I am sure that if you are reading this then you would have heard about Overwatch? It is Blizzard’s attempt to move from their very successful MMO series World of Warcraft into the first-person shooter genre. When it was released as a beta it had very positive comments from gamers and reviews from the critics. I have been playing this now since launch so check out below my review.
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Activation
Genre: Arena, First Person Shooter
Release Date: 24 May 2016
Format reviewed: Xbox One
Thanks to the publisher for the review code
Overwatch is a fast-paced, online arena shooter. The format is simple: two teams, each with six characters facing off to gain control of payloads and various other elements of the environment. There are four modes to master and while at first this seems easy, when you start playing it becomes evident that this is an understatement. The first thing you will notice when you fire up Overwatch is the vibrant, colourful visuals, which is different from the usual bland look of a First-Person Shooter.
After being wowed by this you come to the game strongest point…the heroes of the game. You get to choose from 21 playable characters that each have their own class, which are offence, defence, tank or support. Given the big build-up of the game and the successful open beta the heroes of the game don’t need an introduction as we know them already. And with blizzard saying the next lot of characters will be free, the next additions will be fun to get to know.
Now we come to the gameplay. Overwatch is your object-based shooter which requires teamwork. When you find a match you select your hero, which requires a bit of thought. In order to be successful your team of six ideally should be a mix of the 4 classes I mentioned above, so that you can try to gain a tactical advantage over the opposing team of six characters. When the action starts it is fast and furious and also very fun.
This game features no single player, offline campaign. All the action takes place online as is very common with Blizzard. You get a practice mode and also a chance to play against some bots so that you can practice your skills and get use to the gameplay. Credit to Blizzard they did manage to handle the expected server load well during the first few days. I have never found myself waiting long to find a game, which given the latest release of AAA titles makes a refreshing change.
The environment is also great. There are a total of 12 maps and each one has its own charm and all look absolute amazing. While there may not be the same level of detail as you find in something like the recently released Doom, however after playing for a few minutes you realise that the cartoon-style graphics are actually genius. You might be missing modes like capture the flag, deathmatch and other popular modes but the emphasis on teamwork is great.
The gameplay mechanics are spot on. What is also great is that after you die on the map, you can change your character before you respawn. This handy if you want to try a different tactic by adding another class of hero if you are losing or just to mix it up and try something new. Visually Overwatch is great with full 1080p graphics running at 60fps with only a very slight drop in framerate during the map occasionally.
Blizzards gamble to move into the first-person market have appeared to pay off. What they have created is a fast-pace shooter that makes for a very simple to drop in and play mechanic. Great if you just fancy a quick blast to kill some time. The visuals are nice and gameplay is awesome. Well done Blizzard on taking the FPS world by storm with Overwatch.