On May 4th (a couple days ago), Blizzard released the official Open Beta for Overwatch, a game that combines mechanics from the MOBA and FPS genres. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the core elements of this highly anticipated game and determine whether or not it’s a game worth investing time into.
When I first logged into the Battle.net client (Blizzard Entertainment’s launcher for its games), I was greeted by a sleek design for Overwatch’s startup menu. Impressed, I launched up the game and watched a small CG teaser detailing the premise behind the game:
Let’s look at some of the best parts of this game!
After the short but amazing teaser finished playing, I was immediately placed into a tutorial as the hero “Soldier: 76.” From here, you learn that the game plays like a normal arena FPS but also takes key elements from MOBAs such as the ability system in which you have three base abilities unique to the hero you’re using.
This system also allows for an ultimate ability after you’ve dealt enough damage to charge up its gauge. I feel it was a good idea on Blizzard’s part to implement this as it balances out the game with how different heroes can interact with/counteract other heroes’ abilities. Not to mention that a lot of the ultimate abilities feel really great to pull off.
For now, however, let’s take a break from talking about the gameplay to compliment how well the physics engine in this game is made. Almost everything I thought wouldn’t be affected by my attacks were affected by my attacks.
I can’t say that about every game, you know? A recycling bin that I hit with Reinhardt’s hammer actually spun around, making it entertaining to sit in your spawn attacking objects before the start of the round.
Another thing to compliment is the detail that goes into the maps. Different marks are made on the wall depending on what weapon you use, the collision makes sense…there are even areas I would’ve thought inaccessible that turned out to be accessible thanks to Winston’s Leap ability!
There are also alternate routes on the map for heroes that really aren’t meant for head-on combat. This gives them the opportunity to jump from the shadows and eliminate their enemy.
Another thing to be happy about is that all the heroes are unlocked from the start, without micro-transactions. This, of course, is to be expected from a game that is supposed to launch at a full price of $59.99, but some games aren’t always this generous with its content. (Looking at you, Star Wars Battlefront.)
Now that we’ve gotten the positives out of the way, however, let’s get to the negatives.
But, what went wrong?
While many heroes balance out other heroes, I feel there are still some heroes that could be balanced out a bit more, such as Bastion. Now, don’t get me wrong, Bastion isn’t completely overpowered. In fact, it’s relatively easy to take him out if you attack him from behind.
However, in some cases, this is just not practical and creates a near-impossible frontline defense to destroy. As a result, the game just becomes no fun to the enemy team and makes it unfair for them.
Another complaint I have is that you can’t choose which game mode you play. You can only choose the Quick Play option to play against other players in a mode that the game chooses for you. This makes it so that even if you have a favorite game mode, you can’t tailor your matchmaking experience to look for that instead.
There is a Custom Game option but it only works with friends and AI. This is a shame, because if they had implemented this, I can guarantee the negatives would have only been one paragraph.
Overall, I didn’t have much to say about Overwatch in terms of its negative aspects. In fact, I’d say that Blizzard polished it so well that there were almost no negatives that I could notice. Only the two negatives I pointed out were immediately noticeable upon my first entry into the game.
The conclusion? I think that Overwatch is an absolutely fantastic game that you should check out. Blizzard has really outdone themselves this time, and their innovation never ceases to disappoint.
Don’t forget that it ends on May 9, but if you’re interested in the game’s beta, you can download it from the launcher below:
What do you think about Overwatch? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!