The highly anticipated Paragon adaptation, Fault, is available to the public now in Early Access on Steam. However, fans of Paragon should not come into the new MOBA expecting to pick up where they left off.
— Strange Matter Studios (@Strange__Matter) June 30, 2020
Fault and Paragon
Fault is a third-person MOBA that follows the same formula as Smite and League of Legends. It is one of the many Paragon offshoots to emerge this year, along with Predecessor and Overprime, both still in alpha.
If you aren’t familiar, Paragon was a revolutionary third-person MOBA that broke fans’ hearts when it was canceled. In 2018, Epic Games released $17,000,000 worth of assets from Paragon to focus on supporting Fortnite. More than a few indie developers took the assets and set out to make their version of the beloved third-person MOBA. Nearly every version that emerged from the game’s assets has the same roster of heroes, however the UI and gameplay will look and feel differently.
One of those re-imagining is Fault, which was in closed alpha for a year, officially launching Early Access on July 17. Strange Matter Studios faced hell on launch day, between Steam pricing the add-ons gone wrong, and Cloudflare subsequently going down and taking the servers with it.
Understanding the adaptation
Fault is your standard MOBA, with three lanes, two jungles, and five heroes on each team. Setting foot into the gorgeous battle arena brought back waves of nostalgia for me and other original Paragon players. At the beginning of the match, you buy items and can unlock one ability. As the game progresses, your hero levels up and unlocks new abilities all while gaining coins to buy items.
Anyone who reviews Fault in its current state is going to be sorely disappointed with the lack of polish and fluidity. The title is still in the works and has major improvements to make before it is a complete game. After the eight matches I played, the cracks in Fault’s structure became apparent. Between hits not registering, abilities not behaving correctly, and major lag spikes, the experience can be frustrating.
These issues can be frustrating for those who didn’t play Paragon and were hoping for a refined MOBA experience. The game is in its early stages and resembles the beginning days of Paragon in terms of simplicity. For instance, most items have the same icon, and the coloration used to represent tiers is un-intuitive. The ability menu is a clunky block of text that makes learning a new hero difficult on the fly. The lack of training grounds or practice mode leaves players confused in their hero selection.
That being said, the core of Paragon is still there and along with it, the addictive qualities of the original game. Despite the problems in its current form, Fault already itches the scratch for a different MOBA experience, one that balances complexity and beauty. Given enough time, it could become the game Paragon didn’t get to be.