Thoughts On: Overwatch

Overwatch, the latest game by Blizzard Entertainment, breathes vibrant life into a team based first person shooter. Released just a few days ago this game has been at the front and center of most gamers minds the past few months. Overwatch brings with it characters rich with personality and beautiful environments set all over the world. Here are my thoughts and opinions so far on this marvelous game.

The Characters

    Diversity is certainly not an issue when it comes down to the cast of Overwatch. With characters hailing from all walks of life with different ethnicities, regions, and even species, no two characters are alike. With such a diverse range of people you would think things would get jammed and look a bit off, this is not the case in Overwatch. It’s unique art style and playful tone help all the characters to fit in nicely together and compliment one another very well.

“It’s a perfect day for some mayhem”

– Junkrat

    Along with their vast difference in physical apperance, no two characters play alike. Players have a variety of options to suit any play style. Maybe you’ll go with Tracers quick and spunky attitude towards battle, or maybe you’ll go with Reinhardt’s slow and brooding shields. Overwatch has four different subgrouped classes for one to pick from, because of this you’d think that a makeup for a team would be easy – get a healer, a tank, and a few damage dealers. This is not necessarily always the case. Characters within the same subgroup also vary vastly, take for example the defenders Junkrat and Torbjorn. They are both labeled defenders but approach combat so differently. Junkrat, with his traps and times grenades can easily be used offensively, carpet bombing an objective or using his Springtrap to catch a stray hero by suprise. While Torbjorn is a more stationary character with his Turrent and close range shotgun blast for more of a strategically playstyle rather than a wild explosive maniac.

    This difference in characters brings with it an interesting way in which players can pair up, take for example a Bastion along with a Reinhardt, now this is a common pairing but it’s amazing how these two can work together. Just take Reinhardt’s shield protecting Bastion as he reconfigures and mows down enemies with ease. Or maybe a pairing of Zarya with Roadhog. Have him hook someone and draw attention as Zarya puts up a shield, protecting Roadhog and giving herself a nice damage boost. It’s fun to play around and find those unlikely pairs that work so nicely together.

“It is not too late to change your course, brother.”

– Genji to Hanzo

    Diving into the history of these characters can be quite the chore, but once you do you realize certain characters have past relationships with one another it’s a delightful experience. For example one quickly learns that Hanzo and Genji have a sibling rivalry and it enriches gameplay. Despite characters being either friendly or enemies, they are sometimes forced to take up arms together or even fight one another. This is at times remarked on through beginning dialogue that occasionally happens, giving character and depth to the life like heroes.

The Maps

    Each and every one of the twelve maps featured in Overwatch are just as vast as the characters themselves. One second you could be in America on good ol route 66. The next moment you could be around the world in the musical center of Mumbai.

“Pump up the volume!”

– Lucio

    A great thing about these beautiful maps are the way they feel as if they’ve been lived in. You can see posters and such items like arcade cabinets littering their respective levels, giving a sense for the people who may have visited such locations. That, along with the unique dialogue that sometimes plays when a character is in a certain map, gives life to the beautiful visuals of these landmarks.
    The maps are beautiful and even after playing on them time and time again I could always find new paths and hidden things I’ve never noticed before. I found myself constant finding new things about my favourite characters, at times even something interesting about the environment came to light.

The Gameplay

    With only a handful of modes, including the changing weekly brawl things can get repetitive. Some maps are tied to a certain objective game type – route 66 being mainly the stage for a escort mission. However with this brings a sort of familiarity, where you know just what to expect from a map and you get to the point where you can’t see any other mode working with it. Straight to the point you know that Route 66 would bring you escort, not a control or capture mode, you get accustomed to the map and the style of escorting the payload.

“I’m a one-man apocalypse.”

– Roadhog

    As the core mechanics of this game goes, it can range from a very fast showdown with the likes of Tracer and Lucio going at it, to the slow calculating precision of a Widowmaker. You can find yourself one moment peacefully pushing a payload down the track then turn the corner and are gunned down by a Bastion or Torbjorn’s turrent. The game, being a team shooter, is extremely team based and requires excellent team work. If you do not coordinate and work with your team, all bets are off and you will be picked off by a team who works together.

“Boo Boo Doo De Doo”

– Bastion

    With such a huge cast of characters and the many ways you can play each, the game modes and maps never seem to become dull. Over time people are sure to use new tactics, develop new and interesting ways to close in or protect an objective, and overall ways to play the game. The ways to achieve victory are near limitless.

Closing Thoughts

    Over the past few days I have not been able to put this game down and that speaks wonders for it as I do not typically enjoy shooters. With the enticing goal of leveling up and gaining new customization options for my characters, to the new techniques I learn from watching others I have greatly enjoyed this game. For anyone on the fence about this title I highly recommend it, you will not be disappointed and besides, the world needs more heroes. For everyone else, how are you enjoying your watch?

“Cheers love.”

– Tracer

My collector’s edition can be found here.

– Trey

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