Overwatch: Our Impressions

Isaac (Afromania)

Overwatch is the shiny new to toy that everybody is playing this month and it is without good reason. Blizzard’s team have crafted each and every character with a amazing attention to detail that give them personality and charm (with key characters if paired at the gates will share small banter before a match starts) . It’s diversity brings color with each character represented from different ethnic backgrounds. The level design gives players on both sides of offense and defense a great opportunity to master the maps edges and corners as well exploit those areas to place their team to victory. Along with good design, these levels are beautiful eye candy to run through. the maps Hanamura with the level starting out surrounded by technology cars later on transforming into ancient Japanese architecture covered with Cherry Blossoms as you hit the levels courtyard.

The sounds are amazing, from the buzzing noise of Tracers gun stinging it’s target, to the roar of the dragonstrike as it released from Henzo fingertips forcing the opposition to scatter and claiming the few or many victims to be caught by its crossfire. From the rain of Pahrah’s rockets as they whistle and carpet the ground for nearby targets. This is Multiplayer that was crafted from failures of Titan and has raise to stand as an important staple of Blizzards four major IP’s. Overwatch is well polished Team Fortress 2 (argument the some might disagree with but shouldn’t be look with negativity).The only thing I do question is game longevity. Blizzard is company that is not lacking in funding that they cannot support this IP for a very long time (Thank you World of Warcraft !). What is still a mystery is that we still don’t know what Blizzard’s plans are when it comes to supporting the game long term. This is a company that takes their time when it comes to releasing new content for their more establish games. WoW see an expansion every 2 years and both Diablo and StarCraft II games had long periods of absence between sequels. It also doesn’t bold well that the game has not changed much since Beta -leaving the experience to be although refined, is starting to show its repetitiveness.

The exposure Overwatch is getting is well deserved with every twitch( 2nd most played game behind league of legends) and YouTube . But after a while, watching these streamers play the same levels and game matches stop becoming entertaining. For a game that has 12 maps overall, majority of my play through’s were either in Nubani Hollywood  and Temple of Anubis . Blizzard can’t afford to do this with Overwatch only because the next new multiplayer experience is just around the corner. Hopefully, we are going to hear a lot about their plans this upcoming E3 because leveling up for new character skins can only go so far .

Michael (Mikedot)

As the first new IP from Blizzard Entertainment in years, Overwatch is a fun and engaging title for anyone that’s a fan of team-based shooters or folks that are looking to hop onto the bandwagon of “Hero Shooters”  presented so far in 2016 such as Battleborn by 2K Games or Paladins by Hi-Rez Studios. It does take a handful of nods from team-based shooters that have come before it, most noticeably being Valve Software’s “Team Fortress 2”. It’s hard to deny that a lot of influence for Overwatch’s gameplay structure came from it, and very much re-structured in order to appeal to wider audience.

The movement for each hero may be different depending on which one you choose, but they all feel tight and responsive. Some heroes will take more time to get used, however. From Tracer’s signature blinks, to D.Va’s jet booster or Hanzo & Genji’s wall running and jumping, a handful of heroes can get around the map in their own special way, making them feel very distinct from each other and fun to traverse with. Shooting controls also feel very quick and responsive, as well. While most ranged weapons in the game use hitscan, others weapons either make use of projectiles with travel speeds, as well as beam weapons used to channel damage by focusing their crosshair on an opponent. Most of the projectile weapons in the game, however, generally travel so fast that they could almost be considered hitscan weapons in their own way, so everyone will feel like their aim is effective, no matter which hero they choose.

The heroes in the game are surprisingly well balanced. In fact, I would go as far as to say that Overwatch is probably the most balanced team-based shooter I’ve ever played, because every hero in the game has obvious advantages (some more than others) and disadvantages (Again, some more than others) that can easily be figured out just by reading up on their details in the hero select menu. However, One main reason why Overwatch so balanced is because the mechanics for each hero is very shallow. The skill ceiling for most heroes’ ranges from low to moderate, and since it doesn’t take very long to figure out how to use each hero effectively, and most players will feel like they’ve reached their hero’s full potential with a few hours or so. There’s a very clear “Rock Paper Scissors” Meta among the roster that players will have very little choice but to switch heroes to deal with each situation that arises. This is simply not a game where you can main a single hero and play well with them all the time, which may disappoint anyone that’s not okay with playing a specific hero or hero role they’re not fond of.

While the lack of in-game story telling through gameplay is disappointing, it’s still very forgivable with all the effort that was put into the outside presentation in general. Most will feel some sort of connection to Overwatch’s world with so much super powered flash and flutter, while using real world locations to make it relatable so there’s something for every player to appreciate here.