Paragon is the newest MOBA to hit the market. Designed by the well-known studio Epic Games, creators of gamer favourites Gears of War and Unreal Tournament 3. Paragon is a third person MOBA very similar to Smite, while using many of the same mechanics as many other games in the genre including League of Legends and Dota 2. The major hook of this game over other popular MOBAs is the third person shooter gameplay, the platform functionality, and the absolutely gorgeous landscapes.
When does it come out?
Paragon has been in the testing phase for a while now, but as of today, Monday March 14th, the non-disclosure agreements are finally broken, allowing the gameplay of all testers to be released, as well as allowing them to broadcast their gameplay on Twitch. Several bundles were also released today.
There are three different bundles, the Founder’s Pack, Challenger Founder’s Pack, and Master Founder’s Pack. They cost $20, $60, and $100 respectively. Now, the game is entirely free to play, but these various Founder’s Packs come with different levels of extra goodies. The biggest thing is that the game will hit open beta at some point in the summer, but if you buy any level of Founder’s Pack, you will get access to the game when it hits Early Access this Friday March 18th. The other goodies it includes are mostly related to different kinds of skins and in-game bonuses, all which can be achieved through natural progression, albeit over long periods of time.
Why would I play this over any other MOBA?
As I said, the biggest hook to this game is the gameplay itself. Paragon takes on a very smooth third person shooter feel rather than a typical MOBA. There will still be an in-game leveling system which allows you to progress over the course of the match and develop your abilities, just like the other MOBAs. Paragon also has an extremely in-depth card system which allows you to customize your own character and account.
You unlock the cards by purchasing them with in-game currency, and when equipped they allow you to have different bonuses throughout the match. The idea is very similar to League of Legends’ rune system, but with a lot more depth involved. As with most MOBAs, Paragon has included a last-hitting mechanic of sorts. Rather than getting gold, every time a minion dies everyone in the area gets experience. This experience comes in the forms of red globes that fall to the ground for you to pick up. However, if you land the final blow on a minion, you will get a bonus amount of experience that goes directly to your character’s progress bar. So the systems behind it are very reminiscent of other MOBAs, but with a different gameplay style.
Also, one of the largest selling features for me is that Paragon is coming to both PC and PS4 simultaneously, and not only can you play on both servers, but the servers are actually connected, and you can play cross-platform. Not only that, you are not bound to your system of choice, if you want to move from PC to PS4, you are more than welcome to do that by simply logging in on the other system. The game was very much designed with this system in mind, which means that unlike most MOBAs out today, Paragon can be easily and fluidly played using a gaming controller rather than a keyboard and mouse if you so choose.
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The last differential feature is that Paragon is simply beautiful. Every moment of gameplay looks as if you are playing as part of a cinematic. The arena is gorgeous, every skill has a unique animation, and it runs very smoothly. This is a huge step forward over other MOBAs on the market today, who are for the most part very restricted by the top-down gameplay. Paragon makes use of its third-person viewpoint in perfect fashion, creating one of the best worlds I’ve seen in a long time. Videos can be seen here, or here, or here. Really does look like a cinematic, doesn’t it?
Okay, so what are the cons of Paragon?
There are a lot of pros to Paragon, as we’ve seen, but that certainly doesn’t mean there aren’t cons. The first is a very obvious one, that anyone who is interested in this style of game likely already has a popular MOBA that they are playing, and starting over again in a new one can be very daunting. I myself have nearly five thousand hours in League of Legends, and to stray to a new MOBA does take a certain amount of self-prodding. In the same vein, they are competing with a ton of other popular MOBAs, so playerbase and longevity is an obvious unknown.
The card system is a bit clunky. The cards allow a ton of variety and variation to your gameplay, and given enough time they can make a massive difference and add a ton of depth to Paragon. Unfortunately, at this point they aren’t pretty or visually different, and reading through stats isn’t particularly interesting, so the whole system is very off-putting. Epic Games has addressed this and mentioned that they plan on working on this system before launch, but at the moment it does need a bit of sprucing up.
Combat is a bit slow. This is a personal opinion. It has been voiced by a few members of the community, but it is just that, an opinion. However, I find the combat to be a bit too slow for my tastes, it seems like each battle takes around thirty to forty-five seconds, and that’s talking direct 1v1 combat, not just little pokes here and there. In my own view, speeding it up a bit would make the game more engaging, and bring the average game down a bit.
Paragon does look amazing, and despite my many hours in League, I have already bought a copy and will be logging in first thing Friday. The game has a lot of unique ideas and features, but at its core it truly is another MOBA, so it will be interesting to see if the community latches on to it or not. The MOBA scene is a very competitive one nowadays, and I hope Epic Games knows what they are doing going head to head with Riot and Valve. Hopefully we’ll see Paragon releasing in a few months with a solid community behind it and all its issues fixed!