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Paladin (Xbox)

Developed by Pumpkin Games, Paladin which was released on PC (currently available on Steam for £4.99) back in March will be available on Xbox One on the 8th of December (tomorrow!) for £7.99!

Paladin is a 2D twin-stick shooter where you are Earth’s last hero and you must stop the aliens from killing the population and ultimately destroying each of your cities.

Paladin has a fairly simplistic style and is without millions of colours and distractions flying around everywhere, which I think is definitely a good thing as it is very sharp and well animated. The controls are incredibly simple, using LS and RS to move and shoot. In Paladin, you also have a rage meter to fill up which is done by killing enemies and once it is full you can use it (with LB) for a temporary boost, you also have the options of having “Nukes” (RB) to aid you once you have purchased them from the shop.

The background music is upbeat and certainly in keeping with the game’s genre and although it is quite repetitive, it isn’t in an obvious or annoying way. I like the sounds of the gunfire and how it adapts and evolves the more you upgrade it.

There are three difficulties: easy, normal and hard and let me tell you right now that “hard” is quite literally absolute chaos. Personally, playing on normal is enough of a challenge for me! There are 40 levels to play through with 4 bosses to kill which appear after every 10 levels. The bosses are fairly easy to kill, especially if you happen to have your rage meter filled and ready for use, or some spare nukes to hand!

As you kill the alien enemies, they drop little squares which you need to collect as quickly as you can, not only because they will dissipate almost immediately but also because if you don’t then it will make buying upgrades a little more tricky as they are your currency! The shop has a number of upgrades available for you to buy and each time you successfully complete a level you will be given the opportunity to spend any earnings before the next level begins.

You can choose from 5 ships each with different strengths and weaknesses to play through the game and I like how you can change the difficulty whenever you want to. If you die or if your cities' population gets destroyed then you can just restart the level again with the same stats you had to begin with to try and tackle the level again, which I think is a great idea as it doesn’t penalise people who aren’t necessarily savvy at twin-stick shooters. I quite like how there are leaderboards so you can see how well you have done locally as well as against others online.

Paladin plays beautifully, there are no framerate issues or crashes which is always a good thing! The only thing that was an issue was when pausing the game; when pressing resume, the menu seemed to stick on the screen which obviously made completing the level much harder. It has only happened the once so I’m not sure what caused it.

Overall, Paladin is a fantastic game and I loved playing it, the only downfall is that I would love some more content! Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of replay value to Paladin, even after you’ve played each of the different ships all the way to level 40. I really hope to see more from Pumpkin Games in the future, be it additional content for Paladin (one can only hope!) or even a brand new game. If I had to give it a score it would be 8/10, I highly recommend it!

Paladin has 20 achievements available for a total of 1,000 Gamerscore. A modest amount of achievements, all of which are progression based and will be unlocked through natural gameplay. For those of you who are achievement hunters, you’ll be pleased to know that all of the achievements can be unlocked in around an hour of gameplay. If you need any help or guidance with any of the achievements then head over to True Achievements where you will find plenty of information.

A game code was provided for the purpose of this review. Thank you!
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