A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Paladins: Champions of the Realm is a free-to-play multiplayer online team shooter that's downloadable for Windows-based PCs. It contains constant cartoon violence where firearms, rockets, and other explosives are used to eliminate opponents, although no blood's shown. Female characters are displayed with ample busts and racy outfits, but that's as far as it goes. It also contains in-game and lobby chat where players could encounter inappropriate language, conversational subject-matter, and cyber-bullying. In addition to promoting the in-game shop where optional purchases can be made, menus promote real-world eSports and other kinds of gaming events. Kids could want to spend too much time in the game, aspiring to become as skilled as their eSports heroes.
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What's it about?
PALADINS: CHAMPIONS OF THE REALM is a freemium team shooter with three main game modes and a wide range of quirky heroes to choose from. Initially, you have access to a limited range of heroes (more unlock as players gain experience), each with a unique set of skills which can be amplified before the match by a customizable “loadout” of ability cards. Players join a team with four other squadmates to make a balanced team of damage-dealers, defenders, front-liners, flankers, and support units to take on an opposing team of heroes. The game offers three modes: Siege, (payload capture and movement) Onslaught, (point capture and kill count) and Deathmatch (first to forty kills wins.) Heroes earn currency during matches, which can be spent on useful powerup items during the match. Post-match, players earn experience points and in-game currency, and unlock additional heroes and skill cards. Once players unlock twelve heroes and raise their player profile to level fifteen, they unlock Competitive mode, which lets them join ranked battles and grants them leaderboard status.
Is it any good?
This fun team-based shooter uses a cute visual style and emphasizes competition over gore, which keeps players coming back round after round. Paladins: Champions of the Realm has a Disney-like art style that slightly lessens the fear of competition with fun, attractive heroes, a quick tutorial, and practice matches against forgiving AI opponents. Gameplay is immediately fun, even when you're still learning the game and getting accustomed to each character's abilities. See, there are lots of options for heroes, weapons, skills, and items, and players who know how to combine them become extremely powerful. The more experience you have, the more cool heroes you unlock. Still, even when you're just starting, out you can have a blast.
Cool themed maps give you plenty of strategic options, and the quirky heroes have powerful, often hilarious weapons. An almost-instant respawn when you die makes the pace of the game crazy-fast, and a wide range of unique hero powers keeps fights unpredictable. If buying item upgrades during matches confuses you, a convenient "auto-purchase" button solves that problem, and if your teammates get too bossy or rude, you can disable voice chat in the Options menu. Playing matches levels up your player profile, which means access to more modes, heroes, items, and skill cards, and special events occur periodically so you can earn even more unique items like character skins and emotes. The sound in Paladins: Champions of the Realm is nice, with upbeat music and funny character quips, and aside from the occasional busty beauty, the art and bloodless effects are colorful and kid-friendly. Player chat and voice add-ons remain a concern of course, when it comes to language, bullying, and potential predators, and the in-game shop is likely to be a constant temptation. But in terms of gameplay though, Paladins: Champions of the Realm is a quality team shooter -- one competitive kids are bound to enjoy.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.