Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games (or MOBAs) are a genre that I am generally unfamiliar with. I am aware of their popularity, especially amongst younger gamers and the PC crowd, but as a console gamer i've never really spent much time with them. I have friends that swear by League of Legends, DOTA and Heroes of the Storm, but it's never interested me that much. About a year ago, Epic Games, the guys who have made some little titles like Unreal Tournament and Gears of War, unveiled a new MOBA they were working on called Paragon. The trailer was gorgeous and I was interested at least in trying this game out.
Earlier this year I had my first opportunity to do so. I had signed up when the first PS4 beta sign-ups went up, and got in the initial closed Beta. Not knowing what I had gotten myself into I decided to play a few games against the AI to see how it worked. First of all, I did note that the game was as gorgeous as I had expected, as it runs on Unreal Engine 4, and can be quite a sight. However I skipped the tutorials and just tried playing more for kills than objectives. Well, I didn't get too far that is for certain, but also the game speed really turned me off. The game was slow, as if the planet of Agora had coated everything in space molasses. I finally figured out what I was doing, but gave up shortly after.
This month, all PlayStation 4 users that have PlayStation Plus can get the Paragon Starter's Pack for free, which had originally been sold for $20. It gives you immediate access to playing the beta, 3 Master Challenges, some boosts and other little perks. You see when the game comes out it will be a free to play game, you can play any character and level them up, however to get skins and taunts you need a Master Challenge. These are sold for $10, so you are getting a bit of a deal, but really when the game comes out if you want to try it you can just play for free and that's that. I had heard that they had buffed the overall speed of all characters by 8% or so, and that it was more enjoyable, so I figured I would give it a go.
I am glad that I did. I've been having a blast playing the game this past week, and I am legitimately hooked. Learning all of the different characters, and strategies and terms has been pretty daunting. If you are interested in the game definitely check out some tutorial videos on YouTube as well as the ones that Epic has, to give you a better idea of how to play. The game has a lot depth, and the more I play, and watch others play, the more I love it. Also, the game has cross-platform play with PC, so if you are on PC and have PS4 friends, you can play with them as well, which is fantastic.
There is a lot to learn in the game, in regards to the lanes, the jungle, all the different characters and roles, but also the decks. You see, you can unlock cards, and packs of cards in which to make a deck out of for your characters. There are rarities of cards, different affinities to them, and essentially point values. When you start out there are stock decks that you can use, but you'll ultimately want to make and customize your own. For example, I like to use Steel, who is a tank character, and you can have a deck that's a bit more focused on health and defense etc. However, if you want you can make him more aggressive and more of a fighter, so that he can help push a bit more and deal more damage when surprising opponents. There are so many possibilites and that is what adds to the appeal for me; there really are countless ways that you can play this game.
Paragon is still in the early stages, so there are some issues, which is to be expected. However, it's a great 5v5 MOBA that any fan of the genre should check out, or anyone else looking for an intense and fun pvp experience. The game goes into open Beta on August 16 for PC and PS4, so I will see you all on the battlefields of Agora.