Where Overwatch and Call of Duty have shown zero interest in porting their games to the system the Nintendo Switch, Hi-rez has stepped in to offer its hero-based shooter, Paladins. As of now, Doom, Payday, and soon to be Wolfenstein II, are the only First-Person Shooters of note that have announced a release for the system. Hi-rez is taking advantage of the lack of interest by swooping in with their free-to-play game. The question is, how well does it run on the switch?
Let’s get this clear, you aren’t missing out on anything by picking this up on The Switch. The game runs at a perfectly smooth 60 frames per second even undocked. I’ve played Paladins on PC before and I didn’t have any issues with the graphics or frame-rate. Personally, I found very few differences in graphics comparatively to docked mode or PC.
While I did play Paladins on PC, I’ve never played the version on my PlayStation 4. The controls were very odd to me at first, but after about an hour of gameplay, I got used to it. The Joy-Con still feel a little odd. The bumpers are not ideal and I recommend using the Pro Controller when docked if possible.
As for the actual gameplay, Paladins does not leave anything out. It’s a hero-shooter similar to others in the genre such as Overwatch. There are several types of roles for the different characters such as flank, support, frontline, and damage. Flank roles sneak around delivering swift kills, Support roles heal you, Frontline roles work as shields and have higher amounts of health, while Damage roles … well, do damage. The two primary modes are Siege or Deathmatch. Deathmatch pits two teams against each other until one has racked up 40 kills, while Siege works like a tower defense, requiring one team to escort a payload while the other attempts to capture it. I found myself enjoying both modes. Once you reach level 15 you will have access to ranked options for both modes.
With the smooth gameplay and crossplay with Xbox One (crossplay currently doesn’t support PC or PlayStation 4), I highly recommend at least giving it shot later the year when the free-to-play version launches on the Nintendo eShop. But I would wait unless you played on other systems, and don’t want to unlock the characters again.
You can buy into the paid early access releases starting June 12th but Hi-Rez Studios has announced that the free-to-play version will be coming later this year but doesn’t offer a concrete release date.