Is Paladins, Worth Playing?
Paladins has successfully competed with Overwatch for over five years,  but its future is uncertain with so many high-quality free-2-play titles on the market right now.

The Lowdown.

Product Details
Genre: Shooter
Developer: Evil Mojo Games
Publisher: Hi Rez Studios
Price: Free
Release Date: 16 September 2016
Supported Modes:

Plagiarism Allegations. 

Despite being in development at the same time as Overwatch, Paladins launched with many heroes eerily similar to Overwatch, including the character of Ruckus, who is functionally the same character as D.VA.

Hi-Rez Studios COO Todd Harris addressed these allegations in 2016 by saying that many of the disputed designs were established well before the launch of Overwatch, and the inspiration for Paladins was not Overwatch but rather Team Fortress 2, a title that remains popular today.

Despite more than a few similarities between the rosters of Overwatch and Paladins, I do not believe either side copied the other; rather, both teams drew on established tropes to create characters that would be appealing to play.

For example, both titles feature a “dwarf-like” character who fires a Molton shotgun and deploys turrets; however, Dwarves are often portrayed as being good with machines, and Lava is a stable of dwarf lore due to their tendency to dig a little too deep. While their likeness is uncanny, it does not indicate foul play.

If anything, Paladins is guilty of overly relying on tropes, but beyond that, are they guilty of copying a competitor? No, I don’t think so.

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Performance.

Paladins is an incredibly well-optimised game and performs well on all platforms; when using maxed settings, I can run Paladins comfortably at 1080p/175 Fps on a 5700 XT and am certain I could go even higher if Paladins were not capped at 175 fps on PC.

Fps by Platform

  • PC: Hardware-dependent up to 175 fps.
  • Xbox Series X: 4k/120 fps (Fps Boost).
  • Xbox Series S: 1440p/120 fps (Fps Boost).
  • Playstation 5: Dynamic 4k/60 fps.
  • Playstation 4 Pro:  Dynamic 4k/60 fps.
  • Xbox One X:  Dynamic 4k/60 fps.
  • Playstation 4: Dynamic 1440p/60 fps.
  • Xbox One: Dynamic 1440p/60 fps.
  • Nintendo Switch: Dynamic 900p/ 60 fps

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Monetisation.

Paladins has one of the strangest hybrid monetisation systems I have ever seen (and I have seen some really strange monetisation systems over the last five years of reviewing games!)

Lootboxes: Paladins sells a wide selection of loot boxes, which in 2021 feels archaic with most games (including Hi-Rez’s own Rogue Company ) having left behind “surprise mechanics”, opting to sell cosmetics directly.

Deal of the Day: Each day, players are presented with a “buy it now for just offer”, which is frankly the embodiment of Fear of Missing out (FOMO); while these are not expensive transactions, with most deals costing $10 or less, such small transactions could quickly add up for those who are prone to impulsive purchases or who suffer from OCD or a related condition such as monomania (compulsive buying disorder).

Event Passes: The Battlepass monetisation method has been widely accepted by the gaming community and embraced by the developer community, so seeing a variation of the model is nothing new.

However, what is unique is how Paladins approaches the battlepass business model by selling two tiers of the pass, with the second tier costing roughly $25 worth of crystals and allowing players to unlock the entire pass and all of its rewards instantly.

Yearly Passes: Players have the option of unlocking a year’s worth of new champions, unique cosmetics, and emotes at a discount; this method is great for everyone, with Hi-Rez receiving additional funds to support continued development and the player receiving a year’s worth of new champions, emotes and exclusive cosmetics at a steep discount.

Character Customisation.

Paladins offers players a whopping 59 champions to choose from, and there is something for everyone, and by everyone, I mean everyone who doesn’t mind almost every female character showing masses of cleavage.

Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against sexy cosmetics when they are tasteful and do not vastly outnumber non-sexual variants.

As a male player who mostly plays as male characters,  I am rarely faced with the prospect of running around half-naked just so I can play a character that represents me; unfortunately, female gamers often do not have that luxury.

