By: Dylan Hardy
If you’ve read any of the multiple Hearthstone articles I have written, you can automatically assume I am a Blizzard Fanboy – you’re right. From the days of World of Warcraft to my current addiction to Hearthstone, my love for the company is deep. When they announced Overwatch, a first-person shooter in 2014, I was a little on the fence but faithful knowing that Blizzard’s flair on the oversaturated genre would be enough to pull me back in. It was.
So let’s start with the basics. Overwatch is a tactical objective based FPS with a very bright, colorful art style. There are a total of four class types – Offense, Defense, Tank and Support. Each of these classes are unique and to make the decision even deeper, each character in each class is completely different, ensuring there’s at least one character in the game to suit your type of play. On top of this each character has a special which is an overpowered move that pretty much ends up in at least one enemy dying if done right. The goal of each game is some sort of team objective, either controlling a hardpoint, or escorting a payload through multiple checkpoints. The thing that makes this game so interesting though is the ability to change your character as many times as you want per game, with each one of your deaths leading to the enemy team having to deal with another character they aren’t expecting. This constant adaptation made every single game I played in the game unique and entertaining.
So far there are twenty-one characters in Overwatch and all of them are playable in their own ways. Some characters’ benefit greatly on defending objectives, such as Bastion, who has the ability to transform into a mini-gun turret, or Torbjorn who is able to construct turrets to help defend control points. Others benefit with being able to push objectives and get in behind the competition, such as Tracer, who has the ability to burst in any direction up to three times. Every single character is unique and none of them had me thinking “Well this other character’s ability is just a better version of this”.
I found myself playing Tank or Support the most, specifically Reinhardt and Lucio. Both of these characters in my opinion are the best of their class. Reinhardts got a huge barrier that blocks explosions and bullets from the enemy team, as well as a close range hammer that deals a lot of damage. His special is a large earth shaking attack that knocks down enemies and leaves them open for assault. He’s so good at controlling points and leading the charge that I found myself playing him in every game mode. Lucio on the other hand is a super unique support class. He is able to heal and provide a speed boost to surrounding teammates. I found him way better than the other supports as he was always able to get the team to the objective sooner and if behind, get the team to the objective to contest hardpoints or get us back in the game. His ultimate gives surrounding teammates a large shield that makes them pretty much unkillable for a few seconds which can be the difference a lot of the time in team fights. Plus, you know, he’s pretty much Jet Set Radio.
My biggest frustrations come from extremely annoying teams consisting of Bastions, Torbjorns and Meis. All and all, these characters are played generally in a way to annoy players. There is no greater frustration than watching Bastion hide away in a corner and just mow down your team, or not being able to get an accurate shot on Torbjorn’s turret before it kills you. Mei has the ability to seal herself in an ice block and heal herself or put walls up to limit movement, so dealing with her constant pestering is rage-inducing. On top of these character frustrations comes a lot of frustration with players as well – there were many times where I’d watch my offense teammates just constantly run into fire over and over just milking the enemy team’s ultimates.
The frustration wasn’t enough to keep me away though as I kept coming back for more games. Overwatch also offers fantastic party systems with group voice chat. I found myself using other applications for communications, however, as the “ ` “ button was just awkward to hit mid game. The more friends you have in your party the better as well, as Overwatch gives you bonus experience for being in a party.
Overall I was very impressed with Overwatch. I made the right choice to preorder it and if you didn’t get the chance to play it in the previous betas, this game is something to look out for in the coming year. It’s well worth the forty dollars on PC and I promise that you will have a blast.