Am I over Overwatch?
I, like most people I know, played the Overwatch this weekend thanks to its open beta / free preview weekend. I normally don’t like team player-versus-player games in first person shooter format, but there was something about this game’s presentation, characters, and overall style that intrigued me despite my efforts to resist it. The animated shorts highlighting some of the characters hooked me, and I’m hardly one to turn down the chance to try a free game. So I downloaded, installed, and strapped myself in for whatever lay ahead of me.
Overwatch turned out to be exactly what I was hoping it would be, combined with everything I was afraid it was going to be.
Let me get the negative part out of the way first. I was afraid that it would be like every team-based PvP shooter that I’ve tried, where I’m getting swarmed by players who have spent way more time playing than me and are far more familiar with the game’s maps, mechanics, and characters. This happened to me a lot. A lot. No sooner would I choose or change characters and take ten steps out of my base than I would be sniper-shot by a skilled marksman, or swarmed by a team who has a coordinated strike incoming while I’m swiveling around to see where anything is happening. I am not good at these games and even surrounded by my best friends in the gaming world I doubt I ever will be.
But all that is not the fault of the game. The game itself is spectacular. It’s got more flair and personality than it knows what to do with. Each character is appealing, unique, and easy to pick up despite their difficulty rating. Despite the number of abilities available I rarely found myself fumbling to learn a new character’s playstyle, though some gelled with me faster than others. Characters sometimes interact with one another in their base, hinting at a greater story than what is presented in its team-based capture or kill objectives. And even after my worst matches, where I was tossing my controller in frustration for everything I was afraid the game would be, I found myself eager to try again and queue up for another match. The quick, fluid nature of the matches, the appeal of the cast of characters, and the ice slick presentation made for a game I did not expect to like as much as I did.
It will likely cause a spike in my blood pressure, but I do believe I’m sold on Overwatch.
Now if only that charming cast of characters was in a game that was more than just a versus mode. Oh well.