Overwatch: Taking the world one hero at a time

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The latest game to take the gaming world by storm is Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch.

I have said before that I am really not great at FPS games (especially with a controller!), but I can get some damage done! Overwatch is designed to be easy to just pick up and play. Blizzard has done this quite cleverly so that while great for the experienced FPS players, new or inexperienced players (like me, a total noob!) do not feel like they are at a complete disadvantage and can just join the gaming fun.

I tried the open Beta on PC and Xbox One, and unfortunately my computer really struggled and kept having weird graphic bugs. It just looked like an 8-bit game, so I brought the Origins edition of the game for Xbox One. With tinkering I am pretty sure I could’ve got it to work on PC, but after spending two hours with no joy and very limited time to try it out, I made the decision to try it on Xbox. This review is therefore based on my Xbox experience from launch to time of writing.

Now I have to say, visually the game looks amazing. Personally, I have not had to fiddle with any settings (though the colourblind option was a brilliant idea!), and I have hardly seen any tearing or graphics bugs. The game is absolutely beautiful. Each map and character (Hero) is simply marvellous with detail. You can tell the developers had passion designing each character and map, going to a lot of effort and this can be seen in each part graphically. There are nooks and crannies all over each map with little things that make it seem like the game is in a tangible reality. For example on the Greek Ilios map, I found a swimming pool complete with underwater lighting in one of the buildings. I then got so distracted I got attacked in the back haha!

Aesthetically, the developers have created a beautiful game. The HUD is clean and crisp, giving the maximum view and not getting in the way of the player at all. I do love a clear HUD. The characters, who each have their own background story (you can find these HERE), are all unique and offering multiple different playing styles. There are currently twenty-one heroes at this time (see additional edit below!), with Blizzard saying more are coming soon. Each character is from a variety of different national/ethnic background and one of my favourite things to hear is when they are on an opposing team and suddenly speak their native dialect. Mercy, for example, is of Swiss nationality and when on opposing team using her Ultimate, “Heroes never die!” turns from English into German (I think, my German is bad!). Whoever thought of that deserves a pat on the back.

Gameplay is fun, diverse and easy to pick up. Each hero having different abilities and uses means no game is ever the same. The game is meant to be played with friends, but you can play as a solo queuer. The best way to show this is in the below video where you can see some of my excerpts from games!

Can I just say, Blizzard have done a fantastic job again with the orchestrated soundtrack too. You can hear clearer in the video above but you can find the full soundtrack at all good online places and on youtube. It’s beautiful.

Not only is there Quick Match, but the other game modes include Competitive (I’d advise only doing the placement matches unless you have a full team, Season Two is bringing fixes to make Competitive better), Custom where you can set rules and pick different type of matches with a group of your friends (Widowmaker sniping only is hilarious!), and the Brawl. The Brawl mode changes every week, and currently Blizzard are doing a Rio Olympics salute with new seasonal collectable items (skins, player icons and sprays) in Loot Boxes and the brawl is a 3 v 3 Rocket League-type game using Lucio. It’s fantastic!

Now, Loot boxes. Each time you level up towards 100 (each 100 you then Prestige and begin again), you gain a free Loot Box. Inside there are 4 items that vary from currency for unlocking new skins, player icons, sprays (for painting on doors, floors, windows etc. in matches) emotes, different highlight graphics, voice lines, and currency. Duplicates also award currency which you use to save up for the skin you want for your favourite hero that just won’t drop out of Loot Boxes. This is how I got my Valkyrie skin for Mercy! You can use real money in order to get a bulk of Loot Boxes to unlock more things faster, but you do not have to. Parents, make sure you have to get your kids to ask permission first before they microtransaction as these boxes are addictive!

 

Epic Winston skin

Legendary Winston skin, so lucky!

 

Since starting this blog post, I commented on a couple of subreddits on popular website Reddit in order to find others to play with (some of whom you can see in the video, hi guys and gals!). I was starting to get a little lonely being solo and had a headset  so put my details on the various looking for groups places where Overwatch was the focus. And the difference is insane. Once I got over my headset anxiety, the guys and girls were all friendly and we just have a laugh when we do play together.

