The first time I ever played Overwatch was at Gamescom last year. Despite having an incredibly packed schedule, I made the time to visit Blizzard’s stand so I could see what their first ever FPS was all about. Truth be told, after having seen some gameplay videos online prior, I was not convinced that it would be anything amazing. In short, I was super skeptical, and expected nothing much from my quick hands on with the game.

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After playing it for around ten minutes or so however, I was forced to swallow my doubt. Right then and there, amongst all those sweaty, smelly gamers, and after just two rounds, I knew Blizzard were onto something special. Let’s just say that I returned from Germany desperately itching for more of the shooter.

Fast forward a few months, and I’ve now poured dozens of hours into Overwatch, in both the beta and the final product. I can honestly say that I’m just as smitten with it today as I was that very first time I tried it in Cologne.

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On its surface, Overwatch is a simple game. It has four modes (spread across twelve maps), and they’re all made up of age-old, tried and tested mechanics. Push this cart, control this point, defend this zone… you get the general idea. It’s the sort of stuff that could get monotonous with time.

Except, Overwatch is anything but monotonous (except for when you have to make the long journey back to an objective after dying – I don’t really enjoy that). Thanks to its vibrant and colourful cast, there is a much more complex game buried underneath those basic objectives.

There are twenty one characters on offer (with more to come), and they’re all incredibly varied. Take Tracer for example. She’s quick, agile, cheery, and just so happens to have the ability to manipulate time. She can hop into battle in a flash, and straight back out again thanks to her speedy skillset. Oh, and she has this neat little pulse bomb that can decimate an enemy or five if it’s used just right.

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The thing with Overwatch that surprised me, is that I love each and every single character, almost equally. Don’t get me wrong,Ii have my favourites (like Mei, she’s cool), but I don’t play them exclusively until I’m blue in the face. I hop between the entire cast regularly, and not once have a felt that any member doesn’t fit. They’re all fun to play, and they all have a place outside of their standard offense, defense, tank, and support roles. Junkrat may be an excellent defender for example, but he’s just as useful when it comes to pushing down an objective.

If anything, I think I enjoy every character purely because the game has encouraged me to bounce between them all. Overwatch is all about momentum, and finding out what line-up best fits the situation at hand. If an entire defending enemy team picks say, six Bastions for example, it’s not time to panic and call GG. Instead, the attackers must react, and pick accordingly. A team consisting of Genji, Hanzo, and D.Va for example, is already on the right track to sorting all the annoying mobile Omnic turrets out.

The enemy in turn, seeing that their strategy is no longer working, will be forced to react with counter picks. They can look at adjusting their line-up to include something along the lines of Mei,  Winston, and Widowmaker to get their momentum back.

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And it’s this momentum I believe, that makes Overwatch so tremendously addictive. The rounds I enjoyed the least were those that were over in a minute or two (it didn’t matter whether I won or lost). My fondest memories in fact, have spawned from the frantic rounds that saw the timer stretched to its limit, and the match played out to the very last second.

One for example, saw my team and I losing the first objective very quickly (it was actually rather embarrassing). With eight minutes or so left on the clock (trust me,  that is a long time when you have to defend), all seemed lost. The enemy team knew they had caught us unaware, and they scrambled ahead to the final objective to seize what promised to be a straightforward victory.

Yet, my team held fast. After losing that first point, we quickly reshuffled our line-up and rushed out to put up a better fight. We watched those seconds tick down painfully slowly, and we almost lost more than half a dozen times. But we stuck together, and cheered joyfully as the clock struck zero, and witnessed a play of the game that potentially won the overall battle for us. It’s these moments and little highlights that will keep people hooked, and Overwatch alive well beyond the duration that any campaign could ever hope to provide.

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We can’t ignore the elephant in the room though. Outside of AI opponents, there is no single player component whatsoever to be found in Overwatch. Would I have enjoyed having one? Absolutely! Blizzard have proved time and time again that they are more than capable of telling a great story, and if the Overwatch animated shorts and comics are anything to go by, then this game could’ve easily included an epic campaign.

But I really don’t think that it needs one. I mean, how many times has it happened in the past where a single-player focused game gets some lacklustre multiplayer tacked on? The results, often, are not pretty. Why then, do people forget that the opposite could yield similar results too? Overwatch is a multiplayer focused titled after all. Attaching a campaign just for the sake of it I believe, even in the trustworthy hands of Blizzard, could prove to be disastrous.

No, Overwatch is a multiplayer title through and through, and it’s just fine as is. I fully believe that the game’s asking price is acceptable, seeing as there are dozens, and probably hundreds of hours of entertainment packed within. It’s worth remembering that all future additional content will be entirely free too, and based on Blizzard’s track record, we know they’re going to look after this game good and proper in the years to come.

