Overwatch Beta Impressions – Ravi
What can I say about Overwatch other than “I am impressed?” First, the game has an awesome advertising campaign. Seriously, go check the cinematic videos out on the games’ YouTube page, they are sick. It kind of makes me wish there was a single player campaign or some sort of movie. Ok, now the actual games. Let me start out by saying that I am not the typical FPS player. My favorite FPS is Team Fortress 2. I love that you are limited in your classes, teamwork is highly encouraged, you can’t pay to win, and it aims to be balanced as well as funny. I have been waiting years for a game that could capture the FPS genre in the same way TF2 has. I confess that I didn’t play TF2 for a single minute while the Overwatch beta was open. I wanted a game that could be funny, balanced, and one that you couldn’t just buy the best characters or weapons. I’d like to say that Overwatch might be that successor I was waiting for.
Throughout the beta, I mainly played three characters, Tracer, D.Va, and Bastion. I used Tracer to get behind enemy lines and make havoc, softening up the enemy for my teammates behind. Bastion was the wall that I used to protect my team whenever we were on the defensive. Of course, D.Va was the vanguard that I used to help my team make that final push to burst through the enemy. I was able to serve in various roles and was given ample time to grow proficient in them. None of them were the “best” character, they were just the ones I enjoyed playing the most. I was happy that the game allowed me to do this. The whole roster is full of diversity and aside from some minor tweaks that are necessary in every one of these types of game, was quite balanced.
Although I did main those characters, playing the game forced me to explore new options. My favorite characters weren’t suited for every situation or match up. I had a game where I was getting nowhere with Tracer on Offense, so I tried out McCree and Genji. While I wasn’t very good with them, I was happy that the game was balanced in a way that made me explore all my options more.
I spent a great deal of time playing with my fellow MPC reviewers. I really appreciated how teamwork was crucial to winning every game. One of our proudest moments occurred when we held off an attacking team for a solid 5 minutes when they were 3 feet from the goal to win a game. However, unlike many other FPS’s, us knowing each other wasn’t necessary to win. Most players understood how to work together and we didn’t need to coordinate at all. It was really refreshing to see people understand their roles and actually perform them instead of racking up scores for personal glory.
Aside from the gameplay itself, I also liked quite a few of the ancillary aspects. The UI for the game is fun and colorful. The game itself is full of color and is a stark departure from the drab blacks and greys of the “standard” FPS nowadays. Each character has some fun lines and some of them *cough Genji’s* were extremely memorable. I also found the best player vote at the end of each match a really nice touch. Hopefully the full game can keep it fresh with new content and modes.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing the game and will definitely be purchasing it when it releases on the 23rd.
Admittedly, I have remained aloof of the media circus surrounding Overwatch. I heard some rumblings about the game but never really became hyped about the release. With record-smashing registrations on the beta, I decided to give it a try during this free trial period. After experiencing the game, I cannot wait for the innovative game’s release. Every character has a unique and interesting move-set that is easy to utilize but hard to master.
I had the chance to play many different characters, but I did have a few favorites throughout the beta.
A good character to start your Overwatch experience is with Soldier: 76. This offense character should be familiar to most FPS shooters, while giving players some context to the larger abilities available to other overwatch characters. (Also, he does have a sweet Cyclops resemblance).
Reaper is more of an enigma in the grand scheme of the game. At first, players will struggle with this stealth character’s teleportation abilities that cause tremendous amounts of stress to his shotgunned victims. Yet as I played a couple round with him I was confident that I could easily vault across the map, leaving a multitude of fallen enemies in my wake. The Grim Reaper follower will have to campaign hard, as most players are likely drawn to Tracer’s specified set of abilities.
The real diamond in the rough was the sloppy tank Roadhog. He’s mean, rough and hard to take down. There’s a significant amount of strategy in this tank’s role on a team. His grapple maneuver will have great utility in the final game. The real exploit of this avatar is his self regenerating ability.
What ended up being my favorite character Mei. While some may write this character off as the lost triplet of the Ice Climbers, Mei is the master of ice walls, consistently slowing and frustrating opponents in play. Mei can be a crucial support character, yet her strategy may not fit everyone perfectly.