25th Jan2019

‘Paladin’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts

paladin-screen

A tough game to locate online due to the similarly titled online game Paladins (although I haven’t played the latter), I’m pretty sure that Paladin is more up my strasse with its arcade sensibilities and pick-up-and-play approach, it plays like a modernised update of a classic.

An action title with its roots in the seminal Defender, Paladin takes a bold, minimalist graphical approach with a focus on speed and smoothness (good). For those who haven’t played a game in the ‘City Defence’ genre, Paladin takes place in a 2D landscape with cities represented by several skyscrapers and population numbers, your ship zipping in the sky above. The aim of the game is to protect the cities at all costs by blasting down the alien invaders before they can vaporise the citizens of our fair planet.

With over forty levels and also featuring several screen-filling boss fights, the simple and yet addictive game play is helped by the variety of enemies on offer, from ships that head towards your craft to mine-laying little sausages and flying saucers that ignore you completely to focus their efforts on lasering the life out of the populace far below. Each enemy killed nets you cash and points which can be spent in-between levels on upgrades for your craft, extra lives and bombs that make progress that little bit easier against the growing hordes that the game throws at you. All of this high-speed action is backed up by a pumping techno soundtrack.

The difficulty curve feels right with the first handful of levels easing you in, explaining the easily graspable control scheme (twin-sticks) and there are also a fair amount of different crafts on offer with varying stats and styles. There are also several other modes such as Guardian and endless to try out, the only thing really missing is a 2-player mode, which would probably open up the game to more players (I myself am a huge fan of local co-op).

Paladin is a game that will suit the fast-paced adrenalin junkies out there, its stripped-back gameplay means that you can dive in and rack up a high score, all the while making your way through the adventure mode. I also liked how the game saves your progress, meaning that you don’t have to start from the beginning each time, although each ship acts as a save file, meaning you can make your way through the games with multiple vessels should you wish to do so. It may not break the mould or have massive depth but Paladin does what it sets out to do very well, just prepare your reflexes.

Paladin is available on the Nintendo eShop now.

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