Paladins vs Overwatch
So, you read the title. What the hell is Paladins? Isn’t that just the knock off of Overwatch? Why should I even read this article? You should. Even if you play both games, even if you don’t play either, or even if you just play one of them. I’m here to talk about both games separately and compare them and ultimately get you to fall in love with both. I’m obsessed with both games (especially Paladins as of recently) and I think you should be too.
Overwatch is an online first-person shooter game where you’re on a team with five other people. They have 31 different characters (“heroes”) you can choose from – ranging from genetically modified humans, cowboys, a dead guy, and even a peanut-butter obsessed gorilla scientist. There are so many different heroes you can choose from – all in their own group by class: Tank, Damage, or Support - so you’re constantly able to switch between some you really enjoy playing as (your ‘main’) or if you want to challenge yourself you can play Mystery Heroes: a game you can play in Overwatch’s arcade where every time you die you respawn as a different character. You can see a list of all of the heroes.
You are also able to change between characters during any kind of game (except Mystery Heroes) by just reloading the character selection screen and selecting a new hero in the spawn room. You could be all 31 characters in one game if you really wanted to. There is a lot of discourse about the characters, unfortunately. Overwatch came out in May of 2016 and have since only added about ten. In all of their 31 characters, even though it is incredibly diverse – Blizzard has yet to add a black woman. This has upset a lot of fans and some have even left the Overwatch gaming world because of it. Their most recent character they added – Sigma, a giant white man that can control gravity and black holes – was added late 2019. The very confusing backstories and lore of Overwatch have tons of black female characters but for some unknown reason, they have yet to add a playable character. Blizzard has released teasers for Overwatch 2 – and have even announced Sojourn being a new character. She is seen in many missions as the captain of Overwatch who guides the strike team in helping take out enemies. Her abilities and other info are little to unknown so we’re all hoping for her in Overwatch 2.
Overwatch is constantly holding events every few months and changes the arcade up with new game styles weekly – you’re also able to jump into custom games made by other Overwatch players. However, Overwatch is not cross-platform play. PS4 players play with only PS4 players, PC with only PC players, and so forth. This limits people who you can play with and even throws some people off from buying it. Blizzard is constantly running specials on the PC game so it can get extremely cheap if you hit it at the right time (usually around holidays). The console versions however are very rarely on sale. I would recommend shopping around before buying the physical version first – I did purchase mine for around $20 on Amazon. All in all, Overwatch is a great game to play if you’re looking for a fun online FPS that still has a really active fan base. There are tons of esports teams to watch – as well as Twitch/Mixer streamers.
Paladins is also an online multiplayer first-person shooter game – but instead it is you and four other people on your team. Paladins has 44 different playable characters – all called champions – each with their own unique abilities. They are distributed into four different categories: front line, damage, supports, and flanks. There are 11 front line, 14 damage, 9 support, and 10 flank characters.
Paladins came out in September 2016 – just a few months after Overwatch came out. Comparing to Overwatch however, there aren’t as many gaming options. You can play siege – where you slowly move a payload. There’s also onslaught – which is basically a ‘king of the hill’ game: you’re to keep the point for as long as you can or until you reach 400 points as a team. The final game you can play is deathmatch – that title is already a given. These are the only three kinds of game modes you get out of playing online on Paladins. The same goes for training against AI, except you also get to play around in the shooting range. There is a ‘custom game’ option but it is very rare you are able to get into one. You can see a detailed list about each game mode in Paladins.
Unfortunately, in Paladins, when you’re choosing a character, you have to stick with that character. You can’t even change out of it once you’ve selected it before the game starts. You can also stand in the spawn room the entire game and still never be able to change from your already selected character. Once you lock in your character – you’re locked in until that game ends (or you rage quit and queue for another). Choose your character wisely.
Out of the 44 characters, Paladins has much more of a diverse roster than Overwatch does: ranging from giant turtles, pixies, tigers, dragons, witches, scientists, and some just plain old humans. There are more than enough champions to choose from. Unlike Overwatch, Paladins actually has black female characters. They are also constantly adding new characters – just recently adding Tiberius: a tiger that is a weapon’s master – who was added January of 2020. Paladins is constantly pumping out brand new characters – two have been added since I started playing it a few months ago.
Also, unlike Overwatch, Paladins is cross-platform. That’s right! Cross. Platform. But – not entirely. A console player can play with a PC player but not a console/console. Playstation and Xbox please just be friends. Cross-platform play is HUGE and it also gives a player a better chance of finding a game. Speaking of, Paladins loading times for games to just start are longer than they should be. It takes an extremely long time for the game to start up after everyone has already selected a champion and being ready. Its player-base is also a lot smaller than Overwatch’s so there are times you play against (or with) AI characters. Paladins was also free to purchase on PS4. You get the base game and about 15 champions to play with for free. That’s right: FREE. Blizzard doesn’t give anything away for free. If you do want to skip saving up coins and diamonds to unlock other champions, you can purchase the champion pack through whatever you’re playing Paladins on for around $25.
All in all, it really boils down to what you are looking for in a game. They’re both extremely fun and fast-paced FPS games with tons of potential. I love both equally – even though I have a softer spot for the Paladins champions. Some of the characters are extremely similar or have similar playing styles/abilities. If you’re looking for a new online FPS game to start out with, I’d recommend Overwatch. But if you’re a little more in-tuned with the FPS world, I’d recommend giving Paladins a try - especially if you love science fiction related things.
Guest post written by NecessaryCherry. You can follow her work on Instagram