Breakups are hard, well, if you are a child. In my years with Team Fortress 2 the thing I remember most, sadly, is when it all started to go bad. I appreciated the attempts to shake things up but they only upset the balance. Soon, the whole game felt like one big pub stomp. People with no skills were taking their gaming baby steps since the game was now free, the cosmetic and pay-to-win items had become a bit ridiculous. TF2 became less of a gaming focal point to me just like most of the shooter genre. Competitive shooters had become a daily routine of trying to get excited just to avoid the truth. Me and TF2 were not in love anymore.
So, there I was, at the mall, pretending to watch the two kids I metaphorically had with this game (we’ll call them Weight-Gain and Hat) when I see this hot young game rocking class based shooting so diverse and graphics so tight, I just left my kids there and ran off with her. After a short time, I knew I would never miss my old life.
Didn't even press X to Jason.
Ahem, that is to say: Overwatch is the definition of a killer. Whether you believe the Valve vs Blizzard conjecture about it being revenge for “Dota 2”; or you are just the kind of asshole that plays anything new and shiny that looks like an FPS: Overwatch is a killer of all your class based shooters! TF2? Done. Payday 2? PAY ME, BITCH! Call of Duty? Customize a class that DOESN'T SUCK!
So, if I haven’t salted the earth with fanboy tears yet, you just wait: now I’m gonna say it like a gentleman. In the years that have preceded Gamers crushing on multiplayer shooters, we have seen clone after clone. It’s how the industry works. Payday 2, Goat bless it’s developers, was a derivative of Left 4 Dead that managed to build into something new, exciting and most of all well made. [Insert hilarious opinion on Call of Duty being stale here]. [End paragraph]
Given the option of playing a better version of a game, we should choose the superior version-- times change. We can all pretend that Mario is the pinnacle of platforming, but it’s only the most vehement of Nostalgia Goggled morons who won’t entertain the idea that Super Meat Boy is a superior platformer with unrivaled controls.
Cry, Fanboys!!!! CRY!!!!! I AM BURNING DOWN EVERYTHING YOU LOVE!!!!
There was a teaching experience when I tried to teach my Girlfriend how to play. She is pretty bad at games because she only started playing when we started dating. She has her strengths and her weaknesses. Shooting people in a competitive environment is a weakness of hers. Yet, she took to Overwatch quickly, able to get joy out of learning a character. It wasn’t just my girlfriend, plenty of people I knew were having their friends of non Gaming backgrounds take a deep interest in it. Something about the characters being likeable and well designed (both from a game AND art perspective) or something about the simplicity of each heroes playstyle. Either way the learning curve to make that character useful ensures deep play for us "non casuals". One thing I KNOW helped was the fact that no one character is tied to the “Shooter Genre”.
Sure, this is a shooter and the mechanics of exchanging damage are key, but not every character has a gun. Even when they do, some of them are better off holstering it! Some of the best characters wield Shields, Ice or don’t really fight much at all. It is a Class based game that brings an aspect to the genre that no one has done yet effectively: Heroes. Instead of incentivising some bullshit "unlock" system, the game is meant to be good out of the package; not a mill forcing gamers to re-unlock all the guns in the game like a Skinner Box nightmare.
Just keep pressing those buttons... You'll get the l337 gun... soon...
Shooters that play off “look at my cool gun” are just shills for virtual items. Skins and extra guns pumped out in disregard of game balance. Overwatch ain't about that. Like DOTA, LOL and the Crafts of War they came from, the game focuses on Heroes. Heroes are set in their abilities, Heroes are balanced to be effective without being overpowered. This game has a set of rules and balances that make it feel more like football than some kind of bland, yearly shooter affair.
Overwatch Heroes are balanced and lovingly created; churned out bullshit add-on packs are for profit. It shows in every aspect of the game.
In the end it is really hard for a new(ish) reviewer like me to write a lengthy review for such an excellent game. I could be obtuse in my jokes. I could reference some more comical controversy, or even attempt to make my opinion controversial, but really, this game is just too good for that. It is one of the most solid releases I have seen, recently. Being, by nature, a game that isn’t attempting to break ground by trying NEW things, it takes FPS, and MOBA gaming and mixes it in a way that doesn’t end up looking like a shitty Borderlands clone. Overwatch is just as close to perfection in it's genre than any Blizzard game is. Other than making a comical farce out of fellating the figure of first person finery, all I can do is assign an arbitrary number:
Simple, Fun and well made.