Paladins: Champions of the Realm by Hi-Rez Studios is a strange game, to say the least. Why on earth anyone would try to make another hero shooter in this day and age is beyond me.

Between Team Fortress and Overwatch, anyone trying to get into the hero shooter genre is already fighting an uphill battle. It is also baffling that it comes from Hi-Rez, whose last games SMITE and SMITE: Hand of the Gods a MOBA and Card game respectfully. So the move to hero shooter seems like an odd one.

Anyways let's talk gameplay. You pick one of the many heroes on display and run out to a point and capture it and then push a payload down a track to the enemy's base. Ok so no ground shaking innovation there. What about the heroes?

A few examples are a knight with a big particle shield that he can use to defend his friends, an overly calm monk that floats instead of walking and uses orbs to buff teammates, and an angsty dude who's obsessed with shadows and teleporting himself around.

Ok, I'll stop beating around the bush, this game almost blatantly rips off Overwatch. Everything from the character designs, to the maps, to even some of the animations are the same.

While Hi-Rez might be ripping off Overwatch, they aren't doing it very well. The big thing that sinks the game is inconsistency. When I was playing as the Rheinhardt ripoff what could and couldn't be blocked by my shield was sketchy at best.

My ultimate ability was supposed to make me and my nearby friends invulnerable for a short time but more often than not I'd die part way through. Another time I was playing as the Pharah ripoff and his ultimate is to charge up a punch that does damage equal to 100% of the target's health bar instantly killing them. More often than not, however, I'd hit the Reaper ripoff square in the chest and he'd just teleport away like it never happened. It felt like playing tag with a kid who cheated.

The game also boasts a card based upgrade system that alters your hero's abilities. The issue is how you obtain those cards. They are hidden behind lootboxes, ahhh our old friend lootboxes. The effects of cards can range from absolutely nothing to completely broken. The cards stack so all I had to do was put in 3 shield enhancement cards and my Rheinhardt ripoff's shield could take 20,000 points of damage except when it can't.

Overall, If you want a similar hero shooter experience done better Overwatch and TF2 are the way to go. They are far more consistent and just better experiences.