‘Overwatch’ game review
By Mike LeMieux, Contributor
From the creators of World of Warcraft and Hearthstone, Overwatch exploded onto the crowded first-person shooter scene late last month. Culled from the DNA of Valve’s Team Fortress 2 with a pinch of League of Legends, the game features over 20 unique characters with their own gameplay styles and powers. You have standard FPS-man Soldier 76, time-bending Tracer, far-east robot mystic Zenyatta, and’ even a big, talking, laser-toting gorilla named Winston. I could go on about how wildly different the characters look and play; developer Blizzard Entertainment has done a wonderful job including something for everyone, so you’re sure to find at least one character that fits you like a glove.
What sets Overwatch apart from other similar shooters is its approachability and positivity. Overwatch goes out of its way to only ever praise the player. From the end of match “Play of the Game,” which highlights a specific player’s skills, to the post-match voting, when players on either team can give kudos to each other. You have to dig pretty far into the’ menus to find how many times you died or lost, making it much kinder for new players to get into. Even the bright, bloodless graphics of the game are appealing, opting for a slick cartoony style over gritty realism.
Overwatch is not without its shortcomings. For the price—$40 on PC and $60 on Xbox One and Playstation 4—it’s pretty light on content. The package consists of a few variations of online multiplayer, a tutorial and… that’s it. There isn’t any single player content outside of a shooting gallery. While there are many hundreds of goodies to unlock as you play—sprays, new voice lines, and additional costumes for the characters to name a few—they are doled out randomly as you level up, which can be frustrating.
Blizzard is more than happy to sell you more chances to get what you want for cash-money, but even this is left completely to random chance. Eventually you can grind out enough in-game currency, but it’s a long slog. Competitors to Overwatch such as Call of Duty offer more immediate, substantial carrots-on-a-stick to keep you playing.
However, the content problems may be temporary. Much like last year’s Splatoon, Blizzard has promised that all updates in the future will be free forever. It would be harder to recommend a game based on theoretical future content if the base game of Overwatch wasn’t so much fun. The moment-to-moment gameplay more than makes up for the lack of maps or unlocks. Each round will play differently, and the wild swings from losing to winning are a thrill. Overwatch is overwhelmingly entertaining and worth the price if you’ve got some friends to play it with. So grab your gun and remember: heroes never die.