Over the past couple of weeks I've been playing a lot of Blizzard's new first-person shooter, Overwatch, and I can confidently say that this game is going to shake up the genre in an amazing way. But my Overwatch journey started a long while ago.
Overwatch has been gathering steam since it's reveal at Blizzcon back in 2014, but I only started following it for a few months now. In that short amount of time where I was observing the game's evolution and the community's growth, Overwatch emitted a ray of hope that captivated me like no other shooter has before. I've been excited for games, but never to this extent.
It's a certain feeling that every multiplayer shooting game should be thriving attain. That oddly relieving feeling when you're losing a match so devastatingly badly, that you should be disheartened, but it doesn't even matter because you're having fun. It's the perpetual smile on your face while you're playing a round with your friends. The sense of reward and accomplishment you get when you correctly collaborate with your team to win a game right at the last nanosecond possible. Overwatch has all of those emotions bundled together with lively characters and gorgeous maps which create a shining shooter wrapped with a welcoming glow.
During the open beta, I didn't know why I was consistently staying up late trying to gauge the powers and abilities of each character teased in the game's trailers. But then it dawned on me. I haven't played a shooter I truly enjoyed since back in 2010 with Bungie's release of Halo: Reach. There have been a lot shooters since then, but the majority have felt dull to me. The same semi-realistic guns, overwhelming violence, and blood spurting out of unknown holes wasn't really my cup of tea. But Halo: Reach was different. I mean, there were guns, violence, and blood but they dealt with it in a slightly different way that made it so much more approachable than other titles.
Most of the weapons were fictional, and a lot of them had amazing effects like the Needler's ability to shoot out crystallized heat-seeking darts at your enemies, or the Energy Sword, a two-pronged sword made out of light energy that could easily slice through unwanted foes. The violence didn't make me feel weird or guilty - I was in space fighting aliens the whole time. It was a nice change from the shooter norm of going to a unknown country and killing unknown minorities. When any human bled it wasn't flooding the room or splashing anywhere, it was very subtle, and when the aliens bled it looked like fruit gushers - a rainbow of colors - an effect that I enjoyed. I've devoted copious amounts of time on since the Halo series, and with all that said, there wasn't a shooter that made me feel the way that Halo did. And it was almost 6 years that I felt that first-person shooter sadness. After hearing all of the hype surrounding the game, I had a strange desire for Overwatch to fill that bullethole in my heart.
Boasting a solid roster of 21 characters on launch day, Overwatch will never leave you bored. If you're ever tired of a Hero's playstyle you'll always have someone else to learn on the battlefield. During the beta I was actually amazed with the amount of character customization that had already been implemented into the game. Every time after you level up you obtain a Loot Crate. Loot Crates are full of customizables that span from victory poses to spray paint tags to one of the giant plethora of Hero skins. All of the characters are truly unique. Even though they all seem so powerful, there's still a serene balance on teams between attackers, tanks, supports, and snipers. They're each equipped with their own particular personality and specific arsenal of tools and abilities that you'll have to familiarize yourself with quickly in order to survive against your opponents - it's a very fast-paced experience.
Overwatch doesn't hide the fact that it's main muse was Team Fortress 2. Instead, it shamelessly draws from the classes, gamemodes, and themes within it's inspiration and enhances each idea to it's full capability. The reason why I'm so attracted to Overwatch rather than Team Fortress 2 or other similar games was because Blizzard made a shooter that was also visually pleasurable. Unlike most AAA shooters, the game isn't dark or gritty. It's fun to look at. Walking around and surveying the in-game world is a treat that I'm grateful to be able to experience. Easter eggs ranging from lore explanations to jokes are hidden all over each map, allowing the player the option to explore or just shoot enemies. The best word to describe Overwatch is vibrant. The visuals and overall graphics give off a jolly aura that would make anyone want to keep coming back to it.
Overwatch has done amazingly since it's release on May 24. Already amassing over 10 million players less than a month since it came out, the spectacular player base success is even more proof that this game is worth playing. It taps into the core feelings that every shooter should provoke, has a great cast of characters and maps that will leave you satisfied for a long time to come. Overwatch is a great game to play with friends and it's a fresh shooter that will be a long-time fan favourite on the Playstation 4.