The latest game to come out of St.Peterburg based Wargaming’s minds Pagan Online is an ARPG title and was fully released on the 27th of August, I was lucky enough to get some time on the super tester server in advance of the release.
With a mythology-based storyline I was instantly intrigued, from the first time I heard Thor’s name as a young boy to this very day so I was instantly hooked, but I had my reservations as I’m known for spending way too much time playing wargaming titles Mad Head Games are better known for mobile games, could they pull this off, wargaming are backing it, so lets get into it.
Now the game is meant to be a hack and slash with linear progression and most importantly accessibility, and it does this really well, the controls are easy to get to grips with and the balance between finding and building weapons and equipment, with your character progression is nicely balanced, addition mission are required to unlock other playable characters, there is a hero for every playstyle, long-range, tanks, beserkers and DPS all the classics are in there. Each with there own background and quirky intro. They balance the casual main storyline and the more hardcore side mission like assassinations and patrols giving something for everyone.
Pagan Online is steeped in Slavic mythology, back in the pagan era where multiple gods were worshipped, similar to the more commonly known Nordic mythology, you definitely get the feel for the Diablo inspiration with the level layout and general combat style but another game had a big impact on the design, Warframe was the inspiration for the short form encounter style missions.
So we have Diabloesque combat, Warframe style short form missions and cartoonish graphics with a regularly humorous narrative almost feeling a touch of borderlands in there. Now I have a little issue with the sort form missions, they do feel a little repetitive, its subsided somewhat by the regular introduction of new monsters and the comical golden chicken, ( if you manage not to kill it during the combat your greatly rewarded, although its not that easy due to the AOE based attacks used).
I do like the fact that the heroes are what they are, customization is limited there isn’t much deviation from their intended design I started out with Morokh, an assassin baed character, the former gatekeeper destined to judge the dead and decide their fate in the afterlife. When the balance was broken and the rush of the dead arriving, he set off to investigate the world of the living. All the heroes have a familiar back story linked to folklore or tales of the supernatural such as vampires.
It’s not all sunshine and candyfloss though the loading times are quite long for such short levels, the levels are really quite short, and the fact you have to unlock all the characters, the storage system isn’t available as of yet and with all other wargaming titles I assume there is going to be some monetization, but how much of an impact this will have is still to be confirmed, credit where its due Wargaming tend to stray away from pay to win and paywalls, but with a mobile game developer this might change although I hope not. Teams of two are the current maximum which I feel is a little low, but then again suits the level set up.
Overall Pagan online is a solid game, good progression, good graphics, the story, and dialogue are interesting but feels secondary to the gameplay and I do love a good story.
It is very much in the middle of the road for me, it’s worth playing, but I find it hard to recommend, I have to agree with the steam community and give it an average-ish 6/10.