One of the surprise announcements to come out of the PlayStation Experience 2015 over the weekend was the reveal of Epic Games’ Paragon. This third-person MOBA from the makers of Unreal and Gears of War was already expected for the PC. However, Sony managed to nab PlayStation 4 console exclusivity for the title, with the ability to cross-play across platforms.
Paragon is the first MOBA officially announced for the PlayStation 4, though there are rumors that Hi-Rez Studios’ SMITE will make the jump to the console sometime in 2016 following a successful release to the Xbox One this year.
Epic Games’ is taking a slightly different approach with Paragon, compared to competitors in the MOBA space such as League of Legends, Dota 2, and even SMITE. The most noticeable is that the game uses the third-person perspective, similar to SMITE, but there is much more. For example, Paragon‘s art style makes the most of Unreal Engine 4 by going for a realistic art style, at least as realistic as you can get with the obvious fantasy/sci-fi setting.
The remaining difference is the most notable in terms of gameplay, as Epic Games is mixing in a competitive playing card element. Players will be able to earn cards through play to build and upgrade decks of cards. The cards will unlock different combinations of gameplay strategies for the different heroes that will be available. Interestingly, this is a spin that’s currently being applied to Hi-Rez Studios’ Hero Shooter, Paladins.
The other unique feature for Paragon is support for cross-play between the PlayStation 4 and PC. While there are examples of cross-play between consoles and PC out there already, such as the popular Rocket League. Epic’s is the first MOBA that will support the ability for PS4 and PC players to compete with and against one another, however.
Paragon Creative Director Steve Superville explains the game, how the PS4 version is not just a different port, and how cross-play will be supported in a post on the PlayStation Blog.
“Paragon has been a passion project in development at Epic for the last two years, and it’s great to finally be able to share it with you. When it comes to competitive multiplayer games there’s nothing quite like MOBAs. They combine player skill with strategic creativity and telepathic team play. The resulting team fights, unspoken coordination, and clever ganks are a huge rush, and keep players coming back.
“With years of experience creating beautiful and immersive action games, we knew we had something fresh to bring to the MOBA genre. In Paragon, we put you in the middle of the action with direct control over your hero. At the same time, we made the decision to preserve what makes MOBAs great. Paragon is not a hybrid. It is clearly and faithfully a MOBA, brought to life with explosive action.
“Console development is in Epic’s DNA, so we set out to create a great experience for PlayStation gamers. This is not a port. The gameplay feels great on DualShock 4. Cross-play between PS4 and PC is seamless and the game saves your progress and items across both platforms.”
Paragon will be released in 2016 with the first online testing taking place in January. This will be followed by a paid Early Access period in the spring, with a full open beta planned for summer 2016. Those interested in signing up for the beta can do so at the game’s official website through the “Beta Sign-up” link in the top right. There’s also an opportunity to unlock some of the cards early.
What do you think of Paragon on the PlayStation 4 with support for PC cross-play? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via PlayStation Blog]