June 24, 2016 by Paul Curtin
Now that the iconic developer is done with the Gears of War series, the team at Epic Games is focusing heavily on the free-to-play model for Unreal Tournament and their newest MOBA in early access, Paragon.
For those who haven’t seen Paragon before, it plays like popular multiplayer games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends, but in a more traditional action game-style third person view. Because of its different camera angle, Paragon feels most similar to Smite, but it’s visuals are far superior with the team behind the beautiful Unreal Engine actually developing the game themselves. Paragon is easily the best looking MOBA we’ve ever seen and probably the best looking free-to-play game too.
But Paragon’s stunning third-person visuals aren’t just for show, and the 3D environments allow for more action and combat on the game’s more vertical maps. The combat can also be played with a mouse and keyboard or controller on both PC and PS4 and we were surprised with how well the controller worked for the complicated genre.
We got a chance to sit down and go hands-on with Paragon at E3 and were able to check out the game’s newest hero, Khaimera. The brute brawler/slasher can quickly pounce in and out combat to quickly engage ganks and push forward waves of creeps to victory. Khaimera can even tank other enemy heroes at higher levels using his life-stealing ability in order to not lose health with every swipe he lands on his foes.
We also got a chance to speak 1-on-1 with the developers who shared their determination to constantly keep players on their toes by never keeping the game’s mechanics constant. “The only constant with Paragon is change” the developers told us when explaining they’re goals on updating the game with patches and meta-game changes for as long as people continue to play it.
During our hands-on demo of the gameplay, we got to see some of these recent changes in action such as a teleport system that should help players traverse the map easier. There’s also a newly added Draft mode, which interestingly even works before games when just playing with bots. Epic is also promising a new hero every 3 weeks, which should certainly please fans and keep their developers busy with balancing the game.
Players can register for the current early access beta right now on Paragon’s official site with the free open beta planned to release on August 16 for PC and PlayStation 4.