Paladins Champions of the Realm has been out for a while and has achieved its place in the fantasy shooter realm despite being compared to Overwatch every step of the way. Hi-Rez Studios has put a lot of work into this game, and patch 55 adds a lot of extra options and upgrades to what was already a solid game.
On top of a plethora of heroes, we gain a new character as well as some sleek new skins for a few of the heroes. There is a new map, new chests, and there is a host of bug fixes that make the game run more smoothly. The beta is free to play, so if you like hero shooters, it's definitely worth giving a try, and the game already has a ton of content to play around with.
Give Paladin's a free download on the PSN store.
characters and skins
On top of what was already a pretty loaded roster, patch 55 brings us a new hero named Jenos. Jenos is a support character, but he is also an offensive powerhouse. Jenos hits for a lot of damage, and he has the ability to heal party members. His main attack does 120 damage making him a very formidable support character.
Star Splitter: Star splitter shoots projectiles from a staff deals 120 every 0.13 seconds.It has a medium range. I found it a breeze to rip through enemies with this attack, especially in tandem with his other abilities, and it works best right behind your front lines.
Astral Mark: Nearby players are healed 220 hp for every second up to 10 seconds. It's a solid heal spell that can go a long way and keep you in the fight and ready for another offensive push.
Void Grip: This unique attack lifts enemies and deals 150 damage per second for 2.5 seconds. It's not as lethal as Star Splitter, but it's neat, and I enjoyed that it usually paralyzed foes for a couple seconds and gave me time for my other abilities to recharge.
Stellar Wind: Your weapon lowers and you move 65% faster with an increased jump and decreased falling speed. Overall this ability was useful when you needed a quick escape to heal, but it's balanced by not allowing you to attack while moving.
Through Time and Space: This attack is a huge blast that unleashes the power of the cosmos. it requires 1.5 seconds to charge and deals 2400 damage. This was actually my least favorite attack. It's powerful, but it's hard to lock onto an enemy and I often missed completely.
Overall I really enjoyed Jenos, and he is definitely one of my favorite heroes to play as. His ultimate attack is a bit hard to use and is somewhat of a letdown, but all his other skills rock and his ability to both heal and unleash a powerful offense make him very balanced, useful, and a genuine joy to control.
I don't usually get too excited for new skins, but in an online FPS they definitely lend your character more personality and make you stand out amongst your peers.
Ruckus: Ruckus had the biggest change since his base model received an entire overhaul. This was said to have been done to fit in with the fantasy setting and with the lore of his character. The improvements are immediately obvious visually; instead of looking like a bland space robot, his suit now has a lot more detail, and the cockpit looks really intricate. It now looks like a relic from an old technological society rather than a scrap suit NASA left behind.
Supposedly his FPS is improved, but Ruckus is a frontline fighter who lacks the ability to shield or block incoming attacks. It's a bit bizarre that they took away this seemingly necessary ability, so despite his cool new appearance, I, as well as many players, find Ruckus to be less valuable in the fight since he is left essentially defenseless on the front lines.
Clockwork Torvald: This new skin was definitely a cool look that made Torvald seem infused with scientific genius. His original model just looked like an old scholar with a mechanized hand, but this new skin really makes him seem like a true warrior. I really enjoyed the neon green, especially while recharging health with the glowing hand.
Hemlock Willo: Good fairy, bad fairy, Hemlock Willo definitely takes on a darker, more powerful look. With a crown of horns, pale blue eyes, and a darker tint, this is a bad fairy that other heroes don't want to mess with. This is another skin done right since it offers a whole new perspective of the original character, and I dug the darker look.
