Hi-Rez Studios, largely known for its MOBA pantheon of warring gods in SMITE, has announced that its latest project, Paladins: Champions of the Realm, has gone into closed beta on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Having been running since March 14, the test trial will eventually evolve into an open beta, but the details and date of this next step remain unknown.
However, there are two ways to sign up for the closed beta. Instant access is granted upon purchasing the Founder's Pack for $15, which affords you every Champion that will be released, chests and in-game currency that can be put toward skins and cards, and various other cosmetics. This price is a 25 percent discount across both platforms (with the exception of a slightly larger sale for PlayStation Plus subscribers) that will last until March 28. But if you would rather wait, you can try your luck and see if you're selected for the closed beta on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 by clicking on the respective links.
In addition, the developer revealed that console players will be able to participate in a Paladins tournament at the Dreamhack Valencia 2017 conference in Spain from July 14-16. COO Todd Harris commented on how rare of an event this is in the eSports scene.
As far as we know, no major multiplayer shooter has ever had their best players from both PS4 and Xbox One play one another in this type of venue. We can finally settle the Blue vs Green debate once and for all.The two best teams on both platforms will be flown out to the event in a single elimination competition with a prize pool of $50,000 at stake. For more details and information about other tournaments being hosted by Hi-Rez Studios, you can find the respective answers here and here.
For the uninitiated, Paladins has a large cast of characters with idiosyncratic weaponry and abilities that fight across fantastical landscapes. Modes range from capturing/defending a point to escort/stop a payload in Siege to deathmatches with no respawning in Survival. What sets it apart from other multiplayer shooters like Overwatch and Team Fortress 2 is a cards system unique to each Champion. Upon receiving them from chests or leveling up, they can be assigned to alter stats or bring in completely new passives and bonuses. It has been in beta development since 2015 on PC.
What do you make of Paladins? In light of its unfortunate comparisons and convergent development with Overwatch, do you think it has enough going for it to distinguish itself? Are you going to try to jump into the closed beta or have you already invested into it on PC? Champion your thoughts in the comments below.