Predecessor moba good early access eventually free to play game from Omeda Studios, better alternative than Dota 2 Smite Paragon

Predecessor Is Everything I Love About MOBAs Without the Parts I’m Too Old For

Like many players before and after me, I’ve long had a love-hate relationship with MOBA games. Even before they became a thing, I enjoyed my time with Warcraft III maps that would later serve as the basis for now-popular game modes within standalone titles born from the famous Defense of the Ancients mod, such as League of Legends.

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By the time the Dota 2 beta opened its gates — more than a decade ago — I was very much into the booming genre and its special breed of competitive, symmetrical online multiplayer. The rule set was tight and the basics were easy to grasp, but the depth and the skill ceiling made every match an entirely different experience. Then came the focus on making the game as competitive as possible versus League of Legends, turning it into an esports sensation. The more casual players were eventually pushed out by tryhards, and the two MOBA giants unsurprisingly committed to the direction that produced the most money.

I never reached the point where I was mad at Valve’s Dota 2 and ended up hating it, like many others did or still do with other esports-oriented hits. I knew when to stop and seek alternatives. I still enjoyed MOBAs at their core and simply wanted a more chill experience.

Smite: Battleground of the Gods did the trick for a while, but I dropped it because it took up too much of my gaming time and I definitely needed a break from competitive games. (Funnily enough, I never stepped away from merciless shooters, as I never took them too seriously.) Aside from a couple of hours of Pokémon Unite on Nintendo Switch, I was done with MOBAs (too old for this shit, etc.) until I came across the Omeda Studios MOBA Predecessor in late 2022.

Predecessor moba good early access eventually free to play game from Omeda Studios, better alternative than Dota 2 Smite Paragon

Long story short: Predecessor was born from the ashes of Paragon, a promising third-person MOBA from Epic Games that ran in early access from August 2016 to April 2018, and it even has Epic’s blessing to serve as a reboot of sorts, basically remaking that game’s heroes and mimicking its skeleton. It’s a situation similar to that of Dota 2, which had to include heroes originally made in Warcraft III without committing copyright infringement with their visuals or the names. The funny thing is that, meanwhile, Epic has also granted Netmarble the rights to use Paragon assets to make Overprime, originally a second successor, an “official” reboot of the IP. Yes, it’s confusing as shit.

Overprime has been enjoying decent success so far thanks to its “free-to-play from the get-go” approach. The downside is that Netmarble’s take on monetization is rearing its ugly head, and veteran Paragon players are already complaining (with good reason) about the slower-paced, more tactical MOBA experience being sacrificed in favor of doing something flashier but ultimately plainer. Meanwhile, Predecessor has chosen to do “buy into early access,” aiming to grow its MOBA community naturally before opening the F2P floodgates once it’s ready for a 1.0 release.

I personally went with Predecessor because it looked better and felt like the less shady effort. And so far, I’m quite happy with my purchase. The community is contained and mostly nice, (Sweats show up every now and then.) the game is getting regular updates and monthly content drops that haven’t missed a beat yet, and most importantly, it’s providing me the MOBA thrills I couldn’t find elsewhere without any of the ugly parts.

If you’re familiar with traditional MOBAs, you know the deal: two teams of five champions / heroes / whatever push to destroy the enemy base while protecting theirs. The map is symmetrical and inhabited by hostile NPCs that hold gold and buffs. Kill waves of enemy minions to push yours towards the enemy base and earn more gold. Then use that money to buy the right equipment for your specific hero, who also levels up in traditional RPG fashion. All the basics we know and love are there.

On the other hand, the moment-to-moment action and overall pacing of the matches feel breezier and more dynamic than in the top dogs of the genre. Much like in Smite, you have to actually aim both your basic attacks and abilities, and the third-person camera makes the lines of sight behave entirely differently, which in turn affects how people actually play the game. The result is a brisker conflict that feels more involved in the right ways.

Predecessor moba good early access eventually free to play game from Omeda Studios, better alternative than Dota 2 Smite Paragon

Thankfully, the process of buying and upgrading items, as well as acquiring abilities, is anything but complicated; the UI, even at this stage, is easy to understand, and there’s not an overabundance of items or possible builds to get lost in. Moreover, there’s an “auto-buy” option that is a godsend for folks like me who just want to hop in for a quick match and focus strictly on their performance.

Predecessor also understands the importance of making a modern game look modern without making it visually busy. It’s perfectly readable even when teamfights get hectic towards the endgame of the matches, and each character’s design is intricate yet easily distinguishable; you can keep track of who is who so you can properly act on what you know they can do. This seems like a no-brainer for this type of game, but you’d be surprised at how many eff up such a basic concept. I hope the skins — of which there aren’t many at the moment — don’t get too zany and distracting as the game evolves.

A big turnoff for many potential players might be the current lack of an in-game progression system that rewards the time spent playing. Back in the day, we played multiplayer games just because they were fun, but I do understand the modern mindset of wanting to be rewarded; there are a lot of great games out there, so we need a reason to stick around with some of them for hundreds of hours. Is this some new type of brain rot caused by video games? Probably, but it is what it is.

As it stands, I’m perfectly content playing a couple of Predecessor matches whenever I feel like it, without worrying about ranks, convoluted seasons, the MOBA “meta,” and things I only keep track of because it’s my job. Omeda Studios has made me truly enjoy playing a MOBA game for the first time in years, and despite knowing where it may potentially go if it keeps growing (surely deserved), I encourage other “MOBA boomers” to check this one out.

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Fran Ruiz
Fran J. Ruiz is a freelance writer for The Escapist as well as other gaming, entertainment, and science websites, including VG247, Space, and LiveScience, with a strong focus on features, listicles, and opinion pieces. His wordsmith journey started with Star Wars News Net and its sister site, writing film, TV, and gaming news as a side gig. Once his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English Studies (University of Malaga, Spain) were done, he started collaborating with more and more sites until he became a full-time freelancer on top of an occasional private tutor. There’s no film genre he’s afraid of, but sci-fi and fantasy can win him over easily. Star Wars and Jurassic Park are his favorite stories ever. He also loves the entirety of Lost (yes, even the final season). When it comes to games, Spyro the Dragon and Warcraft III are his all-timers, but he’s the opposite of tied to a few genres. Don’t try to save him from his gargantuan backlog.