(Review) Overwatch

I guess if anyone can rework an already great game into a more popular one with similar mechanics… I guess it’s Blizzard. Coming from a gamer whose love for Team Fortress 2 is only surpassed by his disappointment of all of his buds not playing anymore, I was skeptical of how innovative Blizzard was going to be when creating Overwatch. They didn’t disappoint.

In case you were wondering, this is what waiting for someone else to pick a support looks like...

In case you were wondering, this is what waiting for someone else to pick a support looks like…

All of the characters play differently with each having a special niche that they can fill. There are four main types of heroes: Assault, Defense, Tank, and Support. Assault will focus on moving up and taking out the enemies with speed and damage. Support is for healing or helping with shields and teleporters. Defense can feel like Assault, but are more suited for holding down points. Tanks tank, but some are crazy mobile while others rely on having a shield-wall that slows your movement, but stops all projectiles. It’s crazy how similar the characters can be yet still so varied.

While shields can protect you, they also seem to attract a lot of attention. Why do people not seem to follow the tank sometimes? We only want to lead you to victory?

While shields can protect you, they also seem to attract a lot of attention. Why do people not seem to follow the tank sometimes? We only want to lead you to victory?

The level design is most well thought out, however I am indifferent to certain maps for how large they feel. Sometimes getting back to a point is rough and you can easily lose all of the momentum your team was building with one poorly timed move or that single missed shot. How about forgetting to reload before you turn that corner? We’ve all been there. Not all maps feel like this, but they all feel like they favor defense more at times (which can be frustrating when you have to run a good distance), but I feel it was the right way of going about it. Having to run far to defend a point on a linear map setup would be more annoying in the long run.

Ah respawning... the sad point at which you realize your team is on the other side of the map and will probably be dead when you get there. Good times...

Ah respawning… the sad point at which you realize your team is on the other side of the map and will probably be dead when you get there. Good times…

All of those components are great, but does anyone else have an issue with the story? Really, what’s the actual story here. We have this history of some robots named the Omnics who eventually grew evil and started attacking everyone so the world got all of their best heroes together and created Overwatch. Together they defeated the robot-wannabe-overlords and saved the world. Then the world (I guess) moved on from them because when the world doesn’t need heroes, they apparently turn on them. So everyone went their own way and suddenly Winston is calling them all back together because they are needed again… to fight… each other? Wait, what? Why? I don’t get it at all. Why are we fighting in these deathmatches in random places all over the world? What greater good does this serve? Were we hired by opposing factions and we’re fighting their wars for them? Does that count as selling out and seem kind of cheap? Oh well, at least the game is a ton of fun.

Kill or be killed... however she started shooting first so this probably didn't end well, but I don't honestly remember.

Kill or be killed… however she started shooting first so this probably didn’t end well, but I don’t honestly remember.

The main thing I like is that there are no overly overpowered characters no matter what some people may say. Some characters are simply amazing in specific situations and there are people who have spent considerable time and effort figuring the intricacies of all of them out (except for Bastion, he’s simple). There is a great counter to every character and sometimes the same counter doesn’t work in every situation which is why team work is so important and the ability to swap characters is so integral to the flow of the game. If you’re losing, the for the love of Mike, someone switch it up and try a different combination! I will admit to being guilty of the not-switch, but I do my fair share of switching to try to help. Some teams can’t be helped by one person trying something different though.

Suddenly Reaper...

Suddenly Reaper…

One final note from the perspective of someone who’s not level 50 yet, is that milestone (level 50) the last time we’ll get a loot box without buying one?* Is there a more direct way of purchasing a skin that one would want for a specific character they like to play without plunking down a possible load of money for a bunch of chances? You can do this in World of Warcraft for certain mounts and it’s the same stinking company. I can spend as much as I spent on the game for a few chances to not get what I want, or a ton of crap for Roadhog again, who I am terrible at. I sure hope that there will be a direct way eventually, but in the end it is a business and I get that… but this is also not EA… Don’t micro-transaction me bro!

