Battle of the Cartoon-y Shooter MOBA-y Games


Paladins 2016-05-14 14-36-00-88
Overwatch 2016-05-04 23-49-44-53

Moral of the story? Not all cartoon-y shooters shoot alike. There are some who fervently favor one brand shooter over the other, even taking to arguing on social media or game forums. Seems foolish to do so, considering each title has its own variation of what a team based shooter should be.

If you are on a budget I would recommend Paladins, it is a well made solid shooter with little investment required. It’s card system is creative and adds a layer of pre-planning that goes beyond mindless shooting. It needs polish and some hero balancing in the worst way, and I can’t tell you how frustrating it can be watching someone take Fernando and then hide on upper battlements camping. Or watching a Grohk that refuses to enter the fray. It’s still hours and hours of fun, and a worthy choice for team shooter fans. Paladins has a well-rounded and experienced group of players behind, with many flowing in from Hi-Rez’s core group of Smite fans. For those that favor solid gameplay, with numerous options for tuning your hero to better suit a role, this one is for you.

Gigantic is still taking shape, and currently inaccessible to the general public, but should not be off anyone’s radar as it has a lot of creativity behind it. When it emerges again, it has a solid community of devs and fans behind it. It’s pace is slower than Paladins, but not quite as slow as Battleborn. Teams pull together at key moments to push for capture areas or to topple the enemy titan. I see it appealing to those looking for a better social experience, with low learning curve and enjoyable unique visuals. It’s also free to play, and coming to Xbox and Windows consoles.

If you are not on a budget, then you may also consider springing for Overwatch as well. It may feel a little light on strategy but it shines in other ways. Let’s face it, none of these titles will replace my favorite deeper MOBAs. Then again neither did Team Fortress 2, and I still play ol’ 2Fort when I want a change of pace. When I do not want to think (but still do). Overwatch’s improvised strategies and simplicity shines, much in the same way. Just press matchmaking and enjoy the fireworks. And oh, there’s plenty of fireworks. There’s nothing quite like dropping massive spinning dragons on a group of enemies as Hanzo. Or maneuvering Junkrat’s spinning spiked wheel bomb into a pile of enemies crouched inside their capture point. Teleporting within inches of enemies and activating Reaper’s Death Blossom ultimate (bonus points if you’ve watch The Last Starfighter) and cackling with glee as he chants “Die! Die! Die!” and everything does. Earning new skins and other comical cosmetic sprays and whisking off to the next match. It’s simple, it’s fun, and its awesome.

Where does that leave Battleborn? It has a lengthy co-op story mode that some will favor. Some will highly favor the slower pace, almost-but-not-quite MOBA-style it’s aiming for. Every hero is earned. Want a cool title to display for your user when joining a match? Earn it. Want better gear? Grind it. Battleborn is a title you sink hours into and come out of it with awesome gear, gold skins, and other noticeable rewards. It’s slower pace allows for better setups between other players — where a teammate uses his slow effect on an enemy and two others burn him down to a crisp. It can be a harsher environment to new players but once you get over the curve, it can be rewarding.

Each title has something to offer, which is “the best” will be affected by what you are best at.