When Overwatch was first announced, I can definitely say that I was already snagging a ticket and jumping onto the hype train. Even if the hype train hadn’t even pulled into the station. Over time though, like all hype trains you kind of forget about it until reminders pop up. Although I’m not in the beta (yet… fingers crossed) over the Extra-Life weekend I got a chance to play a few hours of Overwatch. Overwatch definitely met my expectations and more.
Overwatch is a hero based first person shooter, which is a lot like saying that Team Fortress 2 is a class based first person shooter. I know what you’re thinking. “Oh man… another TF2 comparison.” to which I say, yeah…but I’ll keep the comparisons to a minimum. Coming from being a long time fan of TF2, I will say that Overwatch hit me with a tinge of nostalgia in the fun I had running around in the waiting area while defense set up for my team’s incoming onslaught, pushing the payload and using the old strategies of using the payload as cover while recovering health, rushing the control point and fighting to defend and cursing turrets. As I got further into my gameplay experience the nostalgia goggles of my TF2 days vaporized under the crushing weight of Reindhart’s hammer.
The heroes of Overwatch all bring unique character, skills and strategies to the fight. Hero skills have a very MOBA feel as cool down timing will always weigh in on whether to use certain skills and what is basically an ultimate ability meter charging up before using your heroes special ability. At the same time you are still playing an FPS which brings in the factors of reload times, first person perspective, snipers, head shots and shot accuracy. Overwatch blends all of these factors incredibly well, merging the battle styles of FPS and MOBA into a unique experience. All heroes have their strengths and weaknesses, with the amount of variety in the characters, there should be a hero to match most gamer’s play styles.
Overwatch features seven maps:
Based on various parts of the futuristic fictional earth. As well as two game modes based on map. Payload in which the attacking team must stand next to the payload to have it advance on a set path through the defending team’s check points. Working with limited time to get the payload to the end goal. Control Points having the attacking team fight to hold certain points on the map while the defenders ensure the attackers don’t over stay their welcome.
Overall Overwatch is a fun experience that is refreshing in the FPS world, which is how I felt about TF2 when I first bought the Orange Box and later TF2 on Steam. The overtones of the gameplay experience being cooperation, fulfilling roles and rewarding players on working to accomplish the match objective. While also celebrating the individual through a “Play of the Game” recap once the match is over and voting on who had the best contributions to the team through different stats which vary from amount of damage absorbed to highest number of eliminations. Through out the match you can feel the shifts on the battlefield when you are lacking certain elements in your team’s composition as well as tips in the pre-game screen while building your team, letting you know what your team may be lacking. Overwatch is definitely a game I will easily sink over 300 hours of game time into without regret.
TL;DR: Overwatch is an awesome game that blends MOBA and FPS elements that I’m definitely going to play. If you like cartoonish graphics, cooperative team based gameplay and Blizzard I highly recommend it.