Hi-Rez Studios announced Paladins: Battlegrounds today, a new battle royale-style game mode for its free-to-play, fantasy hero-based shooter. Just like Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, 100 players will drop onto a “massive map” to “explore, loot, and survive” in a fight to be the last Champion — or team of Champions — standing.
The developer calls Paladins: Battlegrounds “the first-ever hero shooter battle royale.”
Paladins, which has drawn comparisons to another hero-based shooter, Overwatch, will follow the battle royale gameplay popularized by Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds pretty closely. Players will loot outposts, fight for gear dropped by zeppelins and be forced to confront each other as an ever-encroaching fog pushes teams into tighter and tighter battle zones. Hi-Rez said that Paladins: Battlegrounds will be built with squads in mind; the hero-based battle royale mode will apparently be a last team standing affair.
Paladins: Battlegrounds is “still early in development” according to Hi-Rez, and will be completely free for all users. It will be released sometime in 2018 for PC and consoles.
Hi-Rez’s adoption of battle royale gameplay follows similar moves from Epic Games, which added 100-player battles to Fortnite, and Crytek, which stuffed the same mode into free-to-play shooter Warface.
In other Paladins news, Hi-Rez also announced a new team deathmatch mode, a new mobile spinoff called Paladins Strike and a new champion, Moji, who rides a two-headed turtle-like familiar named Po-Li. Moji and Team Deathmatch are playable in the game’s public test server.
Check out the debut trailer for Paladins: Battlegrounds in the video above.
Correction: An earlier version of this article said that Paladins’ new hero and Team Deathmatch mode were playable in open beta. They are currently available in public test servers.