Team-based games, be it the UEFA Champions League or FootLOL: Epic Fail League, do the sensible thing of having the teams wear team jerseys of different colours. After all, as a spectator sport, it makes sense to do this since the audience can now easily tell who’s on what team. For the players, it allows them to immediately tell whether to pass the ball to the person in front of him or to try and knock his teeth out with the ball.
And this concept, of course, goes into video games. For example, in TF2, the teams wear team-coloured clothing. Just shoot whoever’s wearing a different coloured shirt and you’re good.
In CS:GO, due to its more realistic setting, they can’t exactly do that since it’ll look extremely silly. Instead, they have the Counter-Terrorists who wear uniforms and the Terrorists who are a bit lax in their dress code, so you can still tell who’s who.
And in Lawbreakers, you have two different characters for each class, one in each team. Admittedly it’s a bit messy but it still gets the job done. You can still tell who’s on what team at a glance.
And then you have Paladins who decided to ignore all that and just make the characters look the same for both teams.
And before we forget, so did Overwatch.
And it doesn’t help that each character can have different skins as well.
Seriously, why is that? Having a visual distinction between the teams is rather important in a team-based game! Especially in pubs where you generally have no idea who is who, it makes sense to make it very clear who’s on what team. Especially for Overwatch and Paladins, games who aren’t going for a realistic look should probably take advantage of that.
Some may argue that this is probably the most trivial thing I could be criticizing for both games. But seriously, if you want to make a good esport, maybe allowing the audience to tell who’s on what team at a glance would be a pretty good idea. Especially if your alternative is to have a coloured border surrounding the character models. It’s unsightly.
And besides, without any knowledge of the games beforehand, the coloured borders really don’t mean much.
Meanwhile, this one’s obvious! I’m blue, he’s red, his buddy is also red so i’m going to stab both of them in the back. It’s far more intuitive than having the coloured borders and this looks nicer as well.
I suppose forcing everyone to wear the same colours will detract from the vibrant and unique personalities and the individuality of each character … yeah right. TF2’s nine classes are every bit as unique and human as anyone from Overwatch. Besides, if the only way you can showcase your character’s uniqueness is to give them colourful clothing I’m pretty sure your problems are much bigger than that. While visual cues does a lot to convey a character’s traits, it does not mean you need to use every hue available on the colour palette on the cast.
To me, gameplay should be the foremost element of games, especially when it comes to multiplayer games, since that is the main draw of the people buying the game in the first place. The art should serve the gameplay and not the other way round. If you really don’t want to hamper the uniqueness of the characters that much, the Lawbreakers route is always there. Or you can use some lore-related reason to replace the enemy models with “corrupted”, “robotic”, “holographic”, “cursed” or “made out of grilled cheese” versions of the character. that way, it’s still easy to tell at a glance who belongs on what team, and it’ll add a rather cool bit of detail to the game.
So yes, I really do not know why in the world both Paladins and Overwatch use a coloured outline to denote enemy team members. Seriously, there are much better ways out there. Do they just do this so that they can just lazily recolour parts of the character models and sell that as unique skins to the players?
Yeah, looks like it.