Overwatch is the first new IP from developer Blizzard Entertainment and the first time I can recall them ever releasing a console counterpart of a new game the day as PC. This game flew under my radar until I played its beta, along with millions of other gamers. Actually playing Overwatch for the first time, it gets its hooks straight into you. No matter what play style you have or what character you play as, there’s fun to be had. I’ve only played a handful of hours of the final release, but it hasn’t disappointed in the slightest and I can’t wait to see how the prestigious Blizzard supports this title over the course of its initial release and the foreseeable future.
I’m not going to sugar coat anything here. There is a small cutscene when you boot up the game that gives context to the characters you will play as during your time with Overwatch, but I can’t say I even spent time to watch it. I’m sure it is an interesting couple minutes, but I’m not investing my time and money into Overwatch for a story. Thankfully the game knows that and that’s the last you get from any kind of story.
What takes the place of a story would be 21 very detailed and different heros. These heros are the core of Overwatch and they are what make the game stand out from other first person multiplayer games. Each one bring specific abilities to a match and can really meld well with other characters during combat. But not one character feels vital for a team to succeed. I would say a whole team could play as the same character and still have a chance of winning a match, albeit a small chance depending on what character.
In the same vein though, there isn’t a character that stands out as a must play every match type. Each character has their own weakness and strengths, it’s up to the player to use them to their fullest potential. Each of the 21 characters has a few abilities up their sleeves that suit their play style and class type. Some characters admittedly feel a bit bare compared to others, but in the end, they all feel nice to play as.
The maps in Overwatch are very fun to play on. They serve the characters more than anything and setup specific choke points that beg you to work as a team to overcome. They look nice and stylized, but more importantly they don’t take away from the characters inhabiting them.
Game modes are very standard. You have capture and defend type matches, along with escort missions. These are both thrown into the same quick play option. You can also play against A.I. and create custom matches.
There is also a leveling system in place. It’s very standard and moves along at a brisk pace. It will be interesting to see if people stay around after the presumed level 50 cap. I’m sure it will be raised after a few months though. Customization comes in the form of character skins, emotes, voices, and sprays. They are fun to collect, but they are definitely not the reason I will be hanging around to play the game.
My only minor complaint would be that there isn’t a bunch of content in the game. Sure you have a crap ton of characters to choose from and some decent apparel to collect, but there’s nothing to keep someone like me who’s used to unlocking weapons and attachments in Battlefield to stick around hours on end. Though hoping in for a couple hours a day has been extremely satisfying.
One thing I would have liked to see is during a match your abilities can be upgraded to do more damage or last a little longer, maybe a shorter refresh rate. Something other than just the bare bones we have now.
Also, Overwatch costs an affordable $40 on PC, while console players will have to fork over some extra cash for the $60 version that is the exact same thing. If you’re into first person shooters or character driven gameplay, I could easily recommend Overwatch if you are interested in it. But I don’t know if there’s enough to satisfy most gamers for the asking price, on the console that is. Luckily I’m having a blast playing Overwatch and know my money has been well spent. Not only do I have a very solid game on release, Blizzard will continue supporting the game until nobody is playing it anymore. That makes purchasing the game easier to do.
Overwatch deserves a 3.5 out of 5. It has an extremely solid foundation to build from and has the potential to be a huge game over the next year depending on how the developer wants to support it.