First-person shooters are a dime a dozen nowadays, and first-person shooters with an emphasis on multiplayer matches are even more dime a dozen-ier, making Overwatch another dime in the sea of dimes. The real question though is, will Blizzard Entertainment‘s Overwatch sink to the bottom of this sea or will it float to the top and be crowned king of the ocean?
Firstly let me give you a Wikipedia-style definition of what Overwatch actually is: a multiplayer first-person shooter that focuses on squad based combat and has every player choose from a list of unique characters that fall into the four different group types of Offence, Defence, Support, and Tank.
My journey through Overwatch begins, like most people’s does, with the open beta that ran from May 4th to May 10th. The open beta was pretty much the entire game and I had myself a blast. I’m not much for first person shooters that focus on multiplayer as I’m more of a lone wolf character (in a cool sense of course), but as soon as I jumped into the exciting colourful world and selected my first character (Roadhog of course), I was transported to a game which not only welcomed me with open arms but was also one of the most fun games I can remember playing.
Shift to right now and I’m still actively playing and loving every second of it. Never has a game that focuses solely on multiplayer (it has no single player) felt so engrossing and some of the main reason for this has to be the cast of characters. Normally in an FPS, you’re lumbered with a hollow shell that you can change loadouts with, no real personality, just different guns with different colours. Overwatch comes in with 21 multi-coloured heroes each with their own unique style of play, weapons, and special attacks which allow for endless hours of experimentation, finding which maps work with which characters and which play style is best for you personally. This is the real draw for me, as the openness of play you can achieve really allows the game to have an accessible and welcoming feeling, not pushing you to be the best at getting headshots or kill streaks but instead letting you figure out what your strong points are. Whether you feel better playing as an aggressive attacker or a healer, someone who lays traps or even someone who flies into the sky obliterating people with barrages of rockets, then there is a perfect character for you.
Another thing separating Overwatch from all the others is the amazing art style, going for a more visually interesting look with bright colours and firework-like explosions filling the screens, all the time framed by landscapes that are visually stunning as they are deviously interesting to explore. Unfortunately, at the moment, the maps are limited to just twelve, but given Blizzard’s track record of expanding and improving, I think we’ll see many more beautiful maps in the future.
Right now I’m a massive fan of Overwatch and it’s become my game that I’ll play whenever I get time to boot up my console. Add onto that the plans for free expansions in the future and the addition of competitive play, and this is a game that’s going to be on my gaming shelf for the foreseeable future.
Author: Hal, Plymouth store