Back in November, when Epic Games first announced the existence of their latest project, very little was revealed about it other than a character named Twinblast and a few vague hints regarding some unlockable items. Given that this is the studio famed for creating both the Gears of War franchise (recently purchased by Microsoft) and the ongoing Unreal Tournament series, it wasn’t easy to be left with so little. Fortunately, during the PlayStation Experience 2015 last weekend, Epic Games finally shed some light on their upcoming title, Paragon.
Paragon will be a third-person MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). Fast paced decision making and team communication will feature largely in this new title, as they do in most MOBA’s. Terrain will also be integral to success. Maps are divided into three lanes and feature both elevated areas and dense vegetation from which attacks can be launched. Unlockable cards, each giving a boost or special ability, can be earned by players and formed into “decks,” giving further opportunity for individual and team based strategy. Not much is yet known about the storyline in this high intensity shooter, but that may not dissuade many gamers given how it looks thus far.
Throughout the different iterations of the Unreal Engine, Epic Games has acquired a reputation for beautifully polished visuals, fluid physics and visceral action. Despite only limited gameplay footage having been released, and that it’s only in alpha stage still, this game looks to uphold every hard earned chunk of that reputation.
Between the initial announcement in November and the PlayStation Experience last weekend, Epic has shown some of the other playable characters besides Twinblast. He will be joined by at least four others (all five can be found on Paragon’s website): Steel, Sparrow, Dekker and Grux. Twinblast is a human whose talent would appear to be getting straight into the action by running and gunning with his futuristic dual pistols. Steel is a massive, alien humanoid wearing some bulky armor and carrying a large shield with which he can protect his teammates or lay waste to his enemies. Fast and nimble, Sparrow is a human female armed with the classic bow and arrow, allowing her to deal damage from afar, harrying enemies and then escaping with ease. Another human female, Dekker’s ability is a bit less clear, but it’s likely she is the stealthy, rogue type hero that can be seen dealing death up close. Grux is a brutish looking alien who forgoes the protection of armor (hopefully his skin is just really tough) and tries to eviscerate his enemies with two nasty looking melee weapons. In the alpha gameplay trailer, there’s another hero who carries a large rifle or assault weapon, but this character does not appear on the Paragon website. Epic has also said the selection of heroes will be continually growing.
Sorry Xbox, only PC and PS4 have been announced as platforms for Epic’s new MOBA. Spring 2016 will see the opening of a paid early access period for Paragon, and that will be followed by a free, open beta in the summer. As of yet, there’s no price or official release date either.