Hi-Rez Studios, the team that brought you the unique MOBA game, Smite: Battleground of the Gods, and the hero-based shooter, Paladins: Champions of the Realm, announced that the upcoming spin-off of their FPS shooter has finally arrived in closed alpha on April 10, 2018.
The game is promised to be a “new kind of battle royale” according to the studio, mixing up formulas from MOBAs and RPGs. Paladins Realm Royale (formerly Paladins Battlegrounds) is a 100-player survival game where competing champions are scattered throughout a quite large map with some interesting terrain, which varies from plain green fields and dusty deserts to snowy mountains. The game also features a “Forging system” wherein players have the ability to craft Legendary weapons or utilities from gathered Shards—the main currency/resource of the game mode. Players then need to accumulate a couple of minutes for the crafting while trying to survive against their live enemies.
Paladins Realm Royale’s original concept in 2016 was to let players pick any premade champion and fight to the death against a hundred others. But since the release of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds as well as the game setting the standards of the battle royale genre, Hi-Rez Studios had to adapt to par with the rest of the survival multiplayer.
The game does not include any of the champions per se, but rather a random-faced avatar or a regular joe just like in Fortnite. Players start off with a sword in hand and, just like any other battle royale, you explore the map to find weapons and other items. However, in the case of Paladins, you get to pick up weapons from existing champions from the FPS counterpart, along with their ability which you can get. It sounds weird, yes, but the game can look quite interesting—imagine having Viktor’s rifle while being in stealth mode like Skye? Or maybe protecting yourself with Fernando’s shield and have the ability to mirror yourself like Ying? It may seem pretty messy, but if you look at this game without comparing it to others, you could say that there’s a lot of formula to mix and match that makes the battle royale version of Paladins being actually fun.
Yet, despite Hi-Rez’ ambiguous project, it has received mixed reviews from the community—some are excited about the game yet the other side are infuriated by it, stating that the FPS game is still imbalanced and lots of wormholes to be plugged. The development team has promised to still keep an eye out for Champions of the Realm while focusing on Realm Royale. They have also promised to give away more keys for lucky players to have access to their battle royale.
While they are quite excited to get this up and running, they are still facing issues with their current game, as long-time players have been complaining about the unfixed matchmaking on Competitive mode and the accused greedy move of the company to add loot boxes in the game, all while revamping their loot system and grind for the players.
Champions of the Realm, despite the current concerns that are claimed to be unresolved based on the fanbase’s answers, has been regarded as a good game. Yet, it has been compared countless times with the highly successful FPS multiplayer game by Blizzard, Overwatch, and even sued Blizzard for copying their concept which they came up years before Blizzard announced their own class-based shooter. Some even call Paladins a riped-off Overwatch while others suggest it to be better than Blizzard’s game. However, the game has always been attacked with lots of accused broken champion issues as well as bugs that were never addressed.
With their new battle royale game on the rise, a lot of people have been questioning whether or not Hi-Rez is original in their game concepts as they claim them to be. The recent peak of battle royale games has obviously been overpowering other multiplayer genres such as FPS, MOBA, Racing and Fighting games. Due to this trend that is turning the heads of loyal players in particular game titles, Hi-Rez has joined the battle for it as well.
Will it ever top in the Twitch charts, though? We’ll find out soon enough once Early Access for Realm Royale is released. At the moment, Paladins on Twitch has earned 957 average viewers and peaked at 6,327 viewers since last week, April 2, 2018, according to twitchmetrics.net. When the battle royale spin-off shall hit the shelves soon, we might see an estimate of over 20,000 to 25,000 viewers.
Depending on how well Hi-Rez Studios will be able to execute the game, the given number of viewership may be on a consistent basis, as long as there are recognized personalities on Twitch that will play the game.