Paragon is continuing its evolution as the developers at Epic Games gear up for the official open beta that will be making its way to the PC and PS4 later this August.

Right off the bat, the most recognizable thing about Paragon is the unique art style that rivals any other game that has been developed with the Unreal Engine 4. Robotic Sentinels and Alien programmers feel equally as organic as the environment around them. However, at a special hands-on event located above the E3 2016 show floor, I wanted to try my skills at the brand new character, Khaimera.

If you have never played this unreleased title, its important to note that Paragon is very much a MOBA. Players navigate a three lane map in an effort to kill Minions, enemy players and of course towers. All in an effort to push the enemy back and destroy their home base.

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Now that, that is out of the way, Paragon entered early access back in march and thanks to the hard work of countless game testers, I received a solid experience that largely welcomes new players. While it is always nice to have a developer by your side, helping you figure out strategies, Epic Games helps you through a basic control set up. The game features a typical third person control scheme with attacks delegated to the shoulder buttons, items on the D-pad, special abilities on the face buttons and the thumb sticks for character and camera movement (Taken from the PlayStation 4 set-up).

A big leg up that new comers and older players will both experience is the previous Iggy and Scorch patch. Before this update, matches were taking a little too long to complete and the patch helped increase overall movement speed for every character across the board, with various tweaks made based on character classes. The change isn’t really biased in any way, however does greatly benefit melee characters such as the new comer Khaimera. Increasing physical attack speeds and map navigation.

No matter how much time or money you choose to invest in the game, every player has an equal opportunity to find a character they enjoy playing. Epic Games has promised that new characters in Paragon will always be free, with an added bonus that a new hero will be introduced every 3 weeks. A promise that as of the time of writing this article, has been kept.

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The slight learning curve for this game, as well as any MOBA, is the leveling system. In the case of Paragon, players use a deck building system, with the combination of in-match currency, on top of kill based experience. Through out the match, players collect a currency that drops from enemy players and A.I.. This currency allows you to purchase cards from your character deck and resets for each new game, along with your character level. Character leveling, on the other hand, is used to upgrade a character’s special attacks.

Each deck in Paragon contains 40 cards that vary in uses, such as items like health potions or mana potions, armor upgrades, and passive and active abilities. New players will do well to start out with the pre-built decks the game provides, but as you play more games and earn more cards, you’ll figure out how you like to play the game and what you need from a deck. Specifically, after being introduced to the game, I knew exactly what I needed to do in the next match. The only downside being that you can only purchase your cards after you die.

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The beauty of Paragon is its open and honest nature. The title wasn’t developed in some cold, windowless, “AAA” dungeon and then thrown onto store shelves. The constant evolution of the title illustrates a strong love of the game by the people who made it. While the nature of personal computers already encourage that for the game’s growth, Sony has also stepped in to help that for the PS4 version of the game by supporting Epic’s production of weekly updates.

Although there can be a lot to explain when it comes to MOBA titles, Epic Games does a great job of introducing the mechanics, balancing gameplay and continuing to create a better experience. The upcoming additions of a rechargeable Teleportation system and in-match card merchants increase the dynamic of entertaining and challenging gameplay.

Players can buy in to the early access experience through the main website or even check out the Twitch streams to get a look at there gameplay. However, the absolute best way to see if Paragon is right for you is to check out the open beta when it launches on August 16, for the PC and PS4.


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