Thursday, 2 June 2016

Overwatch

With how much we’ve all seen of Overwatch, it’s kind of hard to believe that it’s only just come out. Having clocked almost 60 hours of it pre-release in the form of betas, I was anticipating what has changed since those betas. Well, after a number of hours more, I can categorically say that pretty much nothing has changed. That being said, Overwatch is one of the deepest, well-thought and satisfying shooters every released. Not bad for a development team releasing their very first FPS.


Developed by Blizzard and out now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, Overwatch is just a standard First Person Shooter. It takes elements, design choices, and the feel of many different games, not just other shooters. Maps themselves feel incredibly diverse despite being an arena shooter for the most part. Tight corridors, and overlooking pathways feel like a mid to long range player’s dream but for every aspect of a map that suits a certain playstyle there’s always some way to counteract that. There are multiple paths, flanking manoeuvres, and verticality that lends itself well to an on-the-fly strategy that feels like every respawn is a new objective. 


While the maps play some part in that, Overwatch’s highlight is its diverse range of characters. Here you have a choice of 21 heroes and they don’t just feel slightly different. Each one feels so unique that it feels more like you have 21 classes rather than 21 characters to choose from. Every single character has abilities that work well with other character’s on a team as well as an excellent way to turn the tide on an enemy that may be performing incredibly well. Changing characters throughout matches should become more common the more that you play as you learn to understand the many layers each one holds.

This may sound overwhelming to understand the intricacies of 21 different characters but the truth is that you’ll get acclimated to a few favourites in the beginning. The roster is broken down into four different sections: Attack, Defence, Tank, and Support. You’ll find your favourite from each section in the beginning but as you play and play against the roster, you’ll start to see how effective different characters are and how they can be utilised in matches. It’s all quite easy to understand through play what every character can do. However, it isn’t that bare as everything is deceptively deeper than you can imagine. There’s a magic to Overwatch in how it always has something new to show you and that will only continue as the quality of players go up.

Overwatch grows in greatness the more that you play it. You acclimate to different conditions, you excel as different heroes on different maps and depending on the gameplay modes, the experience from match to match can vary wildly. Despite this, Overwatch is simply one of the greatest multiplayer games to come out in years.

As you level up you unlock loot boxes which become the new biggest addiction. There’s such a satisfying feeling and look opening the loot box to see which new cosmetic items you’ve unlocked. You’ll unlock skins, lines of dialogue, sprays and more for each character that make then all look unique but still feel the exact same. This means there is no advantage for higher levelled players. The skill comes from understanding your hero and their strength and weaknesses.


Overwatch is Blizzard’s first attempt at First Person Shooters and they nail it on their first attempt. It’s fun, fast, fluid, and deeply gratifying.

Mei should be everybody’s bae. 5/5.

★★★★★


Jason Redmond



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