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The only thing I wish they’d change to be honest, is the way the cosmetics work. There’s nothing wrong with a full-priced game having microtransactions, but when it somewhat promotes spending money due to lengthy grind times, then I have issue. After each game, experience is earned that goes toward an overall player level. Once the next level is reached, something called a loot box is provided. This box contains 4 cosmetics that included simple stuff like player icons, character lines, entirely new skins, and more.

The first few levels of grind aren’t too bad at all. Within an hour of play, a green player will have themselves a handful of loot boxes, packed with (potentially) nice gear. At higher levels however, the grind begins to feel a bit too long. For people like me, who are suckers for pretty things, it becomes increasingly tempting to pull out the credit card. This wouldn’t be too bad I suppose, if Loot Boxes weren’t so damn expensive.

I think Overwatch could benefit from a quest system similar to those found in Hearthstone or Heroes of the Storm. A few daily tasks here in there in exchange for some currency? I would love that! Though, I do get that it could upset the experience somewhat, and work against the game as a whole. Tasking someone with winning three games with Reaper for example, means they would never switch in-game, which thus, would upset the natural balance. Still, there are other options available that I think would work just fine, such as do X damage or win Y games.

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That’s about the only area where I feel Overwatch could use some tweaking. Other than that minor hiccup (which really is subjective), I do genuinely think that Blizzard have put together one damn near perfect multiplayer experience. I love it, my friends love it, and we can’t get enough!

When I’m playing Overwatch, time magically disappears into oblivion. For a game that has rounds lasting just a handful of minutes, the hours do sure fly away very, very quickly…

Last Updated: May 27, 2016

Overwatch
Blizzard have set a new example for the FPS genre that others will need to follow. Overwatch reaches near perfection with its polish and charm. It's fun, addictive, and will keep players hooked for a good, long time.
9.0
Overwatch was reviewed on PC
91 / 100

45 Comments

  1. Over it.

    Reply

    • hairyknees

      May 27, 2016 at 13:38

      STILL???????????? 😛

      Reply

      • Pariah

        May 27, 2016 at 13:38

        XD

        I love the reactions.

        Reply

  2. RinceThis

    May 27, 2016 at 13:38

    No SP at all? Eish

    Reply

  3. Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

    May 27, 2016 at 13:38

    • hairyknees

      May 27, 2016 at 13:41

      This is still the best video 😛

      Reply

  4. RinceThis

    May 27, 2016 at 13:39

    I look forward to everyone going on about this, like the Divison, then SILENCE.

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

      May 27, 2016 at 13:39

      XD

      Reply

    • Pariah

      May 27, 2016 at 13:39

      but espertz

      Reply

    • hairyknees

      May 27, 2016 at 13:42

      Lol have you heard me shut up about Hearthstone or Heroes of the Storm lately? 😛

      Reply

      • RinceThis

        May 27, 2016 at 13:43

        No, but then again I haven’t heard you say much about DOTA either http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/villains/images/e/e7/Boom!.gif/revision/latest?cb=20140701025621

        Reply

        • hairyknees

          May 27, 2016 at 13:47

          LOL xD touche <3

          Then again, it did take my like 4 years to get over Dota 😛

          Reply

          • RinceThis

            May 27, 2016 at 13:48

            Needing therapy to get over a game is not a good thing dude! 😉 Great review though 🙂

          • hairyknees

            May 27, 2016 at 13:58

            Oh you! <3

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      May 27, 2016 at 13:55

      Speaking of which, how awesome is MGSV?!

      Reply

      • RinceThis

        May 27, 2016 at 13:58

        Tehehehe! I don’t know 😛

        Reply

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          May 27, 2016 at 14:00

          I haven’t lol’d so hard in ages.

          Chapter 1: ERMAGAWDBESTGAMEEVERFORLIFE
          Chapter 2: …….Damn, this game sucks.
          Chapter 3: Oops. Too soon?

          Reply

          • RinceThis

            May 27, 2016 at 14:07

            Chapter 4: Kojima is AWESOME?!

  5. Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

    May 27, 2016 at 13:39

    R900/1000

    Reply

    • RinceThis

      May 27, 2016 at 13:42

      4/10

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

        May 27, 2016 at 13:46

        LOL

        Reply

    • iusedtobe(a)regular

      May 27, 2016 at 14:23

      Damn, thats steep for a multiplayer only.

      Reply

    • Strawman Jim

      May 27, 2016 at 14:24

      You made me chuckle! Muahahah!

      Reply

  6. VampyreSquirrel

    May 27, 2016 at 13:39

    Want it.

    Reply

    • Pariah

      May 27, 2016 at 13:39

      Can’t have it

      Reply

      • VampyreSquirrel

        May 27, 2016 at 13:48

        Sad but true.

        Reply

  7. RinceThis

    May 27, 2016 at 13:45

    If it had a nice 10hr SP co-op option I’d waste my cash on this.

