Greetings, ladies and gentlemen!
I just finished watching a video released by MMOBomb.com featuring some gameplay from Paragon, a game currently in development. I was left with mixed feelings about it, and I wanted to discuss them here. The footage I saw didn’t get me excited for the game’s release, nor was I entirely put off by what I saw. I’m at that level where I think the game needs A LOT of work before the developers launch it. In today’s post, I want to discuss why I was left with the impression that Paragon looks kind of boring.
Paragon is yet another entry to the MOBA genre, and it seems intent on competing directly with SMITE. Players will be familiar with the traditional format the genre is known for (lanes, minions, towers, etc.), but the controls are more akin to a third-person shooter. Combat will require players to aim at their intended target in order to land attacks and abilities. Throughout a match, players will earn levels, upgrade skills, and purchase items, all to achieve the goal of reaching the enemy core/keep/ancient. Upon victory, you will earn progression towards the hero you played and be showered with rewards for your efforts.
Now, you would think having third-person shooter controls would make the game incredibly action packed, but you would be wrong. Contrary to how the game is marketed (video), Paragon is a painfully slow game. The video I mentioned earlier was 28 minutes long, but only 17 of those were of actual match gameplay. By the time the video ended, only a single tower from either team had been destroyed. That is a lot of time to pass before anything meaningful happens.
Now, judging by the pace of the game, I’m assuming the match would have continued for another 40 minutes (guesstimate) before either team achieved victory. In Heroes of the Storm, matches generally last between 20-30 minutes, but they have the potential to end before the 20-minute mark. So, matches in Paragon are 2 to 3 times as long as any match in HotS. This means that the progression of gameplay moves at a snails pace. I don’t think matches in League of Legends move that slow anymore (do correct me if I’m wrong, though).
The character showcased in the MMOBomb video is called Twinblast (as seen in the above image). Despite the uninspired name, I was anticipating a lot of mobility and fast-paced action from this character. Instead, I was treated to a rather boring display that could induce sleep at a mere glance. Twinblast lagged ass, he moved like a sloth, he fired one shot every 1.5 seconds (guesstimate), and all the other heroes running around (including the one ninja character I saw) moved as if they were running through mud. I was given the impression Paragon would not be fun to play for extended periods of time.
Not absolutely everything is bad about the game, though. Paragon makes incredible use of the Unreal Engine, and it looks ah-MAY-zing! The character designs are varied and possess a significant amount of detail. The map that is available (Agora, I believe) has a lot of detail as well, and looks massive with the third-person perspective. To be honest, it was the art design that drew me to the game.
Unfortunately, the excessively slow pacing of the matches has stifled any excitement I may have had for Paragon. This is a shame because the features designed around the characters aren’t bad. The card system put in place of the traditional item system looks interesting, and could easily be expanded for more varied builds. Experience gained doesn’t appear to be exclusive to last hitting minions, but this may have been something I didn’t notice. The abilities used by the characters are flashy and impressive, but barely mask the slow pacing of a match.
In general, the developers would benefit from tweaking the gameplay to make better use of the third-person shooter controls. Presently, the movement of the characters and the pacing of the matches are just too damn slow. As an example, Twinblast is wielding two guns, so his attacks per second should be at least 2.0 (and almost 3.0 with his attack speed buff), not 0.66. I’m not sure why anyone thought that design choice would be fun because it looks kind of boring. I believe Paragon just went into Beta, so the developers have time to focus on increasing the fun factor and draining the ZzzQuil from the system.
Have you played Paragon yet? What do you think of the gameplay? Do you agree with my thoughts? Do you disagree? Does Twinblast remind you of the Deus Ex series? Join the discussion below.
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War Fist out.