Before I played Paladins: Champions of the Realm today I had heard next to nothing about it. When I logged in and was granted access to the closed beta, I was eager to find out more. I found out this game is pretty much a free to play Overwatch, and that isn’t a terrible thing.

This game doesn’t really hold back when it comes to being like Overwatch either. This is almost dead on Overwatch. When you join a game you have to choose a character that no one else has picked, like Overwatch. The characters that you choose from may look different from some Overwatch characters but they play almost exactly the same. So far each character I have chosen almost directly resembles an Overwatch character gameplay wise. There are also Overwatch characters that have been somewhat split over multiple Paladin characters.

You have multiple different abilities per-character, and an ultimate that charges over awhile. You can actually choose between three ultimates at the beginning but you have to have unlocked the non-defaults. Some of these abilities do differ from Overwatch, but not many. You can also up certain character abilities mid-game through a store where you can choose how you want to spend per-match earned coins. This is very League of Legends like and kind of complicates the game in a way I don’t think I prefer to Overwatch but it doesn’t seem to make a huge gameplay difference, at least not with the games I have played.

After you have chosen one of your very Overwatch like characters the game will start and for some reason you will start on a horse, that you will then abandon once you decide to do any action other than move or jump. The idea of the horse is a quick way to get to the objective. The objective, unlike Overwatch, is to capture an area, after you capture the area then it is back to being Overwatch, your team is now on the offensive and can score a point by escorting the package to the goal. If you didn’t capture you are now trying to stop the other team from scoring.

Paladins is a free to play game, so you get what you expect with unlocks for the most part. They give you a set amount of characters and the others are locked to where you either have to earn them or pay for them. The game seems somewhat fair about letting you earn your characters and not making it necessary to spend money. There is a ton to spend money on as well. Two costume parts for each set, the head and the torso, which you can mix and match. There are emotes, voice packs, MVP poses, weapon skins, sprays and mounts. How you can unlock each of these vary per item, some items can be earned and bought, and some can only be earned through chests. Chests can be bought or earned through the same money system as everything else. You can also unlock chests just by leveling and winning. It seems as though the game is pretty fair about letting people who don’t want to spend a dime on the game still get a decent amount of unlocks. This is awesome and is a big part of my opinion of a free to play game.

Overall Paladins is a clone of Overwatch but with some tweaks here and there, some of which I can actually see some people preferring. For example everyone can heal if they haven’t been hit for awhile. There also doesn’t seem to be as much of a learning curve for a lot of the characters. But for the most part the main advantage to this game is being free to play. I can invite any of my friends to play this game and we can all have fun. I would also recommend this to anyone who hasn’t tried Overwatch and wants to know what all the fuss is about. If you end up trying this game out and liking it I would recommend checking out Overwatch as well. Honestly even though this is an Overwatch rip-off I still feel this game is almost better than any free to play game deserves to be, so I recommend anyone with some spare time to check it out.