Overwatch is a fun, highly-addictive and mechanically-engaging entry into the budding “hero shooter” genre that is elevated to the next level due to its charm and personality.
A League of its own
Overwatch is the first foray into the multiplayer FPS genre from acclaimed developer Blizzard, the company responsible for such illustrious franchises such as Diablo, Starcraft and Warcraft. You play as one of the quirky and charming characters from the game’s 21-character roster, each with their own unique special set of weapons, Active and/or Passive skills, and Ultimate abilities to suit every different playstyle.
The matches play out in 6v6 fashion with game modes ranging from variations of traditional King of the Hill, Payload Escort/Defend and Objective based game types. Team composition plays an important role in the game’s strategy as various hero characters have different strengths and weaknesses. Adding another layer to this is that, unlike the MOBA Genre, you are not locked down to the hero you picked and you will be able to change into another hero when you respawn if you so choose. This is a conscious gameplay decision from the developer that promotes dynamically adapting to the battlefield as you react to the opponents hero picks and switches as well as other variables on the battlefield. For the most part this mechanic works in the game’s favor. Matches never feel stale or played out and it provides newbie players a way contribute and turn their luck around mid-match without having to suffer through a trouncing to do it.
The Blizzard Effect
As we’ve come to expect from Blizzard, the level of polish in the game is on point as per usual. The UI is simple, snappy and easy to use and graphics are beautifully sharp and crisp. However, Blizzard’s influence shines the most in the game’s character and personality. The maps are beautifully designed and are loaded with cheeky nods and references to the Blizzard universe. The player characters banter and interact with each other uniquely during the setup phase before the match and during the match itself. This helps flesh out the characters and provide a little insight in to what they’re all about. Each of the 21 characters in its roster are endearing and charming, from the scruffy grenadier Junkrat to the peppy, time travelling teleporter Tracer to an intelligent gorilla with an electro gun and a penchant for peanut butter named Winston. Everyone is fun and lovable and hearing them talk and watching them move endears them instantly to you.
Who watches the Overwatch
However, Overwatch is not without its shortcomings. The initial tutorial is bland and uninteresting and as fun as the central gameplay is, there is not much variety in the gameplay modes in the game’s current state. Overwatch also runs into some slight balance issues regarding certain characters’ power levels *cough* Bastion *cough. Luckily, if Hearthstone and WoW is any indication, Blizzard is known to support its games with a steady stream of updates that significantly expand the core game as well as iron out any balance issues long after a game has been released. I suspect Overwatch will be no exemption.
Overwatch’s engaging gameplay and strategic-depth rival the best First-person shooters in the market. However, it’s its charm and personality that sets it head and shoulders above the rest. Overwatch sets a high benchmark for not only the budding Hero-shooter genre but for multiplayer games in general.
5 “Peanut butter loving Gorillas” out of 5
Raffy Leynes is a geek of all trades (master of fun).He loves videogames, comicbooks, movies, cartoons, wrestling, science and art. Lately, he’s been liking his geekery with a dash of “Indie”. He doesn’t know what the f*ck musings are but he is told he does them on his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
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