A diverse cast of heroes and villains with an equally diversified set of abilities makes Overwatch a completely unique FPS multiplayer experience.
Overwatch is without a doubt, one of the most diversely entertaining first-person shooter experiences I have ever had, especially for a title that focuses so heavily on multiplayer (because it only has multiplayer for now but that could soon change).
Soldiers. Scientists. Adventurers. Oddities. In a time of global crisis, an international task force of heroes banded together to restore peace to a war-torn world: OVERWATCH.
Overwatch ended the crisis, and helped maintain peace in the decades that followed, inspiring an era of exploration, innovation, and discovery. But, after many years, Overwatch’s influence waned, and it was eventually disbanded.
Now, conflict is rising across the world again, and the call has gone out to heroes old and new. Are you with us?
The Overwatch official website showcases plenty of backstory with gameplay and cinematic trailers, comics featuring the heroes, as well as artwork and other media content to fill you in if you need.
There really is a lot going in Overwatch’s character roster. Offense, Defense, Support, Tanks, they’re all here. Each character has their own set of unique abilities and weapons, most of which you won’t see on another character (a bunch have guns, but no two guns are alike). At first I considered playing Tracer as I did in the Beta, but considering she is the poster-character for the game, I assumed most players would pick her and I wanted to try out someone a little different, so I chose Reaper (offense) instead.
Imagine Batman with dual Hand Cannons, and you have Reaper.
As Reaper, it took a little getting used to lining up and getting good with his dual Hand Cannons, which I didn’t realize fired continuously upon holding down left click (I constantly pressed left click as fast as I could, wondering why I was never shooting as smooth as someone else playing Reaper). Once I figured that out, which should’ve been obvious from the get go, I started playing around with Reaper’s distance teleport ability, called Shade Step, which literally could bring you across the map or up to high ledges or rooftops. After a few games of getting the hang of it, I decided to switch it up and go with an entirely different approach. That is when I discovered Zenyatta.
Robot Monks are totally in right now.
Zenyatta is a Support class, meaning that while he does damage, that is not his primary purpose, and neither is having a strong damage resistance. Instead, Zeny has abilities that increase the amount of damage dealt to enemy players, and healing abilities towards players on his own team, while regenerating health himself. Sounds neat, but Zenyatta has a 3-Star difficulty level, meaning among all characters, he is a lot harder to master. Despite this, I found comfort in using him effectively as a distance sniper while healing my teammates, earning consistent Kill Streaks, which racked up an 18 Kill Streak, and 29 total Eliminations (my personal best). Though that may not be his primary intended use, he was much easier to work with over Offense class characters like Tracer, a 2-Star difficulty I played in the Beta, and Reaper, a 1-Star difficulty.
Zenyatta is an omnic monk who wanders the world in search of spiritual enlightenment. It is said that those who cross his path are never the same again.
Years ago, following the Omnic Crisis, a group of outcast omnic robots experienced what they described as a spiritual awakening. They abandoned their preprogrammed lives to establish a communal monastery deep in the Himalayas. After many years of meditation on the nature of existence, they came to the belief that they were more than artificial intelligences and that, like humans, they possessed the essence of a soul.
Recognizing the spiritual equality they held with humans, the monks, led by the enigmatic robot known as Tekhartha Mondatta, sought to heal the wounds caused by the Omnic Crisis a generation earlier and bring humans and robots back into societal harmony. Their message was embraced by millions around the world, and they became global celebrities.
But one monk, Zenyatta, disagreed with this new direction. He believed that the way to repair the problems between humans and omnics was not through dogmatic teaching but through interpersonal connection and engagement.
Ultimately, Zenyatta followed his own path. He chose to leave the monastery and wander the world, helping those he meets to overcome their personal struggles and find inner peace. But, when necessary, he will fight to protect the innocent, be they omnic or human.
Combine Zenyatta’s Orb of Discord, an energy projectile that attaches itself to an enemy and increases their damage intake, with his Orbs of Destruction, and you have yourself a pretty effective mid-range to long distance fighter, which he would need to be as a Support class. However this can be tough at times when you need to be in the middle of battle using your Super Ability, Transcendence, which makes you invulnerable, but unable to attack, while creating an aura around you that replenishes the health of your teammates.
Without a doubt, Zenyatta has become and will remain my primary combatant, at least until I come across another character that fits my style and PVP comprehension better.
There are 3 total Game Modes at launch, with a fourth coming in June in the form of Competitive Mode. They are Escort, Assault, and Control, with a Hybrid mode that simply combines two of the other modes into one match.
The primary objective is to move a Payload, a transport vehicle with arbitrary supplies, across the map to a delivery point. There are multiple stops along the while, with barriers and gates that keep the Payload from progressing forward, requiring the Attackers to deal with the opposing Defender team slowing down the Attackers progression until the clock reaches 0:00.
In Assault, multiple capture points on the map must be taken over for control of said points (though this mode is similar to the actual Control Game Mode, it does differ). The Attack team focuses on capturing the objective, and the Defender team must protect the control point until the timer hits 0:00.
Like Assault, two teams face off in controlling zones, the primary difference being the first to 3 wins. With one team on the Control area at a time, that team earns progress until an enemy player steps in to contest and stop progress. Whoever gets to 100% control, wins that round, with each round seeing a different Control area on a random location on the map.
At the end of matches, players may earn Loot Boxes, which when opened, provide random cosmetic items for random characters in the game. Like most loot-based games, items drop in varying colors depending on their rarity. Common items are white, Rare – blue, Epic – purple, and Legendary are orange. Through the in-game menu, players can access the Loot Boxes where, 3-4 items can drop at a time, though you can only open one Box at a time. You can, if you choose, purchase Loot Boxes in large quantities ranging from $4.99-$49.99.
Loot Boxes can drop any combination of eight available rewards, all with random levels of rarity.
- Player Icons
These things are like emblems, or flair that you can place by your player profile. Show-off random icons like a jar of peanut butter (like me), or show-off something from the game.
Skins are random, and do not drop based on the character you have. When I was playing as Zenyatta, I opened about 45 crates and only got one Zenyatta skin. However, with the in-game currency you earn from winning matches (or Loot Box drops) you can buy cosmetic items, such as Rare, Epic, or Legendary skins (which I did for Reaper and Zenyatta both).
Taunt enemies and cheer on allies with a series of new in-game emotes.
Make a mark on the battlefield with graffiti-like sprays based on heroes, maps, logos, and more.
- Voice Lines
These are basically like lines of dialogue that you can buy and equip to your character, but just like skins, you can not equip VLs from other characters. So Reaper’s VL would not work on Zenyatta, and vice versa.
- Victory Poses
Strike a pose and tailor how a hero appears in one’s team’s photo finish.
- Highlight Intros
Add a little flair to Plays of the Game with special animated introductions for each hero.
- Currency (Gold Credit)
From my personal experience, Credits have a tendency to drop between 50-150 pieces at a time, unless you get a Gold Chest, which will contain a lot more.
Overwatch is crazy fun. After 3 hours of playing, I was introduced to new maps, new player abilities, and endless fun. Though it is too bad we do not have a campaign or more backstory available in-game, there is so much here to curb your Overwatch appetite that you forget about those things in the middle of the chaos of any multiplayer matches. Plus, with so many characters, it will take a lot of your time trying to find the perfect character and play style that suits you.
Final Score 4.5/5