So even if you weren’t sure about forking out for the Origins edition, I highly recommend it. This game is still gaining traction and with all the updates (although slow for consoles but that is due to console rules and needing to process the updates) this game is probably going to be Blizzard’s shining star. I think this game is going to be fantastic as professional teams form and tournaments happen. I’m really looking forward to Blizzcon when I’m sure there will be epic games.

If you are on Xbox, feel free to send me an add and say you’re from the blog! I look forward to playing with you! Let me know your comments below (and also like the video on Youtube please!)

Edit: Since starting this blog post, a new support hero was released (free!). Ana is a support sniper with the ability to dot heal and snipe. She’s pretty awesome. So that brings the total to twenty-two heroes!

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Streamers of the Week

Welcome to this first post of Streamers of the Week!

This series will once a week contain my favourite streamers of the moment. I watch a lot on Twitch and have done for a while, and nothing is better than finding new streamers that are fun to watch and listen to, but perhaps have a small following!

First up is Spamfish.

Spamfish playing WoW on Twitch

Spamfish playing WoW on Twitch

A fellow Brit who I found via another streamer. A variety streamer who has returned to World of Warcraft (how I found him, watching WoW streams haha!). He hasn’t played WoW for a while and the game has changed a lot. Even since I first started, the game has massively changed and to be honest it’s a bit overwhelming! Anyway, Spamfish really is a variety streamer, has a nice soothing voice to listen to. (I say this because I’ve noped right out of streams with grating voices!) I really think he’s one to keep an eye on! You can find him here.

Next: Pixe1ina

Pixe1ina playing DarkSouls

Pixe1ina playing DarkSouls

A female streamer, part of the Types of Dudes team on Twitch, she also has a good singing voice! She streams a variety of different games and boosts her music soundtrack with singing. She is currently trying to also get partnered on Twitch. She is also one to watch, Check her out here.

Last but by no means least is : AnthonyAcc.

AnthonyAcc playing WoW

AnthonyAcc playing WoW

I’ve gone back to this guy’s stream several times in the evening. Because he’s awesome. A variety streamer that just loves what he does, he engages with the chat, says hi to people and his  stream is just a pleasure to watch. (I think it helps he sang to me too, maybe I’m biased!) Honestly you should really check him out. He is a proper entertainer. Go say hi and that Witchysparkle sent you  here.

I hope you do check these guys out and see for yourself what great people they are. Do you have any recommedations? Comment below or Tweet me!

World of Warcraft: Legion!

Blizzard Entertainment announced a brand new expansion! Streamed live from GamesCon (not Blizzcon!)

World of Warcraft: Legion!

World of Warcraft: Legion.

Oh my goodness. I watched the stream with Hubby & Miss (who eventually went to Peppa Pig on the PS4) and my Hubby screamed. Maybe I did too. Okay so I totally did.

At the first cinematic, the lead in from WoD, both of us cringed. Neither of us want to see another Orc expansion. Just no. It was a nice cinematic and I am proud to say it was me, not the Veteran of WoW, who spotted Illidan! I may be overly chuffed at that.

There was talking, then the announcement trailer. This is what we were all waiting for. Here is the run down with screenshots of the slides taken from MMO Champion as I was watching on Hubby’s PC (he has the speakers!)

New Hero Class –  The Demon Hunter! 

Demon Hunter!!

Demon Hunter!!

So excited for this! When the teaser on Twitter suggested that there may be a new class that was already in Heroes of the Storm, I suggested a link to Illidan but both myself and Hubby poo pooed it. We didn’t think it’d happen at all! And a hero class like the Death Knight means no levelling from 1! I hope it also means we can miss out on levelling in Draenor again..

New Continent – The Broken Isles

The Broken Isles

The Broken Isles

New continent pictures of zones looks amazing. So pretty and interesting! And the fact Dalaran is coming too? Yes please!!! Dalaran is amaze balls ! Please make it like the current Dalaran though where we could mix with each faction!

