Anyone who knows me knows I generally stay in my FPS (First-person shooter) lane when it comes to multiplayer games. Staples like Titanfall 2, Overwatch 2, and now, thanks to our Gaming Editor in Chief David Burdette, I’ve been lured back into Call of Duty. That franchise has always been near and dear to my heart with their fast-paced movement, fluid gunplay, and variety of map choices. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.
I recently got invited to try out the closed PlayStation beta for a game in a territory unknown to me. I’m, of course, talking about the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) and Third-person shooter hybrid, Predeccessor.
Over the past week, I’ve put some time into online matches as well as bot filled games, and while I think there is something really good here, the important question is “What can Omeda Studios do to draw people away from the respective MOBA and FPS genres and invest into precious gaming time into Predecessor?”
Before we get into the heart of my experience, let’s break down exactly what Predecessor is and how it sets itself apart from the pack. In Predecessor, you and four allies face off against another team of five with each player controlling a chosen hero. Each hero belongs to a certain role such as fighter, support, and assassin. There is quite the roster of unique characters with charismatic personalities and abilities that make each feel remarkable in their own way similar to how Overwatch’s heroes act and feel. So far, I’ve only played one map that contains the traditional three-lane format that’s standard in many of the popular MOBA’s out today. To win the game, you must take out the enemy team’s towers while also defending your own from their attacks. The main component Predecessor has that makes it unique is the third-person camera angle and not top down. I personally enjoyed it a lot, and I believe others will also. It places the action straight in front of the player due to the camera angle and thus provides a more immersive experience.
Once the match begins, players set out to complete objectives and take out computer controlled minions to earn experience and gold which allow you to level up different skills and purchase new abilities. A healthy balance of PvP (Player vs Player) and PvE (Player vs Environment) happens throughout the match as I find myself forced to quickly decide between leveling up against minions or trying to take out an enemy player for an increased amount of experience and gold. Risk and reward is something present in many online games but Predecessor takes the cake for presenting the most risk and reward situation. It’ll definitely be a learning curve for new players like myself, but I never felt the game was unfair or punished too severely for making the wrong decision.
Now that we know what the game itself is, let’s talk about my experience playing some matches and what I took away from my time with the game. You start off playing against AI bots to help you learn the basics and familiarize yourself with roster and roles. Once you get comfortable, you can progress to squaring up against real people online, but if you choose, the AI bot playlist is always available.
Both playlist have pros and cons, with AI matches being easy but frustrating and actual matches being exciting and action-packed but tough because to much communication between players is necessary. For context I solo queued the entire time and I cannot stress enough how rough of an experience it was. If you’re looking to try Predecessor, solo play in AI lobbies are the way to go. Making the venture into online lobbies, I highly recommend grouping up with a friend or joining a LFG (Looking for Group). One could solo queue and simply join voice chat, but the odds of finding people with mics talking has shown to be rare and I’m hoping it doesn’t become as toxic on the mic as other MOBA’s are known for.
Gameplay was much smoother than I anticipated with it being in a closed beta. Attacking and character movement felt very responsive and the game worked very well. I didn’t encounter any bugs or glitches and the UI system makes it easy to understand and navigate for the most part. The only pain-point for me as a player was the AI in bot lobbies need improvement. A majority of my matches lasted longer than they really should have because the AI on both sides (ally and enemy) is not very aware. With the recent wave in AI technology across all industries, not just gaming, the bar has been raised and Predecessor doesn’t meet that. I encountered multiple instances of allies and enemies alike attacking monsters they weren’t close to in level and spent the entire game dying over and over. It was a small blemish on what, as a whole, is a decent experience.
Overall, Predecessors gave me quite a bit of fun during my time with it. It has solid foundational qualities that it can use to build up a following and expand its content library. I don’t know if it has what it takes to grow to a significant level of interaction and player following, but there is without a doubt a market for this type of experience. The biggest obstacle is on the development team to keep the game alive and brewing with content and updates because the competition is continuously evolving.
Players can dive into the world of Predecessor themselves via Early Access on Steam.
Noah is the resident weeb who spends most of his time gaming and watching anime. His goal is to expand his skills while meeting new people. You have probably seen him feeding the other team kills in Overwatch Comp or speculating Star Wars and One Piece. Follow him on twitter @RigsbyNoah.