Another game is joining the ever-expanding population of battle royal shooters, and in a way that’s not that original. Hi-Rez Studios announced today that their free-to-play, hero-based shooter Paladins will add a battle royale-style mode, the first ever for the hero shooter genre, under the very familiar title Paladins: Battlegrounds.
Attempting to capitalize on the popularity of the genre-defining PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the new mode will drop 100 players onto a large island map where they will gear up and eliminate one another as bomb zones and a shrinking barrier of fog force players into smaller areas of battle until one champion claims victory. The mode basically sounds like PUBG, just reskinned to fit the more fantastic setting of Paladins, right down to the inclusion of mounts to emulate vehicles. The only real difference Paladins: Battlegrounds promises is the inclusion of class abilities.
This isn’t the first time Paladins has been met with criticism over a perceived lack of originality. The game drew many comparisons to another wildly popular game that defined a genre, Blizzard’s Overwatch, upon its release in September 2016. (Hi-Rez COO Todd Harris revealed some of the game’s development history in this post to counter the claims that Overwatch heavily influenced Paladins.) While Paladins did well enough to define itself apart from its more heavily praised competitor, Hi-Rez’s strategy of slapping half of the title of the game upon whose popularity they’re trying to capitalize isn’t especially inspired.
The free mode is “still early in development” according to Hi-Rez, but Paladins: Battlegrounds is expected to line up alongside Crytek’s Warface and Epic’s Fortnite in the realm of battle royale adopters sometime in 2018 for both PC and console players alike.
Check out the debut trailer for Paladins: Battlegrounds below.