Blizzard have entered the first person arena with Overwatch, a multi-player based shooter with a MOBA flair. for me, Blizzard have nailed it with Overwatch, its an intense battle every match and above all its fun!
Overwatch instantly stands out with the vast amount of characters available which are split into four categories; Offensive, Defensive, Tank and Supporting. Although there are many characters to choose from they all have different abilities which can take some time to adapt to. There is a handy little tool when pressing left on the d-pad that will bring up your character’s abilities with a small explanation of what each one does.
So far I have taken up my firm favourites with Tracer and Genji. Tracer, she’s the cheery and cheeky time-jumping Brit who can zip around with her blink ability. Genji the Shuriken throwing, Katana wielding Ninja (reminds me of Gray Fox from Metal Gear) has a fantastic sword deflect ability that will send bullets flying back the way they came, yeah… makes you feel like a ninja badass!
The game modes available are all aimed towards the attack and defend type with six players on each team:
Assault: The attacking team is tasked with capturing two target points on the map while the defending team must stop them.
Escort: The attacking team is tasked with escorting a payload to a certain delivery point before time runs out while the defending team must stop them. The payload vehicle moves along a fixed track when any player on the attacking team is close to it.
Assault/Escort: The attacking team has to capture the payload and escort it to its destination while the defending team tries to hold them back.
Control: Each team tries to capture and maintain a control point until their capture percentage reaches 100%. This game mode is played in a best-of-three format.
On a slightly negative note the game modes didn’t really offer that much difference apart from the Assault/Escort mash-up which has the team hold a point to activate the payload (tends to be a vehicle of some sort) and then escort it to another point on a map but otherwise they are very similar.
One thing to add in regard to the game modes is that the defensive team will be allowed to make their way to the capture points and get into position straight away, whereas the attacking team are locked in their spawn location until the timer reaches zero.
There is no leaderboard in Overwatch, yes you can see your in game stats but this game is heavily based on supporting your team and does it exceptionally well. Having a well balanced team with your offensive and defensive characters along with a healer and a tank class, you will be dominating games and racking up the killstreaks.
During the game you have the option to change character after each death which can freshen up the gameplay for yourself, but this could alter your team’s balance in a negative way.
There are some bonuses to ranking up after a match and these come in the form of loot boxes and can contain anything from new skins to voice lines and sprays. Nothing here upgrades your character, it is just purely cosmetic items.
The game plays really well and the controls are easily adaptable as they possess a similar setup across all characters. Although, there isn’t a sprint button which was something I had to get used to. I would recommend staying alive for as long as possible because jumping back into battle after respawning can sometimes take a while. You can combat this with some of the faster paced characters but with the amount of them available, you will soon find the one that fits your play style.
The game achievements offer an incentive to get to grips with the characters, requiring you to use specific abilities for kills and support which encourages you to explore all characters.
It looks and sounds fantastic with a quirky comic book style and the music adds to this, especially if you can get a “Play of the Game”. This will show your best highlight from the match. I’m not sure how or what exactly you have to do to get one but they always look great along with the epic music.
My only concern for Overwatch is the price for a multiplayer only game. It just seems too expensive for what it offers. Head on over to the Overwatch site and check out the short film clips, these are superbly made and give the game an excellent back story which begs the question, why no single player story mode?
Overall, Overwatch is fantastic and blizzard have smashed it out of the park. The first-person class-based shooter shows off its true quality in the heart of the battle and is just a blast to play.