It’s been a long 17 years since Blizzard have released a brand new IP. They originally had Titan in the works, but when Titan came crumbling down due to development issues, Overwatch was salvaged from the rubble. Overwatch is Blizzard’s brand new team based hero shooter. The hype surrounding this title was real, and for good reason too. After countless closed betas and a free open beta, the full game is finally out, but does it fulfill the promises it made?
The Omnic Crisis
When robot manufacturer Omnica made a technical breakthrough, it seemed the world of Overwatch was about to enter another golden age, not too long after the last. Omnica’s automatic construction machines had complex software algorithms, that could be self improved, and soon enough most automated machines on every continent would have this software. These automated machines were known as Omniums. After a short while, these Omniums started to break down, and independent analysis discovered that Omniums would never meet the full potential of growth and output that Omnica had promised. With this fraud discovered, Omnica was shutdown, along with all the Omniums. It didn’t take long for the Omniums to reawaken, and launch a campaign against humanity. The self growth of these Omniums became too much for any army to handle, and their motivations behind what they were doing are unknown. With humanity on the brink of losing the war, and with all hope seemingly lost, a small nimble team of scientists, engineers and soldiers took on the Omnic threat. This group carried out multiple highly secretive missions, that ultimately led to the end of the Omnic armies, and the Omnic Crisis as a whole. This team of 6; Morrison, Reyes, Amari, Liao, Lindholm, and Wilhelm went down in history as legendary, and more importantly, as the founders of Overwatch. Over time, Overwatch grew, acquiring more and more talented agents in its mission for global stability. Overwatch was a symbol of hope for humanity, and an entire generation was raised to see Overwatch’s agents as the heroes among us. Epidemics were solved, medical breakthroughs were made, and crime rates were at all time low. Overwatch wasn’t without it’s critics, but most criticism was dismissed as paranoia or fantasies. After the discovery of a division called Blackwatch, and internal problems to do with leadership and methods, Overwatch fell, and the Overwatch initiative as a whole was shut down and deemed illegal. Years passed without Overwatch’s presence, and in the process tensions and crime has worsened, and Overwatch is needed more than ever. Which is exactly why Winston, a former member of Overwatch, relaunches the initiative, regardless of the consequences.
Overwatch doesn’t have a campaign or story mode, but I wanted to give some insight into the lore and origin of Overwatch. I find it really interesting, deep, and unique to look into.
Not Quite a MOBA
There was a common misconception that Overwatch was a first person MOBA among consumers when Overwatch was originally announced, but the truth is that it’s far from it. Overwatch is a 6v6 multiplayer hero shooter, making it Blizzard’s first attempt at an FPS, and I can assure you, they’ve done a damn fine job. Overwatch feels great to play, each weapon is individual and unique, and each hero has a different feel when you use them, they truly are the star of Overwatch. There are currently 21 heroes, and they’re all unique, individual, and bursting with character. They contribute so much to Overwatch’s overall atmosphere and gameplay, whether it be the lines they come out with, what they say to each other based on previous lore encounters, or screams of victory when using an ultimate ability. Each hero has 2 normal abilities, and an ultimate abilities that are gained by dealing damage, playing objectives and more. These ultimate abilities have potential to change matches in the favor of your team, and are easily the most influential part of Overwatch’s short but sweet matches. Heroes are split up into 4 different categories, and they all explain themselves fairly well; Offense, Defense, Tank, and Support. Each map and game mode will be played with a different hero, and Overwatch encourages switching heroes on the fly in order to counter enemy teams. It’s a refreshing way to play a hero shooter, and it keeps games varied and interesting. One thing that isn’t varied however is the fact that Overwatch comes with a grand total of 12 maps and 4 game modes, being Escort, Control, Hybrid and Assault. You’ll experience all the game has to offer in 3 to 4 hours, and without competitive play, the asking price can seem a little too much. However, Blizzard have promised that all future maps, heroes, and game modes will be offered as free updates, and competitive is to be released sometime this month. If you’re willing to keep playing Overwatch until more is added, the asking price is well worth it, and free content isn’t the only reason to keep playing. Overwatch has a solid progression system that rewards players who consistently play. You earn EXP for each game you play, and when you level up, you earn a free loot crate. Said loot crates can give you skins, voice lines, icons, and in game currency, all of which is purely cosmetic, which is the reason why micro transactions in Overwatch are perfectly acceptable in my opinion. You can pay real money for these loot crates, but all of it’s cosmetic, so Overwatch never becomes pay to win. Earning a new portrait border every 11th level also sweetens the deal.
The Future Is Now
If there’s one thing you can rely on when it comes to Blizzard, it’s polish, and Overwatch is no exception. I haven’t encountered one game breaking glitch throughout my 40 hour experience. Connections have been perfect, and apart from the odd server disconnect (which are quickly fixed) the game never crashed once. Overwatch looks beautiful, from the snowy map of Nepal to the sun scorched Temple of Anubis, Overwatch never fails to be a treat for the eyes with its bright, cartoonish art style. The game always ran at a solid 60 FPS for me without any drops, no matter how hectic fights got. Overwatch doesn’t have high system requirements either, making it widely available and playable for many.
In my opinion, Overwatch delivers on most of the things it promised it would. It’s a fantastic game, an incredibly well designed shooter that I can’t stop playing. I keep on coming back for more, and i’d have it no other way. I just hope it can keep me hooked until we get some free content, and until competitive is released to the public. I’m going to be honest. If you’re the type of person that gets bored of a game easily, I can’t recommend Overwatch to you right now. It’s simply not worth it, but, if you’re willing to stick with it and keep playing it, or revisit it when future content is added, it’s well worth the asking price.
-Fantastic shooting mechanics
– Unique Heroes that are bursting with character
-Extremely polished, with strong visuals and performance
-No competitive play yet
-Not enough content on launch
Thanks for reading guys! Up next is Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, and that should be up tomorrow. -Harry.