This is my third attempt at typing this review. After scrapping the first two after not liking how they looked and how I typed them, I figured the third time's the charm. So here's my take on Blizzard's newest game, Overwatch.
Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer focused FPS game created by Blizzard. This is their first new IP since Starcraft way back in 1998 so Overwatch is kind of a big deal. This is also Blizzard's first take on the FPS genre after having a history with RTSs and MMOs. How does Overwatch fit in today's gaming industry? How is the game? I will try to explain everything in this review.
Believe it or not this game actually has a backstory to it. Its a shame that this game doesn't have a campaign but I'm kind of glad it doesn't have one after pulling a Mass Effect 3 that Blizzard went with the Legacy of the Void campaign for SC2. What we have with Overwatch's story as of right now is simple and sweet, especially with the absolutely amazing animated shorts Blizzard has been releasing. I'm excited to see more of these released in the future.
In a futuristic Earth setting, robots called Omnics and other machines rose and started to cause havoc around the world. The United Nations created the organization known as Overwatch to fight the Omnics. The Omnics were eventually defeated by Overwatch and people around the world were happy that they could count on these heroes to be there when they needed help. Not everyone liked Overwatch however, as more corruption and violence began to spread across the world. The people began to distrust Overwatch and the corruption spread to this organization as the United Nations revealed of another group they have made called Blackwatch which were vicious assassins.
Overwatch unfortunately came to an end when the HQ was destroyed that supposedly took the lives of the leaders, Jack Morrison and Gabriel Reyes. The rest of the heroes split after this and Overwatch was nothing but a distant memory.
Overwatch as of right now is filled with 21 heroes to play as. All of these heroes are unlocked and free to play at your will whenever you like. The Heroes are split into 4 classes: Offense, Defense, Tank, and Support.
- Soldier 76
All of these heroes have their own unique abilities to utilize in battle. Some heroes like Soldier 76 and Reinhardt have 3 abilities as compared to 2 like most others. Every Hero also has an Ultimate which charges slowly over a period of time. The Ultimate can be charged faster by hitting/killing enemy heroes as well as performing other tasks. For example, Mercy's Ultimate can be charged rather quickly when you're healing and damage buffing allies. The Offensive and Support heroes are what I mainly play as. The others aren't really my thing but I am learning how to play as Tanks and more Defense heroes. What I do like about this is that no matter your playstyle, there is a hero just for you and I commend Blizzard for that.
One thing I absolutely love about Blizzard's games is the love and dedication they put into their character designs. Everything about Overwatch's heroes from the designs, voice acting, and overall appeal is fantastic and top notch. The cast of heroes in this game is incredibly diverse also and people from nearly all backgrounds can enjoy these heroes. Favorites of mine are Pharah, Mercy, Lucio, Soldier 76, and Reaper. I adore Pharah's armor design cause there's something about women in power armor that I find hawt, Lucio's way to use music in combat, Soldier 76's inspired Clint Eastwood/The Punisher personality, and Reaper's edgy attitude.
I look forward as to who or what we will be seeing next on this awesome set of heroes.
- A lot of people like to compare this game to Team Fortress 2. Personally I have never played that game myself and have watched very little gameplay of it so I can't really say anything about the similarities. However when I do play Overwatch, I get a classic Halo and CoD vibe from it. What I get from classic Halo is how there is no aiming-down sights and no sprinting except for Soldier 76's kit. What I get from CoD is that there's a Kill-cam to see how you were killed and the gun play at times does feel a little twitchy, plus the kill times are very quick in this game. With Halo and CoD getting progressively worse as time goes on, I'm glad that I can get a classic feel from those games when I play Overwatch. It just makes the game more enjoyable for me and I love that. I hope I am not the only one that feels like this.
- Right now there are 3 gamemodes across 12 maps. There's Assault in which the defending team must stop the attacking team from capturing two points on the map. There's Escort which the defending team must stop the attacking team from escorting a payload across various points on the map. And lastly there's Control which plays like King of the Hill as both teams must capture and hold an objective for a period of time in order to win. The maps are designed to only have a specific game mode on it which sucks, I wish the maps were designed so that we could play any gamemode on any map. I hope in the future we get more Escort maps because I enjoy playing that mode the most out of the 3. I also hope we get more game modes too as just 3 is not enough by today's standards. Hopefully we get some sort of Capture the Flag or VIP modes too. I think with the way this game was made, those modes would fit perfectly. I'm also surprised that there's no Deathmatch of any type.
