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Image via Firewalk Studios

First previews are showing Concord isn’t as bad as everyone thought

Get a deeper look at Concord.

Despite the initial response, many are coming around to Concord after the first previews have been held. Concord caught my eye, and I'm glad to see the internet is changing their perspective, but let's take a look at what you can expect from Concord based on the previews.

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Is Concord actually good?

Upon its announcement, Concord was called a generic hero shooter trying to capture the vibe of Guardians of the Galaxy through its ragtag team of misfits and Joss Whedonesque dialogue, but I held firm to the hope that there was more to it than meets the eye. With previews going out to IGN, Gamespot, and more, it turns out I was right.

On the surface, Concord looks like your standard 5v5 hero shooter, and many were left wondering what separated it from Overwatch. Concord utilizes heroes with different abilities, playstyles, and roles, but it's how Firewalk Studios utilizes these that makes Concord stand out. I'll dive into the mechanics and aspects of Concord, but you can experience the game yourself by signing up for the open beta.

Concord Hero Mechanics

Concord has 16 heroes, or Freegunners, to choose from, and each has different abilities and playstyles. However, Firewalk Studios created its Freegunners to be flexible, so you are not stuck in a certain role. For example, Star Child is a big tanky character with a large health pool, which almost seems to default him into the tank role. But his abilities allow him to close the distance and deal massive damage with his shotgun axe, effectively making him a close-quarter DPS.

Image via Firewalk Studios

Likewise, Haymar, a spellcasting crossbow-wielding Freegunner, appears to be a DPS character. But her abilities allow her to disorientate the enemy with a flashbang or lay down AoE fire spells, which can seal off areas, allowing her to function as area control. Firewalk Studios' approach to designing character kits is a fresh take on the role-based genre.

Additionally, gunplay in Concord feels similar to Destiny, and if it's even a fraction of how good Bungie's gunplay feels, it would be very promising for Concord's future. Combine that with ample movement options, and Destiny and Overwatch players will feel right at home. Finally, it also invokes vibes of Valorant with its different hero abilities and how important it is to utilize these with teamwork.

One of the most important aspects of Concord is its teamwork, which is extremely evident in the synergy between Freegunners. With 16 Freegunners to choose from. Choosing the right heroes matters, as some abilities complement others more and can lead to deadly combos or lifesaving decisions.

Concord Game Mode & Map Design

While Firewalk Studios leans into asymmetrical gameplay with its heroes, game modes do not reflect this design theory. Whether you are playing Trophy Hunt's respawn-based game mode or Cargo Run and Clash Points' limited lives game mode, both teams will be equal in how they start. This means players should focus on team composition rather than whether they are on offense or defense.

Likewise, Concord's maps are symmetrical, meaning both teams have an even start and equal chance to claim objectives and key map points. This further reinforces team composition rather than worrying about starting location. The arena-style maps of Concord provide ample room to duke it out as a team and tight quarters for 1-on-1 duels.

Image via Firewalk Studios

Map knowledge plays a key role but both teams have equal opportunity to learn these and take advantage. Learning the maps and their lanes means you can utilize your team comp and game mode strategy. Concord's game modes provide clear objectives, such as killing enemy players and collecting their trophy, or claiming and protecting a location.

What Concord needs to improve

While Concord's previews shook off a lot of its early reception, some areas can be improved. One of the most obvious is its story and universe. Many assumed Concord was a story-based game and felt the rug was pulled out from under them when it was revealed to be a hero shooter.

However, Firewalk Studios plans to release cinematic vignettes each week after launch to provide an insight into the universe, characters, and stories within Concord. I think this is a nice approach, especially considering the quality of the cinematic announcement trailer, and I look forward to learning about the crew of the Northstar and beyond. In addition to this, an in-game galaxy map provides details and lore about the planets and more, solidifying the storytelling.

Image via Firewalk Studios

Secondly, balance was an issue with Concord's Freegunners, but this is to be expected when you have various abilities, health pools, and character sizes. The floatiness of the movement and fast-paced gunfights sometimes felt at odds with one another. This can be tweaked before launch, but requiring precise shooting while hovering in the air can be difficult to get used to.

Balance with characters is also difficult due to the different health pools. Tanky characters like 1-OFF had 300 health during the preview, while DPS characters had between 170 and 220, depending on the actual class. Furthermore, players were not restricted to playing certain roles, meaning you could frontload your team with five DPS characters rather than having one of each role.

The open beta should provide Firewalk Studios with more data to make changes, and Firewalk Studios has plans for free post-launch content. Between that and watching the game for balance changes, Concord sits on the cusp of finding its groove. Mixing gameplay elements from Destiny, Overwatch, Valorant, and Halo is a challenging endeavor, but I have hopes Concord will find its place among hero shooters.

For more information on gaming, check out Overwatch 2 stuck on connecting – How to Fix on Pro Game Guides.

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Justin Joy
Justin has been diving into fantasy worlds since he can remember. He is a certified nerd who has a deep love of reading, writing, and hiking. He has been writing since his college days, but specifically in gaming for two years. His favorite games are The Legend of Zelda, Pokémon, Hollow Knight, Celeste, and Banjo Kazooie.

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First previews are showing Concord isn’t as bad as everyone thought

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