In the wake of PUBG's spectacular and ever-growing success, we've witnessed an opportunistic flurry of battle royale games and game modes over the last several months. We predicted this trend was almost certain to spill into 2018, and now free-to-play hero shooter Paladins: Champions of the Realm has assumed the mantle.
Announced today at Hi-Rez Expo 2018, Paladins: Battlegrounds bills itself as "the first-ever hero shooter battle royale", that combines "ability-driven combat with survival gameplay and a fantasy setting to create something new."
Following a familiar structure, the complimentary "genre mashup" mode drops 100 players into a sprawling map—"over 300 times the square footage of a typical Paladins' Siege map"—and has them facing off till death, while an all-encompassing fog shortens the size of the battlefield in stages. Players band together in teams, ride mounts and search for weapons and loot in matches that last 20 minutes.
Here's a trailer:
"Designed from the ground-up to be played in teams, players must work together to survive in Paladins: Battlegrounds," says Hi-Rez in a statement. "Supports struggle to keep their Front Liners alive, while Damage Champions let the bullets fly and Flanks look for any possible assassination.
"Players spawn into a massive map—over 300 times the square footage of a typical Paladins' Siege map. Then they hop onto their mounts and begin exploring, looting their way through more than four dozen outposts and tracking zeppelins that drop legendary gear."
Paladins: Battlegrounds is due at some stage later this year, whereas an early alpha version is playable at this weekend's Hi-Rez Expo. Our Pip has boots on the ground there, so check back for her thoughts on the new mode in due course.
In other Paladins news, Hi-Rez has announced plans to introduce a new champion named Moji, a new Team Deathmatch game mode, and new Battle Cats mounts. Expect these in the coming weeks and months—with the "first wave of new content releases" to land on PC on January 10.