Smash And Shoot In Paragon’s Free Open Beta

The shooty third-person MOBA Paragon [official site] has entered its free open beta, taunting Overwatch and Smite loyalists to come see what all the fuss is about. It’s been in early access since March but has cast off the $20 entrance fee for now. Oh, there’s also a cinematic trailer with a man pumping you up and goading you to be aggressive, like a psychopathic future cheerleader. Be aggressive! Be! Be! Aggressive.

Paragon follows the rules of the genre closely, with a bit more gunplay. There are three lanes down which your team and their automated minions struggle, fighting off the enemy and destroying towers with a cast of heroes wielding different abilities and strengths – tanks, rangers, fighters, assassins, casters and support. There are 20 heroes right now with Epic heralding the arrival of a new one every three weeks. I like the character art for some of these folks, but can’t help but look at others and just see characters from other games. Robot ranger Grim.exe, for instance, is a particularly Bastion-like entity, right down to the little flying mascot, albeit only in appearance.

There’s also a card system which allows players to collect and equip sets of cards for each hero, determining what extra buffs you get going into the fight – extra critical damage, for example.

Pip, resident MOBA empress, played a bit of Epic’s foray into this scene back in February and while she had reservations about the limitations of the card system and the promise of cross-platform play between PC and PS4, she still had some fun with it. But you can join the open beta and see for yourself by heading to the official website.


  1. zxcasdqwecat says:

    I rate it 3/4 butt out of total butt.

  2. Anti-Skub says:

    “The shooty third-person MOBA Paragon has entered its free open beta, taunting Overwatch and Smite loyalists to come see what all the fuss is about.”

    …and then return to those, much better games when they realise there is no fuss, no one cares, and for good reason, because Paragon is as bland as mobas get.

  3. Don Reba says:

    Oh, there’s also a cinematic trailer with a man pumping you up and goading you to be aggressive, like a psychopathic future cheerleader. Be aggressive! Be! Be! Aggressive.

    Hey, are you trying to start a fight?

    • Hunchback says:

      Everyone should watch the trailer with sound OFF. The visuals are insanely good, however the guy pumping you up makes you cringe every time he says a thing. *cringe* I just cringed after remembering him talk :|

  4. Flavour Beans says:

    I played beta for this for a little while, and it was a massive letdown. It looks nice at a glance, but (maybe because it’s built for PS4 as well) it has poor draw distances and that thing I can never recall the name for where anything outside of an arm’s length of you gets muddier and muddier textures.

    The arena itself is a mess, especially in the ‘jungle’ areas, where the minimap provides little guidance in finding your way out, often leading you into dead ends while being chased.

    It added a few gimmick mechanics (such as extractors for the game’s version of gold), but the worst part about it is that the game replaces the standard MOBA uber-market system with decks of skill cards (a skill card being like an item in a MOBA market) that you earn points during a match to put into play and upgrade. This ties into a deckbuilding mechanic where you unlock custom deck slots, and build decks to assign to your characters.

    If you are seeing a freemium opportunity, then you’re not blind. You occasionally earn booster packs of cards in game, but of course if you want to plunk down some cash, you can buy them yourself. Since these cards are how you build characters, and yes, there are different rarities involved with the best cards being the hardest to afford, this mechanic really starts to taste of pay-to-win, rather than pay-to-pretty.

    • Hunchback says:

      This makes me very sad. I was SO hoping this game would be amazing. It LOOKS amazing, there’s really no one today who can make better looking characters and especially armours, other than Epic. Not Blizzard, not Id, not Volvo. This is just stunning, and will probably run very well too, just like the new UT does.

      Bah, so stupid that the gameplay and business model are bad :(

    • ProlificSky says:

      Draw distances can be set and the blurry/muddy textures you’re getting are most likely due to the 3D scaling option (took me awhile to figure out). Once you set it at 100%, everything looks great.

      The jungle being a bit confusing is simply something you’ll learn with more play time. The minimap is perfectly functional.

      The card system is great and totally not pay-to-win. You CAN NOT buy card packs with real money. What you can buy with real money though are XP boosters, reputation boosters (the currency you use to buy card packs, amongst other things), and skins. No content is gated behind real money in any shape or form (all hereos are available) and there are no p2w aspects.

      I started playing the game a few weeks before open beta and I’ve been enjoying it immensely. The graphics are great and I love the skill based aiming mechanics. Regardless of whether or not you’re a MOBA fan, it’s free, so why not give it a try? ^_~

      • Czrly says:

        True. Very true.

        Also, Overwatch doesn’t have a demo and there’s no way in Hell I’ll pay full ticket for a multiplayer-only game that I have never tried so, for now, that game is simply not up for consideration… and I’m already deeply involved in the new UT so this is just a click to install…

      • Don Reba says:

        You CAN NOT buy card packs with real money. What you can buy with real money though are […] reputation boosters (the currency you use to buy card packs […])

        That sounds like a contradiction to me.

  5. Godwhacker says:

    Do we really need yet another healer character with angel wings?

    • Hunchback says:

      Do we need another manly guy soldier type running with an automatic rifle?

  6. Don Reba says:

    Downloaded the beta, got a silly installation error, and removed it.

  7. SimApple says:

    Seems like I’m going against the grain here, but I’ve been playing this on PS4 for a couple of weeks (got it through the PSN subscrpition) and having a great time.
    I’ve tried MOBAs in the past and bounced off them because I didn’t really get the mechanics and there was just too much going on I didn’t understand (having watched a bit of the international this past week, I still can’t say I understand much)
    This is more streamlined, currently only has a small selection of heroes and the card system (accepting the potential for paying players to gain an advantage) is easily understandable – I would say a much nicer learning curve to the whole game.
    Playing with a controller too, its easier to get to grips with – albeit I probably will switch to PC at some point as the PC players do seem to have an advantage in games which I’m putting down to mouse aiming.

  8. Bobtree says:

    I tried Paragon recently, and I’m guessing it will sink without a trace on PC. It’s like a consolized Dota, with that kind of scale and pace, and not an action game, despite the presentation. It’s good that the gameplay is all free, but you have to grind to unlock characters and cards.

    I don’t think it will be worth a second look until they replace the “travel mode” that everyone says has trashed the balance (you can sprint when out of combat, so the meta is 100% roaming gank squads).

    • Graerth says:

      You don’t have to grind characters, you can play any character at any point.
      I mean if you want a bling bling master skin for the hero then you need to buy it buy eh, hardly a balance problem if you can’t resist the shiny.

      Cards can be a bummer if you don’t have the optimal ones, yeah.

    • gwathdring says:

      I think you only need to unlock characters if you select the one of the “I’m a beginner” options when you boot up the game. When you do this it locks off intermediate heroes and PVP until you play a few games.

  9. Koozer says:

    Paragon is certainly a MOBA, that’s about all I can say about it. Its USP, the cards, work exactly like items in other MOBAs as far as I could tell.