Yes, I stand by that statement. Being one of the lucky few to get access to closed beta, I’ve done nothing but play Overwatch since 20:00 two evenings ago. The game looks beautiful, it’s smooth, it’s fast and it’s really fun. It’s almost as if Unreal Tournament 2003 bumped into Quake and Team Fortress 2, during their young and wild college years, and together a beautiful game baby was made.
It’s incredible how time flies when you’re in a match, even though each match lasts only six to ten minutes – but it’s time well spent.
Naturally there have been some concerns and complaints coming from people in South Africa, so I’m here to hopefully shed some light on some of these questions.
South African Latency
It’s important that you understand we will more than likely not be getting servers here in South Africa. This of course may change in the future, but for now Overwatch is played on European servers with roughly 200-250 ms of latency. My advice is get used to it, because it’s really not that bad. The game is 100% playable with the latency, and it’s barely noticeable. I’ve always praised Blizzard for their wonderful net code, and now it makes a first person shooter more comfortable than I’d ever imagined with high latency.
Naturally there are a few heroes which are harder to play with high latency.
Hard to play:
They are all “skill shot” heroes whose attacks are somewhat delayed and ranged. Widowmaker is doable from a close distance, since she also has a rapid fire machine gun and a rifle, but since the rest require accuracy it’s quite hard to hit those amazing shots and you will get frustrated.
The rest of the heroes are pretty great with high latency. I’d recommend Tracer and Soldier-76. You can always be a support or tank which won’t be affected by high latency.
Could it be an eSport?
Most definitely, and I hope it will be. There are already major organizations preparing teams, and I think as soon as open beta arrives we should too. At the moment there are two map scenarios out. A capture the point type scenario, and a scenario where you capture a point and escort a payload to a certain final destination with checkpoints along the way.
One team will be on defense, and another on attack. For me defense is often the easier side to be on. Some simple strategies I’ve already taken note of: On attack it’s not necessary to have a tank, and the more Pharah and Mercy combos you have, the better. On attack I’ve seen teams who full offensive and essentially shut you down. On defense the strategy is often more, well, defensive as your snipers and gunners move to open up the field with support again from Pharah and Mercy. Yeah, Pharah and Mercy are a bit over powered on some maps.
Here’s a cool montage of some of the best moments from Overwatch streams.
Some of the matches I’ve played have been extremely tough, some really easy, but they’re always fun. I’ve seen some crazy combinations already and I’ve tried a few with friends and personally cannot wait to see what the competitive teams come up with once they start theorycrafting.
In conclusion Overwatch is easily the most fun I’ve ever had playing a game, and I can guarantee this is going to be a big hit in the future. Just be patient if you don’t have beta access – it’s really worth the wait.
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Last Updated: October 29, 2015