Overwatch — A Good Kind of Black Hole [Impressions]


After tons of hype and a fairly extensive beta period (as well as a minor controversy concerning the fictional depiction of female buttocks), the much-anticipated new game by Blizzard finally came out. It has been almost a week since the release of Overwatch, and it’s currently making the folks over at Gearbox Software have sweaty palms (and hopefully with Randy Pitchford unable to sleep at night). While it’s given that this may be a bit too late for just a first impressions post and I should put out a review already, I still have to put this up to wrap my head around my thoughts about this game.

I only came up with this blog post now because I was just to preoccupied with playing the game and learning as much as I can with the characters I’ve been getting my hands on. This is indeed a good game; one that I’m definitely addicted to. Because of that, I’ve since started uploading videos on the YouTube channel and Facebook page of me enjoying the game with gusto.

What I Like About Overwatch So Far

Just about everything in this game. The online multiplayer first-person shooter action, the team play, the character variety, the maps (at this point, even Temple of Anubis), the game modes, and so on. I know Blizzard will add more content such as more maps, game modes, and characters in the near future, so I’m sure my $40 will get a lot of mileage.

The animated shorts and online comics add to the enjoyment as well. They never really needed to put that much lore into it, but perhaps they can’t waste whatever they came up with when Project Titan was still ongoing. Also, there may have been a desire to one-up Valve with their “Meet the Team” videos. In any case, Overwatch has built up so much that Battleborn is on a 40% off sale as of this writing.

Battleborn has been struggling to the point that there are more Borderlands 2 players than Battleborn players—a sad sight indeed.

Finally, what makes Overwatch work for me is the short games. It doesn’t take a big chunk of your time, so you can pile on the games and do more in less time. It’s not like playing a MOBA like League of Legends that take around half an hour or so on average to resolve. That’s not to say that short rounds are always better, but it’s about the amount of downtime in the gameplay. Overwatch has nearly no downtime; the most you get is the wait leading up the the start of each round.

To work with that, the gameplay has to be very fast-paced. Blizzard did well here with FPS action that’s purer than that of Paladins and Battleborn. Overwatch is mostly focused on players shooting at their opponents, and that’s about it. It’s not to say that having some sort of PvE or other aspects to the gameplay is bad, but it’s high time that a team-based game came out at this time that’s simple yet still remains enjoyable. That would’ve not been easy to pull off.

Decisions on switching to another character must be done on-the-spot and with immediacy due to the shortness of each round/game, so familiarity with characters is crucial. With 21 different characters (as of launch) catering to different playstyles, there’s a surprising amount of meat in the game to go through. Learning each one and making the most of their abilities is not a journey that can be completed in a few days. With the ever-changing metagame, that journey may not even end at all. That’s definitely the one thing I’m counting on; I want to make the most of my $40.

Finally, I’d like to commend the decision to remove outright displays of kill counts. Eliminations are not exactly kills as it also includes assists, and that’s the point of the game. It’s all about teamwork, and even killing is seen through the lens of team effort. With less focus on kills and more on wins, players who play more selfish and just go for the multikills without minding objectives are given less incentive. Perhaps if they’re good enough, they get some medals for kills, but the stat that still count most is the wins.

What I Don’t Like About Overwatch So Far

It’s not really something I dislike, but it still feels like there are a few cogs missing in this machine, as well as it already runs at the moment. Overwatch lacks a few more characters to fit certain roles and/or sub-roles. For instance, it can use another builder and another sniper. Also, maybe just one more support character can make things more diverse.

Overwatch can also use a couple more maps, and maybe even one more game mode. It’s not to say that I’m already bored with whatever is in the game right now, but I think having more of them can stretch out the characters’ capabilities even further, especially the utility characters that less players are willing to pick up.

If players are given more reasons to seriously pick up characters like Symmetra and Mercy, then that would do the game more good in the long run.

These aren’t really criticisms, but merely yearning for just a bit more content that will come anyway. Knowing Blizzard, I won’t need to cross my fingers; there will indeed be new content in the near future.

Got Feedback?

You think this Team Fortress 2 clone doesn’t do enough to be better than the real deal? You still hung up about Blizzard bowing down to the SJW crowd and changing Tracer’s pose? Are you just full of sour grapes because you have no friends and can’t find joy in just about anything, thus you have to ruin it for others by expressing your negative opinions about Overwatch out of spite and contempt for all things fun and pleasurable?

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