This isn’t going to be some comprehensive review of the gameplay, characters, fighting system, etc.. of Overwatch. This is my general excitement a new type of game (new to me, that is) that I never thought I would like. And how this new game has opened my eyes to the wonder of the world of the team first-person shooter.
I love Overwatch.
I never knew I would feel this level of excitement for a game that wasn’t a new God of War, Assassin’s Creed, Final Fantasy or Gears of War. Or a good LEGO game (my guilty pleasure). Those are my staples, my go-to games. Whenever there is one on the horizon, I usually pre-order it and have it ready and waiting when I get home from work (Bless you, Amazon)! Now, I heard about all of the excitement and hype about Overwatch but didn’t think anything of it. It’s not one of my staples so who cares, right? Not that I am opposed to trying something new. I have managed to discover lots of fantastic games based on recommendations or reputation. But no one I knew was playing Overwatch, so I moved on.
But the more I read the reviews, the more I became interested in it. Not enough to buy it quite yet but enough to learn more about it. And then I heard it was a team game and required being online and I was out. I am not big on the multiplayer gaming scene. I like fighting alone through a game with a great story. I miss the days of selecting RPGs with multiple discs (yes, I am that old) and taking my time with it. For example, I love Gears of War because I can fight in story mode whenever I want to. I have friends that meet up and fight together, but that’s just not for me. I never had an interest in Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo or any other team first-person shooter.
And then this Overwatch Free Weekend came along, and I couldn’t pass it up. A free chance to try out this game? I’m there! I made sure to set the alarm on my phone so I could log on to my phone to PS store on my phone on Friday. I wanted to start the download early, while at work, so I could start playing immediately when I got home. I log on, with curiosity and excitement, and complete the Basic Training. Side note: I am immediately amused because the training takes place with Soldier: 76. While I was at Salt Lake Comic Con last weekend and, while waiting to take a photo with Mark Hamill, a group of guys was dressed in Overwatch cosplay in front of me. Granted, I had no idea that they were supposed to be, so I googled “jacket 76 outfit anime” while waiting. Instead, the Overwatch character popped up. Funny how the only character I knew from the game was teaching me how to play now.
And then I finally jump into a Play vs. the AI battle. Oh, the joy. The joy!
I never thought I would enjoy playing a game with no real background or story. You and 5 random people (near your playing level) are given 22 heroes and heroines to choose from that are divided into 4 categories: Offense, Defense, Tanks, and Support. Once selected, you are thrown into one of 12 areas with different objectives, maybe 1 or 2 with several steps until completion. And that’s it. There is no need for save points, no tedious dialogue, and no time for long-winded strategies. 6 – 10 minutes and you are done. If you don’t want to play anymore, you leave the game and are back to the main menu. If you do, you actually move from game to game with the same players (unless someone drops out). It’s simple. It’s great for a 30-minute session or an all-day marathon. It’s whatever you want to do! Maps are random so you never know where you are going to be until the start of the mission.
You would think those short sessions would get monotonous but they don’t. Because you can play as any of those characters, you learn which characters work best in each situation. You learn more about the terrain and the best strategies for that situation. And since each character has their limitations, you learn how to make the best of their strengths. I have learned that I love either Tanks or Defense characters. I am all about sacrificing myself for the good of the team. I love hiding in corners or on rooves and she shooting the crap out of our opponents. I die…a lot. But it’s well worth it. I am even adding new friends that I meet in these random matches and scheduling match times with them. This coming from someone that is very selective about online friends. I usually only add people I know personally. Now, I am adding decent to good players just for Overwatch.
The simplicity of Overwatch makes it a great game. More maps and characters are coming in the future so this game won’t get boring. Almost two dozen characters, succinct matches and ever-changing opponents (and teams) make this game an ever evolving entity.
Long Live Overwatch!