Artifact Weapons

Doomhammer ArtifactDoomhammer & Ashbringer!!

Doomhammer & Ashbringer!!

The new type of legendary/no more class talents while levelling sounds brilliant! This is totally taken from FFXIV and I don’t understand why people are complaining about this, I think this is brilliant, plus the ability to get different transmog from different things through the game/expansion.

Class Order Halls

A glimpse of a class hall

A glimpse of a class hall

The new and improved garrison. Not instanced. With a class storyline? This sounds great! I still need to read up more and keep an eye out about these though. Could we all get class mounts too? Don’t make it cost a raid tier though….

Adventure to Level 110
Ten levels not five is the way to go!

New Dungeons and Raids

With eight others too!

Hall of Valor! with eight other dungeons too

So Blizzard want to make Dungeons more of a thing! Brilliant! The list so far is nine dungeons! That is correct, nine! Some for levelling and some for after the story! And the two raids also look amazing! I say amazing too much… but they do! I’m really looking forward to the Emerald Nightmare!

New Honor System

I love the idea of prestige ranks. Everyone has the same advantage, PVP gear also no longer being something to carry in your bag! Wohoo!

Beta begins later this year.

Yahoo!

Just, so happy. If they include everything announced it will be the largest and fullest expansion to date. And Blizzard please read my previous post HERE so you do not make any further mistakes and make this one what you have so far promised. Do not let your players down Blizzard, your subscribers and threatening to break Blizzard. If this expansion does not succeed, Warcraft will be over.

My guess is that beta will be launched at Blizzcon in November with the release making WoD an 18 month expansion which would funnily enough coincide with the Warcraft movie in May next year!

I will do more posts on the expansion as time goes on and more information comes out.

What do you think? Tweet me or comment below! Did you watch the stream and are you on the hype train or sitting in a jar of salt?

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Heroes of the Storm: Nexus Calling

Heroes of the Storm

Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm (c)Blizzard Entertainment

A little over a week ago now on June 2nd 2015, Blizzard Entertainment launched Heroes of the Storm (Heroes or HotS for short). After being in closed testing for over a year, finally the general populace could try out this interesting game.

Blizzard calls it an “arena brawler” and slightly under the umbrella of a MOBA, a Multiplayer online battle arena. There are five “heroes” on each team and one team is vs the other. In order to win, your team must be better at doing the objectives on the map. There are currently seven battleground maps with one more coming very soon. Do the objectives, get in the best position and destroy the enemy’s core.

Now I love it, I really do. Especially the fact you can buy heroes with ingame gold instead of real money. I may not be great at it, but I’m getting better! But since launch (I got invited during closed beta), there is a few massive problems.

  1. The EU servers are full of a lot of people who will talk among themselves interior native language and ignore requests that you do not speak Russian, Spanish or German. Now I am not racist. I have friends all over the world, my family isn’t exactly pure English either. I’ve met some great people through the quick match from other countries. Of course, this also means there can be issues with random disconnects too which can lose a match as people are effectively all over the world with varying speeds and reliability of Internet.

But this isn’t a solo game which leads me to the biggest problem-

  1. Communication is key & this is a team game. I don’t know if it’s people not understanding the game or just plain spoilsports, but if you do not communicate (even by pings, I mean come on?) how is everyone else supposed to know you’re in trouble? Or to pull together in the team fight that wiped out most of the team because one person was attacking minions in late game for no real reason? Then call the team rubbish and expletives because s/he didn’t help. I mean, really? If I’m in a quick match with a team that does not communicate, I’m pretty certain it’s a loss though I have been pleasantly surprised, but it’s rare.

So because of these issues even though I’m rank 30 and I could do Hero League, I’m not. I would rather wait until Hubby and I find a group of people (or even one!) so that we have the best chance because we can communicate. Plus it gives me longer to find s few more Heroes I’m good at!

If you’re in the Nexus and you want to chat over Battle.net or want to party up, feel free to send me a comment or a tweet and let’s get ourselves a winning streak!