In November 2015, Epic Games slowly started revealing Paragon through a series of teasers showing some of the playable characters. Presented in a way that you’re more used to see in car videos, the teasers showed the tiny details across each hero, from weapons to clothing and the amazing facial detail. Sure, we already know what this studio is capable of doing, but what the hell were they teasing after all? The more likely thing was a new shooter in the style of Gears of War. Could it be?
Actually, no – Paragon is a MOBA. Epic Games was working on this game for a couple of years, trying to bring something fresh to the genre, and it needs to be so if they want to compete with heavyweights such as League of Legends, Dota 2 or SMITE. We’re confident that Paragon will be a big hit when it enters open beta in summer 2016, but what makes this game so special among the tons of new MOBAs being announced every year?
It’s in third-person
Admit it; you’re all getting a bit sick and tired of seeing every MOBA from a top-down perspective, as if you’re disconnected from what’s happening down there. Sure, the camera works nicely for a lot of games and is suitable for certain gameplay styles, but for years we’ve been forced into the same perspective again and again, as if it was a written rule that you couldn’t escape from. Then SMITE came and gave the genre a bit of a shake, King of Wushu is also going third-person, but Paragon is bound to strengthen the viewpoint. Coming from the studio that created one of the greatest third-person shooter franchises ever, Paragon adopts a bold style that gets you right in the middle of the action and allows you to directly control your hero without compromise. However, don’t be mistaken, this isn’t a shooter or a hybrid: it’s purely a MOBA but one that tries to do it in a refreshing, explosive way.
Unreal Engine 4 makes it look stunning
Being free-to-play is most of the time an excuse for the developers to flush some outdated crap down our throats and say clichéd stuff like ‘graphics aren’t everything’. Sure, they’re not entirely wrong but why can’t we get more triple-A free-to-play games that aren’t developed as an afterthought? Epic Games is clearly treating players right, especially with the open development that the studio is following with the revival of Unreal Tournament and the time that they’re taking with Fortnite. But it’s Paragon we’re talking about, and this game is one more showcase for the Unreal Engine 4, a visual masterpiece that already looked extremely slick during the alpha, with painstakingly created characters and environments that are brimming with detail.
Card system possibilities
Every MOBA has some kind of way to upgrade your characters. Runes or masteries are words that any fan of the genre knows all too well. But recently there’s another trend taking over and while it’s still far from consensual, it’s been seen in Paladins: Champions of the Realm and also in Paragon: the card system. These cards are purchased and upgraded with in-game points earned through play and can change the way a hero behaves during a match. For example, you can acquire mana and health cards, along with different weapons and upgrade them in three stages. These combinations will open up plenty of new gameplay strategies, and so you’re not restricted to a certain skill tree. Some players fear that this card system may turn a mechanical game into an unpredictable mess, but on the other hand we don’t mind having some freedom to customize our hero to our own liking.
Sci-fi gets some love
There’s no denying it, sci-fi doesn’t get enough love. It’s all about fantasy, all the time, a bit of mythology now and then and not much else. Sure, there’s another MOBA called Supernova in the works, but that one takes a more standard approach. So it’s good to see slick characters and armored mammoths duking it out with crazy futuristic weapons, big ass shields, invisibility and plenty more. All of this in a stunning arena where advanced technology meets nature and provides some awe-inspiring sights. It makes for a refreshing change and considering the interesting character design, there are some great clashes coming.
Cross-Platform and cross-progression
Paragon is going to be cross-platform between PC and PlayStation 4. This is good news in itself, as everyone will be able to play together regardless of their platform of choice. But Epic Games is not only doing that, they’re going further with cross-progression, which means that you can play on PC or PlayStation 4 and always keeping your progress intact. Paragon also saves player progress and items across both platforms, so you don’t risk losing anything or going through some painful platform transfers. Finally, while the PC seems to be the platform of choice, Epic Games has revealed that the PlayStation 4 version isn’t a port, being instead built specifically for the PS4 system. Considering the third-person viewpoint, this game could be equally suited to play with a gamepad on PC and PS4.
Paragon has this and a lot more going for it, so we can’t hide the excitement for this MOBA. Epic Games quickly revealed that it was going to be free-to-play, unlike other studios that just love to make their games premium and then throw a cash shop in there for the impatient suckers with large wallets. If you’re excited for this game too then you’ll be able to support it when it enters early access, or you can wait until summer 2016 for the open beta. Hey, maybe you’re already enjoying the alpha, so let us know what you think of it in the comments.