Review: Overwatch

Overwatch is the hugely praised first person multiplayer shooter from Blizzard. It has been a massive talking point from its colourful characters, its Pixar quality animated shorts, its solid gameplay and its rampant use in porn. Some sing its praise while others see it as an overhyped Team Fortress 2 clone.

I don’t usually play FPS games. In fact the only one that comes to mind is the Halo series. I tend to prefer narrative driven RPGs but the vivid visuals and a strange longing for human interaction like in the days of early Halo 3 made me interested in Blizzard’s first venture into the genre. I played Overwatch in the open beta and have put a fair few hours into its release version.

It is a good game. The mechanics are serviceable and fun, the aesthetic is great and the characters are some of the best that I have seen in modern gaming. It is fun. I enjoy playing it and that is the biggest thing that I want from a game. If things start feeling stale then you can swap characters and suddenly have a whole new experience since each character has such unique play styles.

I do have issues with it though. The game, at this stage, feels severely limited. It only has three game modes and, let’s be honest, they are all pretty much the same. Each one has you run to an objective and shoot at any red player who enters line of sight to the objective. Sometimes both teams are trying to claim it, sometimes you are trying to defend it and sometimes the objective is moving but the general principle is the same. I play a few games, have fun doing so, then go play something else. I feel that I can’t sink hours into Overwatch at a time as there isn’t enough there to hold me. Don’t get me wrong, I keep coming back to it day after day but it is a quick fix and then I move on.

The game sets itself up as having a rich lore then does absolutely nothing to show it in game.You get a good impression of the characters’ personalities from the way the act and speak but we know little about their history or relationships, or the world in general. If someone hasn’t watched the promotional trailers then they probably don’t know anything. Even if the information is out there in the world somewhere I cannot count it as Overwatch having a story. I said the same about Destiny. It doesn’t matter how rich you lore is if it isn’t included in the game.

Granted, all of these issues are simple and will likely be resolved as Blizzard releases more (free) content. A few more game modes and more chances to get to know the wonderful characters are not exactly negative points. What we have is great but we need more. ?Think of it as a fancy restaurant that serves exquisite food that delights the taste-buds but is gone in one bite and leaves you hungry for more.

With all of this in mind, I definitely recommend Overwatch  but give it a provisional score of 7.5/10. It is currently too barebones for my taste in a time where I am playing games like Fallout 4, The Witcher 3 and Dark Souls 3 to justify a higher score. I do fully expect the game to grow though so it’s just a matter of waiting.


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