Remember Paragon? Epic's shooty MOBA might be long-gone, but its DNA (and models, and textures, and animations) live on in Fault. Released in early access this week, Strange Matter Studio's successor isn't just influenced by Paragon - it's an attempt to revive the ill-fated MOBA using that Paragon's very own (and very free) assets.
See, after Paragon bit the dust, Epic released thousands of the game's models, environments, animations and more, all free to use for Unreal Engine 4 games. For developers Strange Matter, this was a blessing - a chance to bring their favourite MOBA back to life, with all the tools they needed to make it happen.
Like the new Unreal Tournament, Paragon was left behind once Epic found their infinite money pit in Fortnite: Battle Royale, shutting down in January 2018. Community revivals are nothing new - whether that's private servers for dead MMOs, or a hacked together Hawken client that kept a version of the mech shooter alive for years after launch - but to make a spiritual successor from the literal bones of its inspiration? That's a new one, I reckon.
Granted, I don't actually know if Fault is any good. The game currently has a "Mixed" rating on Steam, while the official subreddit is full of complaints around missing art, connection hurdles and a general sense that the game itself isn't quite all there. I'd also say there's a bit of a personality vacuum, with a Steam store description that could honestly be describing any MOBA ever released.
Strange Matter may eventually get around to bringing in their own flavour. On the Fault website, they say they've sidelined things like lore and art until they can nail down the moment-to-moment MOBA feel. I'd be keen on seeing if they can eventually pivot towards a style all of their own. There are hints of that in the mechanics, from a totally open item store to their own twist on League Of Legends' rune system. But I personally found Paragon a bit bland to look at, and it'd be nice to see Fault find a style all of its own.
Fault is currently going for 25% off on Steam at £11.61/€12.59/$14.99. The devs reckon it'll lower in price as early access progresses, going free-to-play when it launches sometime early next year.