Blizzard Overwatch Review – Lots of FPS (First Person Shooter) games in the market at the moment and more are coming out within weeks.
Overwatch, thankfully, feels different and amazingly is one of the most fun games I’ve ever played.
Sure, the concept of Overwatch (a 6 vs 6 team-based shooter game) is not new and one can see a quick resemblance of it with Valve’s Team Fortress 2, but Overwatch is well-polished, well-designed, and just has lots of things to love about.
To be honest, I wasn’t really a fan of Team Fortress 2. It felt bland and too fast-paced for me that I had to stop playing after a couple of hours max. The funny thing is, Overwatch is fast-paced too but I played it for 5 straight hours over the long weekend til 2a.m without complaints. It’s that addictive and fun. I wasn’t in fact, planning on playing Overwatch until I tried the Open Beta and then pre-ordered it afterwards.
At the moment this review is written, there are 21 playable characters (heroes) in Overwatch and more are coming. Amazingly, every hero is well thought of: their skills, their design uniqueness, their personalities, and even their backstories. Normally, I never cared into this sort of thing. I’d try to just find 2 or 3 heroes of my liking, and kept using them over and over as “my mains” . I love EVERY hero in Overwatch surprisingly and the more I see Blizzard’s animated video per character, the more I love using them – but more on this later.
Each time you die, you have an option to respawn as another hero – which should be utilised by every player. Depending on team composition and how the match progresses, using that one particular hero in a dire situation makes a difference between winning and losing. And this is what makes Overwatch fun – constantly changing tactics and roles which makes every match dynamic. Every minute in the game is never the same experience.
I found that each time I tried out a new hero, I ended up liking him/her and still could have fun in different ways. Yes, every hero in Overwatch is unique in their own way and you can easily pick one you haven’t played before and have fun (“easy to play, hard to master”).
To show how much love Blizzard has in every hero design, they have been making series of comic strips and animated videos about the heroes in Overwatch. These are videos of excellent quality (like watching a Disney Pixar’s animated movie) and can be viewed at Blizzard PlayOverwatch official YouTube channel. Here is an example:
The issues with team-based games come when you play in pubs/public games (i.e playing with random people). In Overwatch, you’ll almost always need a support (and preferably a tank). As in every other game, lots of players always want to be the DPS hero, or the damage dealer, so this can become a problem.
In my experience, thankfully, 90% of the time there will always be someone who switches to one of the support heroes (and I don’t mind to be one either sometimes). I commend Blizzard for ensuring that each support hero is fun to play, that solely getting kills are not encouraged (you can’t see how many kills you rack up as there is no leaderboard in-game), and there is a recommendation on what role is missing on the hero selection screen for each map and game type.
This encourages players to play the objectives (at least, far better than most other FPS games out there like Battlefield) and be a team player to win. No use bragging how much kills you get in Overwatch.
There are no hero progression here too. You do not need to grind and play 50 hours to be able to defeat a player with fully unlocked skills and weapon mods. All abilities are already fully unlocked and levelling up will only give you loot boxes containing in-game cosmetics (skins, voice lines, and sprays). I wish there are more, but this is definitely just the beginning.
Plus, this is Blizzard we are talking about. They have been known for their quality over profit when making games. We’ve seen the evidence of how they keep updating World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Diablo 3 over the years with updates and new features to be excited about.
— Michael Aulia (@michaelaulia) June 21, 2016
Unlike some other game publisher companies, we can be certain that Overwatch will get lots of free updates, patches, and fun things to do for months (and possibly years) to come. Yes, it’s worth paying that $70 in my opinion. Or you’d rather pay $30 + 10 future DLCs?
It’s also one of the games with many transparencies. Overwatch game director, Jeff Kaplan, talks frequently in videos and forum on all things Overwatch (matchmaking, each design decisions, plans for the future, etc). It keeps players excited and understands why things are being designed in certain ways. It also shows how thoughtful the team is at every aspect of the game (hero designs, map layouts, even little things that can easily be missed during a frantic fight).
Overwatch Review Conclusion
Blizzard Overwatch is fun. Really fun. It has been a while since I’ve played an online FPS game that is so addictive that I’d easily spend hours and hours of my life. So far, I’ve spent around 60 hours (Level 71) and still enjoy playing it every night with my friends.
Everyone can enjoy Overwatch. Have a great aim? You’ll have a blast. Reflexes not as good as when you were younger? Hop in as a tank, support, or a hero that doesn’t require precision-aiming. Completely locked down by a really good sniper like Widowmaker or Hanzo? Pick Winston the big ape, jump to him/her, and fry the pesky fly to pieces. As long as you are a team player, know what your hero’s role is, and not always after kills, you’ll be alright.
The match itself doesn’t take long (maybe around 10-15 minutes depending on the teams) so you can, in theory, stop playing and do other priorities in life that are more important than playing games.
However, I’d have to warn you that you will always have that thought of “just one more game and I’ll stop” while playing Overwatch. And it never happens. You just don’t want to stop playing it and you are always looking forward to playing it again when you are not playing.
With competitive play just around the corner, things are getting serious. The future is bright in Overwatch.