'Overwatch' review: Prepare for battle

Background: Overwatch is developed by Blizzard Entertainment; this is the company’s first attempt at a first-person shooter. The game takes place in a futuristic world, where a group of heroes formed a task force called “Overwatch,” and were called upon to keep peace in the world. Although the story does not involve itself in the multiplayer element, there is a connection between the heroes and their dialog that will make you want to learn more about what’s going on behind the scenes.  Fair warning: Overwatch only has a multiplayer aspect. Blizzard is known for not having many single-player games, but they make up for it with their great quality online multiplayer.

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Matchmaking: The first and most impactful aspect about Overwatch is its matchmaking system. It is very quick and simple to invite a group of friends and jump right into a match. Wait times rarely exceeded two minutes, and when you do need to wait, the game puts you into a “just play around” mode with the other people in the match. Low wait time leads to more gameplay, and I’m sure we are all in favor of that.

Gameplay: Overwatch consistently runs very smoothly, even at a faster pace of gameplay than most shooters. The maps are a decent size, but are sectioned off depending on the part of the game mode you are currently on. This keeps the firefight at a close enough range to keep your attention and focus even without some of the heroes’ “mobility type” abilities to reduce that distance even further. This, tied in with the matchmaking speed, keeps us in the battle.

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Character Design: A respectable aspect of the game is the connection you obtain for some of the heroes. Through the dialog and the animated videos Blizzard has been releasing, each character has developed a unique personality. There are four major classes: Offense, Defense, Tank and Support. Each class has a few heroes with their own unique abilities that differ from every other hero in the game. This allows the player to search the roster and pick a hero based on their own personal playstyle.


Game Modes: A noticeable but not major flaw about the game is that the game modes within Overwatch are a little repetitive. Each game mode requires holding a location and from there you escort it or continue to a different one. The map variation helps switch up the type of gameplay slightly, but it still helps. What mostly changes this is the character you choose to play. Each character can play that map differently, but it still would be nice to see something like a capture the flag or oddball game modes.

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Team Deathmatch: Killing is a major part of shooters, but in consideration to the objective of the game. The players who focus on kills get a little too much praise in the endgame. At the end of each match, the game chooses four people who performed well within the game. About 2-3 of the players chosen are based on kills or killstreaks. The tank or support characters don’t really get noticed for the contribution they put into that match. This is more of a player flaw than the game, but if the game just reduced the amount of people noticed from kills, the other types of characters would have a chance to shine.

Score 8/10

Verdict: Overwatch is a beautifully created world with great back stories and depth to its characters. Losing or winning, you will have a great time indulging in all the fun and new aspects about the game that makes it unique from other first-person shooters. So find a hero you love and prepare to get sucked into countless hours of battle.