- Players can change heroes at any time too. Finding the perfect hero comp to combat the other team is something players will have to go through every game. Having a mix between all hero classes on your team is a great thing but the other team may have a Reaper or Junkrat for example that will counter your comp. Switching your hero is not technically a must-do but if something is not working then switching up your comp may work. Full teams of a single hero is fun and all but when you're on the receiving end it may not be all that fun. I do hope that full teams of a single hero is not allowed in competitive play. Thankfully full teams of a single hero is not that often an occurrence.
Ever since we first saw footage of Overwatch, people came out and said that the game looked like a Pixar movie. I can agree with them on that to a certain extent but the overall cartoon-feeling I get from Overwatch's graphics is a great feeling.
All the maps are great to look at especially Ilios, Route 66, Dorado, and Temple of Anubis. This game is really colorful too and I'm glad Blizzard went with an art direction such as this because it fits the game's mood perfectly.
The soundtrack for Overwatch is pretty good I'd say. Its not something I would listen to while browsing other websites but its okay. When you start up the game you hear the same orchestral track which is the main theme, it also plays after a match.
I do enjoy that every map's loading screen has a different tune to it. I like Route 66's loop because it reminds of the Terran music from Starcraft which is cool.
Here's some tracks:
- Each hero has 54 items to unlock. These items vary from skins, voice lines, sprays, emotes, victory poses, and highlight intros. The way you unlock these things is either buying them with in-game currency or getting lucky by getting them from Loot Boxes. Loot Boxes are either earned by leveling up or by buying them with real money. Do not worry, I know this sounds bad but this game is NOT pay to win thankfully. When it comes to skins, I hope Blizzard does some cross-universe skins for some of the characters like what they're doing in Heroes of the Storm. I would go nuts if they make a Terran Goliath skin for D.Va and Nova skin for Widowmaker.
- The leveling system is pretty basic and what you'd expect. You gain exp for completing matches, earning medals, etc. plus you get bonus exp when playing with friends. As of right now there's no Ranked play but Blizzard has confirmed that it will be coming this month. I am curious as to how this ranking system will work. I think they will borrow Starcraft 2's ranking system.
- One of my favorite things that is in this game is how detailed the stats are. There's stats for literally everything you do in Overwatch and there's an Average statistic for them too so you can look at those stats and try to do better to raise them up. I give Blizzard props for making such a detailed statistic system because I'm always looking at them to see in which fields I can improve on for certain heroes.
- Another one of my favorite features is the Play of the Game which shows at the end of every match. My friends and I are always attempting to pull off something amazing to get PoTG so we can showoff what we did. The PoTG system is still a little broken though so I hope Blizzard over time will fix it because seeing Torbjorn hammer his turret is starting to get old and you rarely see a Support or Tank earn PoTG. If you don't get PoTG, the game saves your best moments from all of your matches in the Highlights section which is pretty cool. I'm glad this feature was added.
A hilarious video paroding a infamous Torbjorn play of the game:
- And last but not least, there's custom Button Mapping for this game. Nuff said.
Overwatch is a really fun and exciting game. I've been enjoying it a whole lot and this game is a must-have if you have a group of friends to play with. It just makes the game even more intense and fun to play when you have a lot of people playing alongside you. I have not invested my time and dedication into an FPS this much since MW2.
The game does suffer from a lack of gamemodes as of right now but I do believe that this will get better as the game's life cycle goes on, same with maps. When we get Ranked play, I do think this will bring a new-challenging experience to Overwatch. Another gripe I have with the game is how you can't leave matches with your group on console. I do hope Blizzard fixes this because leaving and having to invite your friends all over again is just tedious.
Blizzard did fine work with Overwatch and this game will surely put them back into the gaming juggernaut they once were and for that I give this game a 8/10
. I do believe that gaming websites giving Overwatch 9s and 10s is a bit too extreme. Maybe when we get more heroes, more maps, more gamemodes, and ranked play then it will be a 9.