this aspect. Combat is always exciting and no matter what your job is on the team you feel as though you're contributing to what's going on. The skills you select for your deck help add an extra layer of personalization and the whole thing is just great value at no cost. Paladins has been worked on for awhile and the launch results are splendid.
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Paladins Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Hi-Rez
Rating Overall: 9.0