While Paladins is not the worst offender in this regard, it does little to buck the trend of female characters being designed for a male audience, such as the Temptress Skye skin, which portrays the champion Skye as a succubus.

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As of January 2023, over 50% of all female champion cosmetics were sexualised.

This number drastically increases when you do not account for the champions whose design philosophy is unsuited to sexualisation, such as Octavia, Ash, Inara, Will, Rei, Maeve and Kinessa.

When excluding these characters, 69.39% of cosmetics for female characters are sexualised.

I am not saying to remove sexualised skins; A friend of mine would love to have the Temptress Skye skin in every game she plays; however, I also know many more gamers who would pass on Paladins entirely due to the rampant objectification of women taking place.

While some dismiss all this as innocent, causing others to lust, and in fact, lusting after even fictional women is not only unhealthy but is damaging spiritually, with Jesus Christ having this to say on the matter.

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. - Matthew 5:28-30

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Limited Time Modes.

In addition to the three evergreen modes (Siege, Onslaught, and Team Deathmatch), Paladins offers players the choice to partake in weekly limited-time modes, including new mechanics, increased starting credits, or modified damage values.

Each limited-time mode runs for 72 hours (Friday-Sun) before being cycled out for a different LTM the following week; as of 2023, each LTM returns roughly once every three months; however, this can vary due to the introduction or retirement of other modes.

Occasionally, a scheduled LTM will be replaced by a similar LTM due to technical difficulties, such as when the launch of the Dwarf Fortress LTM was delayed in favour of re-running the Leaping Dead LTM.

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Paladins FAQ

Paladins is a shooter video game developed by Evil Mojo Games and published by Hi Rez Studios, it was released on 16 September 2016 and it is Free-2-Play.

Platform Availability.

Paladins is available on the following platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

Are The Developers Active?

Paladins continues to receive frequent updates, including new playable champions, maps, limited-time modes and special events.

How Many People Play Paladins?

As of April 2024, around 400,000 people play Paladins on a fairly regular basis.

How Active Is The Paladins Playerbase?

Paladins is very active, meaning that very short matchmaking times and even instant matchmaking are possible in populated regions, while less popular regions enjoy stable but less instantaneous matchmaking.

Is Cross-Platform Multiplayer Supported?

Paladins supports:

  • Cross-Platform Multiplayer.
  • Cross-Platform Parties.
  • Cross-Generational Multiplayer.
  • Cross-Generational Parties.
  • Cross-Platform Progression.

Is There Group Finding/Matchmaking Support?

Paladins offers the following matchmaking options:

  • Skill-Based Matchmaking
  • Region-Based Matchmaking
  • Solo Matchmaking
  • Group Matchmaking

Are There In-Game Microtransactions?

The Paladins in-game store sells:

  • Cosmetic Items.
  • Cosmetic Item Bundles.
  • Premium Currency Bundles.
  • Premium Battlepass.
  • Starter Packs.

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • Console - Controller.
  • PC - Controller.
  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Paladins is rated PEGI 12+ and contains the following:

  • Partial Nudity
  • Violence

Final Verdict.

Face-paced combat, bright and vibrant visuals and a large and engaged player base make Paladins a great “Overwatch alternative” for those who are tired of the market leader or unable to purchase it.

I like Paladins and feel it has something to offer the hero shooter genre. Still, in many ways, most notably female representation, it falls behind other titles on the market, such as Hi-Rez’s very own Rogue Company, which manages to offer players a wide variety of female characters that go beyond being eye candy for teenage boys, including the athletic Lancer, muscular Sigrid and Runway who is portrayed as a woman in her mid to late 60s.

Overall a decent game, but not unmissable.

Is Paladins Worth Playing In 2024?

8
Honest Video Game Reviews has given "Paladins" a rating of 8/10, indicating that it is a good game, that is well worth playing, and while it may have a few shortcomings, the average gamer will enjoy it.

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