App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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MOBAs as a genre are a hard nut to crack, particularly on mobile. Since these kinds of games are generally some of the most complicated multiplayer games out there, their mobile counterparts are constantly looking for ways to streamline the formula that makes these games work on a smaller screen while also being careful to try and keep a good amount of complexity and depth intact. Paladins Strike takes a relatively unique approach to this by taking its hero shooter roots and applying them to game modes that feel MOBA-esque, rather than making a full-on MOBA, and the result is a pretty fun, refreshing, and polished game.
Push the payload
Paladins Strike is based on Paladins, Hi-Rez Studios’s hero shooter that has a striking resemblance to Overwatch. In this mobile version though, players are moved from the first-person perspective to an isometric view, making the game look and feel a lot more like a MOBA than a multiplayer shooter.
As of this writing, Paladins Strike has two modes of play. The first is Siege (the game’s primary mode), which has two teams fight over a control point to try and spawn a payload cart, which must then be escorted into enemy territory to win the game. The other mode, Summons, has multiple capture points, which can be used to summon a powerful AI companion who can attack the enemy base.
The gameplay in Paladins Strike may look quite a bit like a MOBA, but if you’re looking for a deep experience on par with something like Vainglory, you might be in for some disappointment. There’s no leveling here, no store, no creeps, and no money earned throughout a match. That said, there are times where your characters can earn additional powerups that can be equipped in the heat of a match, plus hero powers and ultimate moves that can give you bursts of power or utility between their cooldowns.
As a shooter, Paladins Strike could also be a bit disappointing, only in the sense that it's more strategic than action-oriented. Players cannot just mash the fire button to gun down their opponents. Instead, players have an ammo meter that refills over time. It starts with three shots, but if you use them in rapid succession, you have to wait until the meter refills before you can shoot again.
Stylish and streamlined
Paladins Strike’s hybrid of shooter and MOBA gameplay really feels quite nice on mobile. It smartly strikes a balance that requires players to use both their wits and their reflexes to do well. On top of this, the game looks really great and runs really smoothly, making it feel like a premium experience.
As a free-to-play game, Paladins Strike isn’t particularly unique in its monetization schemes. Characters, skins, and equipabble rune stones to power up your existing heroes are all available for purchase using any one of several different currencies in the game. You can play Paladins Strike pretty effectively without paying any money though. Just know that you might have to put in quite a bit of time and effort to unlock all of the heroes in the game.
The bottom line
Despite being a mobile version of an Overwatch derivative, Paladins Strike actually feels like it offers a unique and compelling experience on mobile. It strikes an interesting balance between hero shooter and MOBA that makes it feel at once like light arcade fun and a deep tactics game without really feeling too watered down in either category. This achievement alone makes it worth checking out, and the slick presentation of Paladins Strike makes it all the more compelling.