Disclaimer: I might say a couple things in the next paragraph that may shock/offend some people. Reader discretion is advised.</p>
I am not a fan of multiplayer shooters. In fact, I have been against the purpose of paying to play online ever since Xbox Live was introduced. Outside of a handful of games, I kept away from playing online-only titles, especially first-person shooters (FPS), due to how toxic the online communities can be and the immense amount of hacking that occurs in the most popular ones. Add in the fact that I've never been a fan of Blizzard — yes, I know that's blasphemy — and Overwatch had one hell of an uphill battle before I even inserted the disc.
After an hour or two with the game, Overwatch has won me over and will quite possibly get me to renew my PlayStation Plus for another year.
Overwatch is a team-based FPS where teams of six compete to be the first to complete all the objectives on a map. The objectives fall under one of three types: assault, escort, and control. Unlike other FPSs, the player has no control over which type they play as it is determined by the map selected. For example, you will always play assault if Temple of Anubis is selected.
The lifeblood of Overwatch is its wide selection of hero characters. Your typical multiplayer-focused game sticks with giving players a blank slate to create the competitor they want. Overwatch gives players 21 characters with their own sets of skills and specials to choose from. Each character has their own backstory and personality that shines through their banter in matches and the costumes unlocked by way of loot boxes.
Also each character is suited for a different play style. Want to run-and-gun like in Call of Duty? Soldier 76 is your man. Don't have a fast trigger finger? Support characters like Lucio, Mercy, Symmetra, and Zenyatta may be up your alley. Each person has their role to play and finding out which characters suit your play style is part of the fun.
Overwatch's main gameplay loop of playing matches in order to earn experience, which unlock loot boxes full of costumes, voice packs, sprays, and victory poses is highly addicting. With the matches ending within 10 to 20 minutes, it's very easy to lose hours playing as one more match turns to six or seven.
If you haven't got the message by now, Overwatch is tons of fun. Sadly, there are a couple drawbacks.
In its current state, the game is light on content. While the content provided is superb, it won't be enough to justify Overwatch's 80 dollar price tag for some. Considering the amount of effort Blizzard put into the lore surrounding the game, it would be nice to see a single-player campaign implemented down the line to offer players more content to dive into.
As is the nature of multiplayer titles, balancing is never perfect. There are quite a few characters that have an unfair advantage over others. Case in point, some of the defensive heroes are just as strong as offensive counterparts. Although Blizzard is on top of balancing characters in order to make the game as fun as possible at the moment, these frustrations can turn off players if not dealt with in a timely manner.
Being only one-month old, Overwatch has a lot of potential. How Blizzard realizes that potential over the course of the coming months and years will affect the game's longevity. Will gamers be playing it one, two, even three years down the line, or will it just become another flash in the pan like Titanfall and Evolve? These are the questions that Blizzard needs to answer.
For right now, all I can say Overwatch is one of the best games released this year. So are ready to begin your watch?