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Paladins dev launches Realm Royale on Steam's Early Access

Hi-Rez Studios
A woman in medieval cladding shooting an arrow in Realm Royale
Realm Royale

Hi-Rez Studios, the developer of co-op shooter Paladins, have decided to branch their game out into the battle royale genre and the end result is Realm Royale. The game launched on Steam's Early Access today and looks to shake things up.

With Paladins often portrayed as a bona fide clone of Overwatch, which is untrue for the most part, you'd be forgiven for thinking Realm Royale rips off Fortnite. After all, Hi-Rez did rip off Epic's Battle Pass menu in Paladins but this time around, they're coming with an original touch.

Realm Royale has 100 players in teams of four, picking a hero from five available classes, which are warrior, mage, hunter, engineer and assassin. As you'd expect, warriors excel in direct combat; mages take to skies and fire spells; hunters wield bows; engineers dabble in shielding and turrets, while assassin are evasion and sniping specialists.

You can either use regular weapons such as shotguns or snipers, or go medieval and wield staffs and swords. This is where I personally find Realm Royale to be ingenious. Namely, any loot you don't pick up can be disenchanted into shards, which can be used to craft superior armour and weapons.

Crafting items however requires a forge, which can be found at certain points on the map. Unfortunately, once you get to crafting, the forge emits smoke and tells the world plus dog that you're there. So, you can effectively alert one or 10 teams at a time, making legendary craftsmanship in Realm Royale one risky business.

You can mount or dismount your loyal steed whenever you're not fighting and prance around from the jungle of Jaguar's Claws to the frigid Everfrost. In total, Realm Royale currently has five heroes, 17 weapons and 25 special hero abilities.

Hi-Rez StudiosA man shooting a crossbow in a desert from the game Realm RoyaleRealm Royale

Realm Royale can be downloaded for free from Steam, although you'd do well to remember it's in Early Access, which in translation means a few bugs here and there. Nevertheless, we think Hi-Rez is onto something here and as long as they stick to their creative guns, the Paladins' battle royale excursion should do just fine.

Hi-Rez StudiosRealm Royale female hero looking at medieval villageRealm Royale