Defiler Mal'Damba: Say hi to Jafar meets Majora's Mask, and it's certainly a cool skin. This was probably my least favorite new skin since it seemed less original, but I do absolutely love the darker, more insidious look of the snake,
Overall the skins were all really cool, and I love that Ruckus got a whole new suit that fits in much better with the rest of the heroes, but unfortunately this came as a trade off for his vulnerability on the battlefield. The other skins were not as impactful, but they are all fun and offer different perspectives on the already established heroes.
patch upgrades and updates
The new map that patch 55 brings is called Splitstone Quarry and the developers wanted this map to be more interactive, offering natural obstacles that the players would have to overcome or work around. As the name suggests it's a large quarry with a hulking granary in the middle. There were some obstacles such as moving propellers that could kill you, (which I did die once for the fun of it) but they were overall very easy to get around. it's almost impossible to die to these obstacles unless it's intentional, so in regards to natural obstacles, it feels almost like any other level.
If you need to push the payload then this map becomes very challenging. This will be a love or hate feature for many players, but I personally enjoyed the challenge of trying to get the payload pushed through the vast, open area. It does take an enormous amount of effort, and it requires most of your team to work together, but I love moments like these where individualism is warded off for the greater objective.
Splitstone Quarry is a cool map, and while it wasn't my favorite area by any means, I definitely enjoyed playing on it and found it a welcome addition to the game.
Patch 55 has introduced Clockwork Chests which can only be opened with crystals. The chests are loaded with weapons, and most are rare, epic, or exclusive. There aren't a lot of weapons added in these chests, but there are enough to make it a new fun chest to unlock from, and it won't take long to unlock all the weapons.
I enjoyed most of the weapons in the clockwork chest, and I liked that this chest was guaranteed to give me a new item whereas some other chests like the enchanted chests would give me something banal like essence.
A number of bugs are fixed with patch 55 making the game run more smoothly.
- Custom Matches are now sorted Alphabetically by Lobby Name
- Fixed issue where switching classes multiple times in Shooting Range would disable Legendary card effects
- Fixed an issue where Legendaries or Loadouts couldn’t be selected when loading late into the start of a match
- Fixed issue where Evie could Blink while Rooted
- Fixed Sprays not equipping properly in Match Lobby
- Fixed issue with Lian’s Grace drawing two firing traces
- Fixed instance with Lian’s Legendaries not showing properly on entering match
- Fixed captured waypoint icon saying persisting on screen for too long
- Fixed missing text for Founder’s Pack Essence acquisition
- Fixed end of match lobby chat disappearing right after a match ends
- Fixed issue with players who didn’t receive account level 30 beta Achievement from OB53 adjustments
- Fixed end of match reward issues with Onslaught Practice
- Small clean ups in the items section of the store.
- Shooting Range
- Fixed issue with all Champion Emotes playing Viktor’s.
- Fixed not being able to use non-default Emotes
- Fixed unable to use Sprays
I got to experiment with everything in the new patch. Most of the upgrades and changes were great, and the game does feel more complete. I especially like the addition of Jenos and organizing the lobby alphabetically. This game nearly feels complete already, and I was surprised just how much it had to offer at the beta stage of development.
The skins were all wonderful and fun, but I didn't like that Ruckus's abilities were changed. A front line fighter definitely needs a shield or ability that can protect themselves from enemy attacks or they may as well be a damage or support character. After trying most of the heroes, I can say Ruckus is hands down my least favorite front line fighter, even with the cool character design.
The new chests offer neat weapons, but I think a direct buy system would work so much better for this game. I know the chests appeal to the fantasy elements of Paladins, but I just find them tedious; clockwork chests are better than some of the other types, but the whole system felt clunky to me.
My last complaint is that I often had to wait in an extended queue. The game booted me out, and it often took minutes to find a match.
I think Paladins is already its own game, and despite some flaws and tedium, I did enjoy playing, and I think anyone interested should definitely try the free open beta. The new patch improves it, and I am intrigued to see how Paladins will look when it's complete.
|+ Jenos is great||– Ruckus's combat changes|
|+ Bug fixes help||– Chest system feels clunky|
|+ New skins and map are welcomed||– Queues can take a long time|