Since it was first revealed to the world, Paladins: Champions of the Realm has been accused of being a clone of Blizzard's popular hero shooter Overwatch. While Hi-Rez Studios has disputed this, there's no denying that there are striking similarities between the two games, and both play very similarly. Considering how much alike the two games are, it's hard to blame fans for drawing comparisons between Paladins: Champions of the Realm and Overwatch.
The similarities between Overwatch and Paladins may make some people disregard Paladins right out of the gate, but those that actually give it a chance may find a suitable alternative to Overwatch. In fact, there are even some things Paladins arguably does better than Overwatch, even though it is still in beta and clearly has a long way to go before it finishes development.
For any Overwatch fans curious as to what Paladins: Champions of the Realm is bringing to the table, here are five things Paladins does better than Overwatch.
5 Full Team Elimination Matches
While both Paladins and Overwatch are built around objective-based game types with players capturing points and pushing payloads, they both offer more traditional elimination matches as well. The difference is that Overwatch's take on the game mode is rather limited, restricted to three players on each team and featuring only one map, Ecopoint: Antarctica. Paladins, meanwhile, allows for full team elimination matches and gives players more than one map to battle on.
4 Midnight Ultimate Ability
In Paladins, the flank character Maeve plays somewhat like a hybrid of Genji and Sombra, but her ultimate ability is what helps her stand apart. Maeve's ultimate ability is called Midnight, and it creates a thick sheet of darkness that completely obscures the vision of the enemy team. As it stands, there is nothing quite like this ability in Overwatch, yet it seems like a move that could prove useful, and would serve as a good counter not only to nearby enemies caught in the darkness, but also to snipers hoping to pick people off from a distance.
3 Mix and Match Cosmetics
One of the thrills of opening a loot box in Overwatch and Paladins is the chance to unlock new cosmetic items. Now, the skins available in Paladins simply can't compete with the creativity and variety found in Overwatch, but Paladins does allow players to mix and match cosmetics, giving players more freedom when it comes to customizing characters.
2 PvE Modes
Overwatch has dabbled with PvE in the past, but the game hasn't consistently provided PvE content for players. In fact, the last time Overwatch supported a PvE mode (outside of bot battles, of course) was last Halloween with the Junkenstein's Revenge mode. Paladins may not have a perfect PvE mode by any stretch of the imagination, but the game at least provides it consistently as option for those playing the game.
1 Weekly Challenges
Most first-person shooters have some sort of weekly challenges that players can complete to earn extra in-game rewards. Since so many other games in the genre embrace weekly challenges, it's odd that Overwatch has yet to do so, yet Paladins has had the feature since its first day on consoles. While sometimes tedious, these challenges give players extra objectives to shoot for in matches, and can encourage fans to try out heroes they may have otherwise ignored.
While Overwatch may always be the more popular hero-based shooter on the market, that doesn't mean Blizzard can't learn a few things from Paladins and apply that knowledge to Overwatch. On the flip side, Paladins could also learn quite a bit from Overwatch, and could use those lessons to make it a much better game.
For example, Overwatch's rich lore, while rarely explored in the game itself, has made its characters more memorable and recognizable. Overwatch's microtransaction model focuses only on loot box cosmetics, whereas Paladins has been accused of being pay-to-win. Overwatch also has significantly less technical issues than Paladins, but fans must remember that Paladins is still in beta, and these issues could very well be ironed out before it enjoys its proper launch.
As both Paladins and Overwatch continue to grow, it's clear that the two hero shooters can learn a lot from each other and become better experiences for it. Whether or not that comes to pass remains to be seen, but it will be interesting to see the evolution of both games over the next couple of years.
Paladins: Champions of the Realm is available now in beta for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.