Overwatch Review: A Bastion of a Good Time!
Blizzard’s attempt at tackling the hero craze of games comes in the form of the ultra popular Overwatch. Before the game’s initial release, this first person shooter was already a phenomenon, boasting over 9 million beta testers across three platforms. What makes Overwatch such a spectacle comes from its simple-to-learn yet difficult-to-master controls, and the strategies that naturally develop when you pit a truly diverse cast of 21 heroes against each other.
One can simply choose a random character and get through a complete match just by quickly glancing at that character’s bio, which serves as a mini in-game tutorial. If glancing at a few button prompts is not enough, a training mode will remedy any questions regarding how to pull off certain maneuvers, which is encouraged to help players learn multiple characters’ play styles to counter the heroes of the opposing team during a match.
Learning the characters is the first step in enjoying what might be one of the best competitive shooters of all time. The second comes from mastering their abilities, as many of them can be used for unconditional reasons. For example, Reinhardt’s pin attack is usually used as an offensive maneuver; however, that same pin can also be used to counter D. Va’s self-destruct mechanism at the risk of your life to ensure your team’s survival. Mei’s ice wall is usually used as a defensive maneuver to stump enemy attackers from advancing, but it can also be used to help you and others reach higher locations which are not as easily accessible in order to set up aerial ambushes for your enemies. These tactics are used to great effect when the team collaborates, ensuring higher rates of success. This, of course, can also bring devastation if the team refuses to cooperate, as teamwork is crucial within Blizzard’s highly addictive game.
One would assume that constant verbal cooperation would be needed, but Blizzard implemented their heroes with verbal quips when a crucial play occurs. Symmetra will let players know when she has planted a teleporter somewhere in the map. In return, when an enemy team member spots said teleporter, they will notify their own team mates to work together to destroy it. This not only makes cooperating simple, it is a crucial element to pay attention to as they are subtle hints within the game to help you overcome the odds. “It’s high noon” usually means “get out of the general area as soon as possible,” because chances are, you’ll be staring at a kill cam of McCree taking you and others out in a matter of seconds. This alone makes audio crucial to the experience.
Lastly, Overwatch lacks a story mode. This of course would seem like an instant bummer, but in reality the game does not need a campaign. The rich universe that Blizzard has created is spread out in comics, short animated films, and under the official game’s website all on the internet allowing anyone to look up the occurrences of this universe at their leisure. Not just that, but characters tend to banter with one another during game play hinting at what their pasts together have been. Since the beginning of CSG I vowed not to hold a grudge against a game based on the amount of content within it. At the end of the day, quality trumps quantity, and Overwatch is a prime example of that. This game contains only a multiplayer component, but the gameplay (and the cosmetic unlockables) will keep you coming back for more. And more. And more. Overwatch might not just be an excellent game; it might be one of the best games ever developed, complete with ridiculous amounts of replayability.