This is Epic’s Paragon open Beta critical review. It is a beautiful MOBA game stricktly based on Dota, but it currently lacks lots of things needed to make it a good game. Gameplay is boring and dull, no thrill at all. Let’s see Why.
DISCLAIMER: At the time of this post the game is still in Open Beta phase. The final release can differ a lot so take this into consideration.
I am a big fan of the MOBA genre since Dota 1 (the Warcraft 3 mode) – one of the first and maybe the one that got the hype started. For those of you unfamiliar with the MOBA games here is a quick summary (from Wikipedia) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiplayer_online_battle_arena:
Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), is a genre of strategy video gamesthat originated as a subgenre of real-time strategy, in which a player controls a single character in one of two teams. The objective is to destroy the opposing team’s main structure with the assistance of periodically spawned computer-controlled units that march forward along set paths. Player characters typically have various abilities and advantages that improve over the course of a game and that contribute to a team’s overall strategy. MOBA games are a fusion of action games, role-playing games and real-time strategy games, in which players usually do not construct either buildings or units.
And what Epic has done with Paragon is taking the core MOBA gameplay and Dota map layout – 3 lanes – 1 center lane and two side; creep spawning on certain time interval and different heroes, instead of items they got cards. The heroes level up, have a couple of skills and one ultimate most powerfull skill, HP and mana … nothing unusual except the cards.
Still I don’t find all those things implemented in the best possible way, the cards are hard to understand and use, and one couldn’t escape wondering why they didn’t just use the items mechanics from dota as they’ve done with all other aspects of the game.
If at first place you start a project closely based on a given game why don’t you go all the way? Why try to implement some controversial mechanics which is obviously done in order to make it sound and feel different while it’s actually not and the end result is just plain pain in the butt for the players who need to get into learning something new while playing the same old game.
When it comes to gameplay, well, it’s just boring, sorry Epic but this is the current situation.
When you get 3rd Person MOBA from the guys who crafted a masterpiece like Unreal Tournament you kinda expect a dynamic and action-oriented gameplay, Well think again! Battle is slow paced, no quick moves or skill required, you just click the hell outta your mouse. Kinda dull … I had a hard time sleeping through my 1st game.
One of the main reasons for this is the movement speed which is just so slow that it can take you forever to move around the map, which is one of the main part of the gameplay in MOBA games – map control and versatility. These are just abandoned in Paragon and it’s quite obvious it is done intentionally. The problem is you get annoyed so quick by the slow pace of moving around that you just lose the will to explore the game any further.
I won’t give as example what’s done in Overwatch – it’s solved in a perfect way. I’ll give as example DOTA where you can buy a lot of items to modify your movement speed and travel skills – Blink Dagger, Force Staff, Boots of Travel. And what about all the heroes with blink and jump skills? This brings us back to the lack of skill-based gameplay in Paragon. You just move around the battlefield with a speed more suitable for a walk in the park and occasionally activate your skills.
I’d sincerely advise Epic on thinking over their game, this is not only my personal opinion, every other player I’ve talked with is on the same page. We need a tremendous update and increase in action and game speed. I don’t know if they’ve made the game as it is with the casual players in mind but it’s a total failure either way.
IMO they need just take UT’s gameplay and mix it with moba mechanics, that’s what we expect that’s what will probably work much much better.
Right now Paragon is like a monster locked in chains, the graphics and models are just amazing but the gameplay ruins it all.
We need (Please!) or Epic’s Paragon can fail big time:
- Faster action, blinks, dashes, big jumps, movement speed increase, more skill based action
- More clarity on items and skills, right now the skills manipulation is kinda unsatisfying and not comfortable at all
- More verticality, remember the cult Morpheus map in Unreal Tournament? Well that’s the kind of things we need! And I don’t mean “verticality” in terms of level design – it’s more about gameplay, because the map has verticality, it’s just not usable in the way it was done in the UT deathmatch maps.
- We need bigger open spaces, right now the map feels too artificial and dense like playing on a mockup, where are the open spaces (forests) from Dota? Just too straightforward as a whole.