    Reply

    • Gareth Runnalls

      May 27, 2016 at 14:21

      Believe me, its really good just as it is 🙂

      Reply

    • Strawman Jim

      May 27, 2016 at 14:34

      Amen Brother! #brofist #brotentacle

      Reply

    • GooseZA

      May 27, 2016 at 14:44

      But you’re still going to get hundreds of hours out of it in MP. Surely that’s worth the asking price?

      The game is amazing. Don’t miss out on it because you think MP only titles should be cheaper. It’s not like Blizz knocked this game out in a couple of months. It’s incredibly polished and will, as the article said, be getting FREE additional content for the duration of it’s lifetime.

      Would you rather pay the same for an average SP and the great MP and then keep paying for new maps, skins, bla bla bla like you do in Destiny, COD, The Division etc?

      Reply

  8. For the Emperor!

    May 27, 2016 at 13:51

    Played around with it in the open Beta. I can see its potential, but it did not drag me in. I rather spent the money on Warhammer Total War.

    Reply

    • Matthew Holliday

      May 27, 2016 at 14:44

      i thought the same after playing the beta, it was fun but i had written it off, then a few days after the beta ended i was all like “i need something fun to play” and discovered i felt like playing overwatch more than anything else.

      Warhammer Total War is an odd one though, i really love warhammer, got the tabletop army and rulebooks etc, but thats for warhammer 40k, Vanilla warhammer never appealed to me.

      Reply

      • For the Emperor!

        May 27, 2016 at 15:00

        I have no interest in Warhammer Fantasy (or Age of Sigmar) on the table top – I am a 40K player through-and-through. But the first Total War game based not on history but Fantasy was too good to pass up for me. Love me some Total War, executing prisoners for no good reason lolz

        Reply

  9. Kromas GG

    May 27, 2016 at 14:06

    “(except for when you have to make the long journey back to an objective after dying – I don’t really enjoy that)”
    And that is why my faveroute support is symmetra. 1 minute in and BOOM! Teleporter up and running.

    Reply

    • Deceased

      May 30, 2016 at 11:30

      Took me a whole week to realize how epic Symetra is – I can’t play her for shit though 😐 #foreversuckatturretheroes

      Reply

      • Kromas GG

        May 30, 2016 at 11:42

        I love Torbjorn. I hate playing Bastion cause he is considdered a cheap hero to me and Symmetra is super powerfull if you know how to play her. (Hint her charged attack bypasses all shields inclusing Reinhardts)

        Reply

        • Deceased

          May 30, 2016 at 11:56

          I’m proud to say that I’ve got 0 hours on bastion – and I aim to keep it that way ( noob hero for desperate Play-of-the-Game seekers )
          Also, goddamn I love killing bastions – I honestly wished it was a game-award ( like healing/self-healing for example ) “Bastion-Units killed: 99” – man that would have been awesome…
          Also – Symmetra counters a genji really, really well ( Mei-chan is better though ) – but keep that a secret ;P

          Reply

  10. Ir0nseraph

    May 27, 2016 at 14:12

    Good review but a Cabbage 9/10 isn’t enough for to fork out R900 bucks.

    Reply

  11. Strawman Jim

    May 27, 2016 at 14:25

    I think Hammer made a great point, from now on reviews has to be related to the cost, so R200/R1000 means the game is awesome. R900/R1000 means it’s horribly overpriced.

    Reply

  12. GooseZA

    May 27, 2016 at 14:51

    I honestly don’t get the rage about the price. This is what games cost these days (and it’s only getting worse). Yes, it’s multiplayer only but it’s not like Blizzard just slapped this together in a couple of months. The game is incredibly well polished and balanced, looks gorgeous and runs identically / very well on all platforms.

    When games run sub 60fps or perform better on different platforms people complain and flame the developers. But now when you’ve got a great and very pretty game running a silky smooth 60fps on both consoles and I’m sure much more on PC people don’t care?

    You want a single player campaign? what for? and extra 10 or 15 hours of gameplay? You’ll be spending hundreds of hours playing this game. That’s well worth the asking price if you ask me.

    This game is blizzard at their best again in my opinion. It’s fun, gorgeous to look at, cool story bits / lore, great music and just great feel good fun!

    Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      May 27, 2016 at 15:36

      gamers…. entitled whiny dicks far too often

      There is some merit in arguing about prices but like you say Overwatch is the standard price.. no reason to target this one game in that issue

      Reply

      • RandomMaster

        June 2, 2016 at 14:54

        Don’t 100% agree with this. Mostly cause the normal version on PC is $40 which I feel like is a bit more respectable. R900 for the console version is definitely a huge ask for a multiplayer only game (especially when it’s sold as the origins edition which is $60 on PC). Definitely feel like they should have a R600 version for consoles (or somewhere around there)

        Reply

  13. MoreSlayer

    May 29, 2016 at 09:34

    Word salad…..

    Reply

  14. Deceased

    May 30, 2016 at 11:26

    Uninstalled dota – I found my new Heroin 🙂

    Reply

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