There (obviously) wasnâ€™t much PC-centric news out of this past weekendâ€™s PlayStation Experience convention in San Francisco, but Saturdayâ€™s keynote did hold one big announcement: Epic is making a revolutionary game in a genre nobodyâ€™s ever seen before.
Oh…oh wait, I mixed that up. Theyâ€™re making a MOBA. Itâ€™s Paragon, which you might remember from its series of camera-spins-around-a-3D-model teasers this past month. Hereâ€™s the (decidedly more substantial and also extremely pretty) announcement trailer:
Graphics aside, Paragonâ€™s apparently a third-person shooter/MOBA hybrid, though in my interview over the weekend Epic mostly stressed the MOBA aspect. Expect the usual five-versus-five hero combat on a three-lane map, populated with AI-controlled fodder. Also, verticalityâ€”the three lanes are apparently tiered, allowing for cross-lane sight lines, skill shots, and strategies. Or as theÂ Paragon site puts it:
â€śDive into the depths of the jungle to flank your enemy, or scale the heights to strike from above. Real elevation on an open map means youâ€™ll have to rethink the way you approach the fight.â€ť
Iâ€™m definitely more interested in this action-oriented strain of MOBAs than I am in something like League of Legends or Dota 2, but I canâ€™t pretend Paragon is wholly unique even in that regardâ€”Smite and Monday Night Combat both did the third-person action-MOBA thing already, and 2Kâ€™s BattlebornÂ is doing the same in first-person.
Still, Iâ€™m not willing to write off Paragon without playing it, given Epicâ€™s earned a reputation for quality shootersâ€”and Smite could use the competition. Paragon is scheduled to hit paid early access in spring of 2016 through Epicâ€™s launcher, with a free open beta to follow in the summer. You can sign up here. As for whether itâ€™s coming to Steam, Epic gave me a noncommittal â€śI donâ€™t think weâ€™re ready to talk about that right now.â€ť