Impressions, Video Games

Overwatch – First Impressions

… from a person who doesn’t player FPS games.

This review is for the PC version of the game. Tenneiyl can’t comment on the console version performance.

Blizzard Entertainment has made games that have defined most of my gaming career. I’ve been involved with Warcraft since a young age, beeng playing Diablo 3 excessively since it’s release and have played Heroes of the Storm from a casual player standpoint. When Overwatch was announced I was a little sad – it’s certainly not my kind of game. Shooters and I have a history of bad relationships and I’ve never been able to get into them.

I gave it a try anyway.

There were two open beta weekends where the game was stress-tested and in the second one, I finally decided I’d give it a go. I’d seen the hype, I’d watched the little icon appear on my battle.net launcher and so there really wasn’t another choice. Frankly, I was pretty astonished. I pre-purchased the game, and waited for a chance to play again.

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The final product was highly polished, and the launch night went without too many hiccups. I was impressed with how short of time it took for me to go from “entering game” to “finding a match”. The initial tutorial is short, simple and lets you take as much or as little time you feel you need. The graphics are bright, clean and show an attention to detail in level design and character design. This is a world I want to spend time in and explore. It’s realistic enough that I don’t feel like I’ve severed ties with reality, but in the same vein, the futuristic aspects of the Overwatch universe lend to it a quality that makes me want to learn more and know more.

Gameplay is where I felt the game excelled. Coming from a background of RTS and RPG games, shooters are absolutely not my thing. I can’t aim, I’ve got terrible reaction times and I am generally a sitting duck for my enemy. Overwatch did something different here: there’s unlimited ammo so there’s no need to feel hindered by your lack of shots – you just keep shooting. There are healers, there are specialists, heroes that excel at being timed precisely, and heroes that you can just aim, hold the mouse button and hope for the best. It’s fun, it’s easy to learn and Blizzard helps you out with a shortcut hotkey to remind you of all the things your character can do – since it’s unique to every other hero in the game.

It is through this level of accessibility that I think Overwatch will really flourish. It’s the perfect combination of low skill floor/high skill ceiling with short matches and an intuitive display of your end of game stats, with the option to earn Play of the Game and/or have your teammates and enemies vote for various aspects of the game’s play and the people who made that happen. Loot crates are earned upon leveling but can also be purchased through the in-game shop. These are filled to the brim with cosmetic items – skins, hero emotes, different animations that will play at the end of the game if your team is the winner. From the perspective of a person who just loves to collect things, this goes a long way into making sure I keep coming back and earning all of the neat skins that are available to preview.

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Overwatch is a polished game with a lot of sparkle and an easy to pick up mentality. It’s quick game time and multiple game modes leads you to say “just one more” until it’s 4am and you realise that tomorrow is Monday.

-Tenneiyl

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