Paragon, Epic Games' third-person MOBA/shooter combo that goes into F2P beta early next year, has its first online alpha test beginning now, rather than shutting down its tests over the Christmas break like all the others. The online video tutorials for the alpha are publically available, letting everyone get a closer look than previous at the game, but the alpha itself is NDA'd all over the shop, meaning no Twitch streaming or the like.
Check our list of upcoming PC games to see what else is on the horizon.
First, the good news. Here's the tutorial video from Epic's community team, introducing lots of familiar MOBA concepts and a few of Paragon's own:
Each character has four abilities, one of which is an ultimate, plus a basic attack and a passive, akin to League of Legends' system. It diverges as far as items and gold go, where Amber must be picked up from dying enemies and towers to increases experience totals and purchase cards and upgrades back at base. It sounds like an interesting mix on the never-solved problem of rote last hits and denies in a standard lane-MOBA and I want to see how it affects the game.
Sadly, I won't get to yet, and that's the bad news: an NDA is in place for these online tests so that all anyone in the alpha can reveal is that fact. They've a secret forum to discuss the game on and community channels are already being set up to make sure people can communicate without leaking. Despite this, and the negative reaction that Overwatch got for a similar system without an NDA, those not in the alpha seem content to wait it out.
There's a bunch more information in these character previews. A fan has gathered all of it into a fantastic post on Reddit that summarises nicely and makes some logical leaps, plus compares it to other games in the genre. If you're interested in the game, I'd definitely check it out. If you want access yourself, you'll want to sign up on the official site.
I quite like the look of Paragon now we've seen it in proper motion. My initial reaction was "not another one" and slight confusion that Sony decided to end a presentation that had world-first in-game footage of a Final Fantasy 7 remake - boy do I wish that was a game we could write about more, I am excited - with a CGI trailer for a MOBA. I've calmed down a bit now and appreciate that it's a lot closer to SMITE than the rest of the current shooter/MOBA crop, far heavier on the laning and itemisation elements. There's a lot of room there.