Overwatch is an engaging, sometimes enraging and most importantly, fun FPS MOBA from Blizzard. With its unique art style and its 21 heroes at launch all showing off different parts of the world and unique abilities, Overwatch is in a league of its own.
Overwatch is based around 3 main game modes… Capture a point and hold it, capture a payload and escort it to the end of the map and plain escort. From the outside it seems to be lacking in content, but with its many maps all in different locations scattered around the globe, you never get bored. From the Russian winter of Volskaya Industries, to London streets of Kings Row, each game feels like its own adventure and you can never predict what will happen. Each map requires something different from each player to secure a win. It requires teamwork and communication, otherwise you stand no chance. Overwatch does also have a few party games in the Arcade, such as 1v1, 3v3, no limits and the varied seasonal events. These makes the hardcore tactic of the core game, take a back seat and lets mindless fun take over. Maybe trying a hero you haven’t tried before or just seeing if you can win by picking your least favourite hero. There is no pressure in the Arcade, and with a loot box incentive after every 3 wins, it is fun to grind for. I know the idea of loot boxes seems taboo in this day and age, but the way Overwatch have done it is one of the few ways it has been used right. Yes, you can buy them with real money, but you can also earn them quite easily in-game and they only contain cosmetics. Nothing in the boxes contain anything that gives you an unfair advantage… unless you call Zenyattas’ nutcracker skin, an unfair advantage.
Competitive Seasons are a driving force behind Overwatchs’ popularity. Blizzard split the year into seasons, each lasting a few months for you to get as high up the ladder as possible. It has changed a bit from season to season, but the core idea is the same. In season 1, teams could pick as many of the same hero as they liked. This meant you were up against teams with 5 Mercys healing 1 Soldier 76, making him basically unkillable. Needless to say, something needed to change. Season 2 had teams only aloud 1 of each hero, this is what we have to date. Also introduced in Season 2 was the ranking system. Split into 8 categories; Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, Grand Master and Top 500. Now in Season 9, it is still as fun as ever. Each win earning you SR (season rating) and Competitive Points which, when you get 3000, you can buy a gold weapon for your selected hero. Sure, the lower ranks can be seen as slightly toxic, but it feels so satisfying leaving the rank you were placed in and entering a higher tier of play. And with the newly added report feature for console, Blizzard are really putting the hammer down on cheaters and griefers.
The heroes all look and play very differently. They fall into 4 categories; Offence, Defence, Support and Tank. And within those roles, you have a wide range of characters to really define your play style. Feel like protecting your team with a huge shield while also being an incredibly heavy hitter? Try Reinhardt the German tank! Feel like skating around the map at high speed, while healing your team? Try Lucio the DJ support. The choice is yours to make. Every character is fascinating to look at and read into their back story, and while there are, of course “must picks” in the competitive scene, the game never forces you to play a hero you don’t know… part of the fun is swapping heroes mid-game to throw the enemy team off or just to help your team. Since launch there have been 5 new heroes added to the roster; Ana, Moira, Sombra, Orisa and Doomfist. Each hero adds more style, back story and options to an already open game. Doomfist has always been on players’ mind since the reveal trailer for the game focuses around Doomfists’ Gauntlet, the gauntlet also appears on the escort map, Numbani that has you moving the gauntlet to the museum where the fight takes place in the trailer. Players got very excited when they noticed that the gauntlet was missing from the payload, hinting that Doomfist took it. The next hero we got was Orisa, the tank built to stop Doomfist after the attack on Numbani. The way they go about building a story is brilliant. I expected nothing less from Blizzard.
The world Blizzard have built is nothing short of revolutionary. With the introduction of the Overwatch League, Blizzards “MLG”, Overwatchs’ popularity has grown exponentially! With teams like London Spitfires and Dallas Fuel, the league spans the globe like the game itself. It is always the most viewed stream on Twitch and each team has a huge following with merchandise everywhere! Showing no signs of slowing down, Blizzard have created an industry juggernaut. And sure, a single player or story mode would be appreciated, the game is nothing to be looked over. It offers a new experience each time you load into a game, which only a few games have been able to pull off to memory. If you haven’t tried Overwatch yet, there will be a free weekend soon if you want to try before you buy. I can see this game easily standing amongst the greats.
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