Paladins: Champions of the Realm [official site], the next from Smite devs Hi-Rez, is now in closed beta. It’s a 5 vs 5 shooter in which you must capture control points, escort siege engines, and destroy your opponent’s base, but where the real twist is that your character levels over the course of a match, allowing you to choose from a selection of cards and build a deck of skills as you play. You can apply for closed beta access the traditional way or get in immediately by buying a Founder’s Pack version of the game.
You can sign up for a chance to enter the beta on its site, while the Founder’s Pack costs £16/$20 and gets you immediate access, an exclusive mount, and a random assortment of unlocked cards. Keep in mind however that the servers are currently only open from midday til midnight EST, and that there will be occasional server wipes till the beta is further along.
The easiest way to think of Paladins is that it’s applying what developers Hi-Rez learned from making the MOBA Smite to a first-person shooter. It’s obviously designed to encourage cooperation between complementary classes during teamfights, and the deckbuilding rewards tactical thinking and gives an arc to the rhythms of a multiplayer match. I played the game briefly at this year’s Gamescom and enjoyed it, although I’m not sure the neatness of its card ability design compensates for shooting which felt weak.
Here’s a trailer introducing the game’s classes: