Overwatch: It is not often the case that a game is developed and published by the same company – but similar to a number of other things, this game breaks those boundaries. Blizzard Entertainment are behind this game and have also been behind a number of hits like: World of Warcraft, Hearthstone and Diablo III (one of the best games I have played in a number of years). However, none of these previous hits are first-person shooters, and that filled me with slight trepidation.
When you switch on the game, you are treated to a video intro and I really do mean treat. It starts off with Winston (one of the heroes) giving an incredibly motivating speech about how he needs all the heroes to come together, reunite and help save the world once again. After watching the story, it highlights how, once upon a time, all the heroes saved the world but they were rejected by the civilisation and alienated. Now they are all separated and in hiding, but Winston is worried about the world once again and needs them to become the heroes they are.
I have to admit I really loved this video – it was funny, well filmed (well made) and had excellent visuals. It actually inspired me to play this game and complete what I was hoping to be a great story.
Story… Yeh, what story? I would say this is pretty much my only gripe with this game. There’s no darn story mode. Unlike the similar (but not as good) Battleborn game, you actually only have an online mode, and the online mode is number of different team games rather than a particular story. Yes, this annoyed me. Yes, I wanted a story. No, this doesn’t make it a bad game and that must be testament to the guys other at Blizzard.
I have nothing bad I can say about the graphics, so let’s not be critical and let’s talk about the good stuff. Firstly, the characters look absolutely amazing. They are full of fine details ranging from their attire, their weaponry as well as their facial differences. I found myself playing as each character for the first 21 times *just* so I could see what they looked like.
Not only do the characters look great, but so do all 12 of the maps. You go from exploring streets of Mexico in Dorado to jumping around the bright trees of Japan in Hanamura. All 12 maps offer something different, visually, and at times I even found myself running around exploring the maps rather than actually focusing on the mission objective (don’t tell my teammates). What is important, is how I couldn’t notice any change in the frame rate of the game when I was involved in large brawls. This game manages to play and looks good which isn’t always the case with modern games.
The music doesn’t offer anything new to this genre, however, it does provide you with a perfect gaming soundtrack. All the songs you hear follow the same progressive dance sound where, as the music continues, you become more inspired and ready to complete your mission. The voice acting is clear and all the characters’ voices are believable. The general sounds of the game offer that standard online shooting game style, and if I’m honest, they reminded me of Destiny and even Halo at times. This isn’t in anyway a bad thing as many games have tried something new and it hasn’t paid off.
Go to page 2 for more thoughts on the game plus conclusions.
Gameplay: This is an area where this game comes to life. I mentioned early that there are 21 different characters, but what is fantastic is how uniquely each character plays. I don’t mean that one is a little quicker than another, or uses slightly different weapons. I mean, they are pretty much completely different. There are four different types of hero, you have: offense, defense, tank and support characters.
These types fit with the different game modes, starting with Escort where you have to escort cargo to its final destination. You have Assault, where you have to attack or defend a capture point; Hybrid – which is basically a mixture of Escort and Assault and plays exactly the same as the two in their standalone mode. Lastly, is the Control mode where you have to keep control of areas on the map to win the game.
Now it’s time to get technical but not too technical. You will play the maps as a team of six and if you haven’t got a good range of different classes, then you definitely won’t win. When I first started playing, I was acting as if it was Call of Duty and my team kept losing. Now I understand why. You must play this game tactically and I loved that. Some people might choose to be a medic and may eliminate no-one, but they may aid the escorting of the car. They may keep saving your hero who captures the most areas. Each character is important and each character offers something different. At this current time, some characters seem to be unbelievably good, which I found challenging to accept because there are no ways of levelling them up.
Bastion, for example is the character where you will find yourself delivering the most damage. But I don’t think this is a problem with the game because Blizzard have already announced that they are going to change certain scales for the characters and even some up through updates.
Finding out that they can do this has left me even more excited about what they are going to be able to update in the future. You will find yourself playing as all their characters exploring their special moves and annoying your teammates with how you keep doing the wrong moves in the wrong places, but hey, that’s all part of learning. I don’t want to tell you about everything because the secret is definitely in the playing with this game!
Enjoyment: I would say that the game offers a great mixture of tactical gameplay and run and gun. It provides you with a good range of game modes and a strong opening selection of maps. It will only improve when the competitive mode becomes playable, but the AI mode is one of the best AI modes I’ve played. The training is fun and teaches you just about enough to understand how you’re going to play the game. So you may ask, why I have only giving it an 8 for enjoyment? Well, I just can’t accept why there is no story mode.
Am I old fashioned? Maybe, but I love a story mode, and the story is often what I dream about when I sleep at nights, not escorting a car through a map. Saying that, the game itself is great fun, I just feel it could offer that little bit more. Will they release a story mode update – I really don’t think so, but damn I wish they do.
Overall, I feel that this game has everything going for it and will be a game I keep on playing for a long time. I just can’t look past the case that it has no story mode. Maybe I am old fashioned and maybe this shouldn’t bother me but it does and because I am writing the review I get the final say. I still urge you to play this game though. It’s like Guardians of the Galaxy as a game.
- Publisher: Blizzard
- Players: single player campaign, multiplayer: 6v6
- HDTV options: up to 1080p
- Sound: DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Director: Jeffrey Kaplan and Aaron Keller
Producers: Carlos Almeida Jr, Eric Kieron Davis and Lee Sparks
Music: Neal Acree, Derek Duke and Cris Velasco
Symmetra: Anjali Bhimani
Tracer: Cara Theobold
D.Va: Charlet Chung
Widowmaker: Chloe Hollings
Junkrat: Chris Parson
Winston: Crispin Freeman
Reinhardt: Darin De Paul
Zarya: Dolya Gavanski
Zenyatta: Feodor Chin
Soldier: 76: Fred Tatasciore
Genji: Gaku Space
Pharah: Jen Cohn
Lúcio: Jonny Cruz
Roadhog: Josh Petersdorf
Reaper: Keith Ferguson
Torbjörn: Keith Silverstein
Mercy: Lucie Pohl
McCree: Matthew Mercer
Hanzo: Paul Nakauchi
Dr Harold Winston: Greg Chun
Mei: Zhang Yu
I have been a video game player since 1993 and a music fan since I can remember. I studied Film and Journalism at university and ended up becoming a Primary School teacher. Video games changed my life and sent me on the right track and have stayed with me ever since.
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