The world could always use more heroes!
Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Players: 1 (1-12 network)
My team has been trying for the last 4 minutes to push and take control of the final point on one of Overwatch’s gorgeous maps Temple of Anubis. The problem is the Defense of the other team is near impenetrable. After many unsuccessful attempts, the team and I regroup with enough time on the clock for one last try. We frantically discuss strategies over team chat and decide for a hail Mary of sorts. I will be flanking the enemy team solo while my team gives me the distraction I need to get in position and get a jump on the enemies with my ultimate ability I have been saving. We move into position; my team has done exactly what they promised they would and have made a big enough threat for the enemy team to deal with that I have snuck up behind them completely unnoticed. I focus, cause its game time and my team is counting on me. With self-confidence radiating I fly into the sky and unleash some JUSTICE FROM ABOVE! The aftermath of my barrage of missiles leaves the enemy team without a healer and main damage dealer. My team seizes the moment and since they are two more players down we pounce on them like a wild cat. My team finishes the rest of the them as we take the final control point before the enemy team can respawn and win the game in overtime. Moments like these are why me and my friends love Overwatch!
With the Launch of the Blizzard’s OWL (Overwatch League) this year newest E-sports game is rising in popularity and shows no signs of slowing down! But … what is Overwatch? Well do you remember playing split screen death matches from some older games we grew up with? That’s what inspired Overwatch. It is a competitive team first person shooter where six verses six players battle it out in games modes such as attack and defend, escort the payload, and even capture the flag. This game oozes tons of fun and epic moments and an ever-expanding roster of characters to choose from and play. This game does suffer from not having a single player campaign or story which does hurt it as its deserving of one. In this review I’ll be inspecting this game on its characters, game modes, and game content overall. So, let get to it.
One of the most appealing aspects of this game is easily the characters or as Overwatch calls them Heroes. At the time of this review they are releasing their 27th hero Brigitte (think a Swedish knight with a shield and mace). All the heroes are sorted into four categories such as Tank, Healer, Offense, and Defense. Even though all the heroes can deal damage they all specialize in a certain aspect of helping the team. Some such as Tanks soak up or prevent damage while Healers …. well heal or perform various support options. Defensive heroes help with a mixture of damage and Support options, such as helping with laying traps for enemies or providing sonar to help you team see thru walls. Offense heroes are your most straight forward damage dealers and are never to be underestimated.
Each Hero also has their own set of skills and abilities that makes them unique. It might be the ever-popular Tracer who can perform short teleports around the battle field while flanking enemy back lines. Or the Juggernaut of a tank Reinhardt who swings a giant hammer (that seriously hurts) and can deploy a shield on himself that teammates can shoot through. Add the fact that certain abilities can combo with other teammates abilities and the game has another level of depth to it. Pharah who is one hero who I always seem to play can jet-pack around the battlefields and shoot rockets down on un-expecting victims. Each hero besides having 2-4 abilities has an ultimate that charges throughout the game and can be used to devastating effects or to set up amazing team combos with other hero ultimate’s. One hero ultimate that everyone is quite fond of is Mcree’s (Overwatch’s version of an old west cowboy) called High Noon, where he does what can only be compared to as a showdown in any classic western movie, then any enemy left out in the open is immediately shot and killed (Take Cover!). I could and would love to talk about all 27 heroes in more detail, but sadly this is not the place. If that is something you would be interested in let us know in the comments.
A game with 27 different heroes battling it out would be fun, but without objectives to fight for as a team or different modes and maps to play this game would lose any fun it had. The Game modes in Overwatch do help extend the illusion that there is no Single player campaign. Arcade mode has wacky types of games where everyone on the team can be the same hero or even modes where the game randomly chooses everyone’s hero each time they re-spawn. Arcade also offers smaller games such as 3 vs 3 or even 1 vs 1 for anyone trying to improve their skill. There is also a practice range and games against the computer A.I. to help with those skills.
Blizzard also does a great job of seasonal events that bring limited game modes such a snowball fights in winter and game of rollerblading soccer in summer, but again multiplayer is the big draw of the game and if you are not a fan of that area of games than this may not be the game for you. If you do however like multiplayer then you will be quite at home, as Overwatch has lots of different maps to traverse and explore. Each map really changes the tactics and heroes used for building a team. Some maps such as Kings Row has plenty of sniping spots for heroes such as Widowmaker (personal Favorite!). Where other maps such as Hanumura are tighter and have plenty of choke points for teams to defend where heroes such as Mei seems to shine. Overall each map carries a personality of its own like a hero, you can tell each map was created with lots of love and strategic thought. Even after playing this game for 2 years now I still am discovering new things hidden among them.
Last part of this review will be the content that comes in this game and if it’s worth your time. I’ll quickly say Graphics and sound are top-notch at a level Blizzard Entertainment always seems to achieve. Let me start with the fact that each hero comes with a ton of customization options for anyone who wants to show off their favorite hero is style. To unlock these new skins, emotes, and voice lines and other unlock-able options players will need to gain and open loot boxes which are ………wait LOOT BOXES! “Aren’t loot boxes a disease to modern gaming?” I hear you say and normally yes, I would completely agree with you. But….and this is a big one. The loot boxes in Overwatch don’t change the game play! I know that sounds irrelevant, but all that is ever offered in loot boxes from Overwatch is cosmetic for heroes in the game. Players never feel pressured to buy them, which is the way more games should operate. You even get one each time gain a prestige level while playing, which is about an hour of gaming. And since the loot boxes are only cosmetic there is no pay to win scenarios which have killed some big title games recently due to the unfair game play if brings with it. The game recently has also included the option to watch OWL games live as the happen if you’re into E-sports.
Overwatch is a very fun game, and very good at what it does which is be a multiplayer objective game that’s is very fun to play with friends. Again, it’s even more fun if you are into E-sports, you then get to watch professionals play the game you like and see how they like to use those same heroes and maybe gain some tips. For about $40 on Amazon its quite a deal, I don’t get much time nowadays to play video games with a kid and family but I find myself able to sneak in quick games with my friends often. I really don’t see myself stopping or slowing down anytime soon, Overwatch feels like the nostalgic shooter I used to play split screen against my friends as a young kid. Overwatch somehow feels like that same game just updated and dressed up, all the heroes feel inspired from games before it. Happy Gaming Gamers!
Let us know in the comments which game you would like us to review next!
- The ever-extending list of characters
- Arcade mode!
- Character Unlockables
- No single player campaign / story
- Less fun, without friends to play