Overwatch (Beta) – First Impressions

Overwatch Base

Over this past weekend, I spent some time with Blizzard’s new online hero shooter, Overwatch. It’s a genre I generally don’t play, but something about it just looked appealing. I decided to download and try it out on PC and PS4. I’m glad I did, because Overwatch is a fun shooter with some deep character mechanics and a high replay value. This is definitely one to look out for.

As I mentioned, I’m generally not one for the online shooter genre. I’m not great at shooters in general and when you add in the aspect of other (sometimes unpleasant) players, my interest generally goes right out the door. Despite the description associated with it, Overwatch looked to be something quite different from other games in the genre. Whereas games like Destiny or Call of Duty require every member of your team to be effective killers, Overwatch lets you play how you want to while still contributing to the success of your team.

Overwatch is about completing objectives, not killing. For this reason, support and defensive characters are crucial to matches. Because of my lack of experience with games like this, I found myself naturally gravitating towards playing support characters. That might sound a bit boring to some people, but I had a blast. Changing roles requires a shift in your goals and mindset for each match. If I was worried about how many enemy players I was bringing down as a support character, I would be constantly disappointed. Instead, I go in with the plan of keeping my team healed up and supported so that they can play their roles. That’s what really sets Overwatch apart from most online shooters, each member of your team is performing different roles with the intention of achieving an overall goal. It’s not about having a team full of quarterbacks.

Overwatch Whole Team

Overwatch has a huge and varied cast of characters to pick from.

Because Overwatch is a game heavily based on playing different classes and styles, it will succeed or fail based on its characters. From what I have seen of the game, it succeeds. While I certainly like some characters more than others, I quickly found myself remembering most of their names and getting familiar with their play-styles. Even though I don’t play her often, I know to never get too close to Mei. She will freeze you and headshot you in no time. I know that I should constantly be moving when playing as Tracer or healing as often as I can when playing as Roadhog. You’ll eventually learn which play-styles and characters suit you, and most likely you’ll stick with those. I’m most effective and comfortable playing as Roadhog or Lucio. Even with that being the case, I found myself often switching to other character just to see what they’re like. It’s a diverse cast packed with interesting and unique abilities.

Of course just talking about how the characters play doesn’t do them justice. Watch my video below to see footage from the beta and check out the characters in action.

The short of it is: Overwatch is a ton of fun. As long as there are no network issues when the game fully launches, it’s set to be a highly enjoyable shooter. I went from being mildly interested to counting down the days until launch. This game is definitely Dweeb approved. Overwatch releases on May 24th for PC, PS4, and XONE.

You can follow me on Twitter @jakecrump.

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