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!
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!