*Apparently there is no level cap… nevermind. According to the Wiki, you can just keep leveling up with a loot box awarded at every level. However, it’s probably going to feel like a longer grind the higher the level. Gaining a level may feel crazy long, but I guess, it’s better than being “forced” to pay for extra. Also, you will eventually be able to buy, directly, a cosmetic upgrade.

Just... no... $40? Really?

Just… no… $40? Really?

More Overwatch info: FacebookOfficial Page / Twitter / WikiYouTube

I really enjoy my time with Overwatch and while I believe that it does what TF2 does, only better, it's still a game that relies on your teammates and not solely on your ability to pick one OP character and own on your own. That said, with this game being as popular as it is, there are some that are used to other shooters and are not used to being able to switch classes and have that change your play-style as drastically as it does here. So you'll get people who will stick with the one character and ride it to freedom even if it's causing the team to lose. I don't feel this is emphasized or taught enough in the tutorial and it should have been, but it should course correct itself in time. Other than that, waiting for a match doesn't take too long, it's fun when you get in and they didn't try to shove in a "Deathmatch" sort of game-type. Overwatch is totally worth the $40 asking price even with the "player-end" issues it has currently.

I really enjoy my time with Overwatch and while I believe that it does what TF2 does, only better, it’s still a game that relies on your teammates and not solely on your ability to pick one OP character and own on your own. That said, with this game being as popular as it is, there are some that are used to other shooters and are not used to being able to switch classes and have that change your play-style as drastically as it does here. So you’ll get people who will stick with the one character and ride it to freedom even if it’s causing the team to lose. I don’t feel this is emphasized or taught enough in the tutorial and it should have been, but it should course correct itself in time. Other than that, waiting for a match doesn’t take too long, it’s fun when you get in and they didn’t try to shove in a “Deathmatch” sort of game-type. Overwatch is totally worth the $40 asking price even with the “player-end” issues it has currently.

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7 Comments

  1. MacGordon June 2, 2016 11:37 am  Reply

    Great write up! I’m thoroughly enjoying the game play. I hope that there are quite a few more game types as I think that variety would help keep monotony from setting in…for me anyway.

    • Ailingforale June 16, 2016 9:10 pm  Reply

      I think the one thing that is helping me from being bored is that (unlike TF2), I enjoy all of the classes and can basically play all of them. There is plenty of variety to be had for me, but I could do with another set of maps or two.

  2. Liitj July 22, 2016 11:14 pm  Reply

    My cousin is Seagull, in the top 1% of Overwatch players. He’s level 100 in the PTR and last time I checked 99 in Live. If only I was good at FPS games still. My reaction speed has gone down so much in 10 years… I’d probably be under 50 in this game if I ever tried it out.

    Seagull’s profile: http://masteroverwatch.com/profile/pc/us/Seagull-1894

    • Ailingforale July 25, 2016 7:13 am  Reply

      I’ve actually watched his stream a few times! Lol, small world. As far as your reaction speed goes, with practice you can get better. I believe in you!

      • Liitj July 27, 2016 9:59 am  Reply

        Dude did you see the news a few days ago? SHAQ tried poaching him to his pro team.

        Well it’s going to take a LOT of practice for it to get better. Considering I don’t play FPS’s any more at all (on a regular basis). It’s been a while since I’ve purchased a FPS to play multiplayer on (Okay I did buy DOOM when it was 50% off on Steam, but I only played the first mission).

        • Ailingforale July 28, 2016 5:00 am  Reply

          That is pretty crazy, I wonder if he’s considering it. Although, I’d like to think that the eSports teams would be more of a band of brothers than professional sports. Team loyalty and all of that.

          • Liitj July 28, 2016 4:53 pm  Reply

            No idea. He won’t play any games with his family and friends. His older brother told me he only plays with the best of the best, even if it’s just for fun and not for competition or competitive rating. So who knows. If Shaq offers a lot of money it could be a thought on his mind. I really don’t know though.

Love it or hate it, let me know!