Predecessor’s new game mode Brawl is punchy, but can it set itself apart from other MOBAs? Hands-on playtest

Predecessor Brawl Mode
London-based game developer Omeda Studios recently released its new casual game mode Brawl to third-person MOBA Predecessor. Jack Freeman gets to grips with it and shares some first impressions in this article.

Predecessor is somewhat of a spiritual successor to Paragon after its assets were made available when the project was shut down. The game differs from classic MOBAs with its third-person perspective and blend of sci-fi and fantasy elements.

Predecessor entered closed beta late last year, and hit 1m players in its free open beta earlier this year, which is available on Steam, the Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4/5 and the Xbox Series X|S. But how does it play?

Brawl is the game’s brand new 5v5 game mode where players engage in fast-paced battles on a new single-lane map to takedown enemy players and escort allied minions into the enemy portal, similar to Arena in Smite. Brawl accelerates gameplay with rapid gold accumulation and faster leveling, leading to shorter game durations that can last between 10-20 minutes.

What Brawl excels at is creating a fun environment for players to learn and explore the game, offering an experience that a practice mode cannot match. With quicker games, increased gold generation, and easy level-ups, Brawl allows players to mess around with the limits of the game.

It’s incredibly satisfying to dominate your opponents without getting bogged down by the complexities of macro/micro gameplay, ganking, and other intricate strategies. However, Brawl and by extension Predecessor as a whole falls short with its similarities to other MOBAs and therefore failure to stand out in an over-saturated market.

Brawl shares parallels with Smite’s casual Arena mode, borrowing elements such as items, crests (akin to relics), and an auto-buy option for items. The similarities don’t stop there as Predecessor also take cues from other MOBAs, with some heroes’ abilities mirroring those of League of Legends champions, like TwinBlast’s resemblance to Lucian.

Dota 2 players will also find familiarity in the mechanic of gaining experience only when near dying minions.

Despite these commonalities, Predecessor struggles to carve out a unique gameplay experience, a challenge that also plagued Paragon. Its main selling point, the verticality in map design, remains underexplored, preventing it from standing out.

Overall, Brawl is an excellent casual game mode for players seeking a more relaxed experience. It serves as a great entry point for those curious about the game’s feel. Yet, Predecessor still needs to establish itself as a distinct title capable of competing with well-established rivals in the genre.

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