- + Addictive nature
- + Easy to pick up and play
- + Great range of characters
- - No XP levelling system for individual characters
Want to look beyond the score? Check out the full review below…
Start Replay: “Which hero, which hero?!”
Welcome to Overwatch, the newest addition to Blizzard’s already impressive roster. Many, many, many hours will be spilt into the addictive, enjoyable and competitive nature of this game.
Overwatch revolves around 21 heroes who were once part of the taskforce called “Overwatch”. They were the protectors of planet Earth but, due to their differences and their negative image in the public eye, they disbanded. Years have passed and they’ve now been tasked to return to the fight and protect Earth. Just from that short description it sounds like there would be a hefty amount of story to this game, but there isn’t. If you’re looking for juicy stories on each character or gritty relationships between them then I’m afraid, you’ll have to read up about that. There’s a fair amount of lore behind each character and the team as a whole; I’d highly recommend you read it all.
As mentioned, there are 21 heroes for you to play as, each with different strengths and weaknesses. You have offense, defence, tank and support. Offense and defence heroes are self-explanatory, whereas Tank heroes are there to absorb damage; they usually have a form of shield to protect them for extended periods of time. Support heroes have the job of making sure their team mates are in good health. This can also extend out to the enemy team, but instead of healing, they will place negative effects on them.
Picking your hero will depend on the map, the game mode and the rest of the team structure. For example, if no one has selected to be a support hero, it’s always a good idea to have one. This can also be said with tank heroes. But then again, it’s entirely possible to win a game with a team full of offense heroes. It can depend, also, on the skill level of the other players. I personally enjoyed playing as offense heroes. They’re agile, can zip around the map quickly, and, if played right, can be devastating in big team fights. If you prefer to run on ahead or flank the enemy, then they work great in 1v1 as well.
There are 12 maps in total and each map will pit 6 heroes against another team of 6. The map decides the game mode. The modes are assault, escort, hybrid escort and control. Assault requires one team to defend a point and the other team to capture it. Escort sees one team escorting a payload through the map to get to a final destination. Standing near it makes it move but if the enemy team is near then it will stop. The hybrid game mode is the same as escort but you have to capture a point before the payload is released. And lastly, control, is when both teams fight for the same point, it’s best of three rounds. These game modes will suit different heroes. If you’re playing a game on control, then you may not see the need for a support hero as it’s all about attacking then defending the point. Having as much fire power as possible can really help.
As well as these game modes you can also play against AI, if you fancy practising first. Or you can head to the practise range to get a feel for each heroes’ abilities. Lastly there is a weekly brawl mode. This mode changes each week and adds a fun twist to the usual game modes. Last week was called Arcade wherein all the abilities and super abilities recharged twice as fast. It made for a very hectic and fast paced game mode. This week is Super Shimada Bros; you’re only allowed to play as one of two heroes who are, yep, you guessed it, brothers. This weekly brawl really brings a fantastic change of pace to the usually games played. If you’re getting bored of the usual game mode, then give this a try.
Each hero has over 50 unlockables in the form of skins, emotes, victory poses, voice lines, sprays and highlight intros. You can unlock these via loot boxes, you receive one each time you level up. You can also purchase these via the native store, PSN or Xbox, but they only give you aesthetic items, not worth spending money on.
Overwatch truly is a fantastic game but it could be better. At the time of writing this I only have two gripes; levelling up and groups. I wish there was more of a personal feel to each hero. Whilst you gain XP to increase your overall level, it would be nice to have some kind of levelling mechanic for each hero. This wouldn’t make the heroes more powerful, no, it would just allow for some more unique skins or emotes that give each hero a personal touch.
With groups, they’re not very well thought out at all. I mean don’t get me wrong, they work how they should; your friends can join then you can all go play a game together. But if the group leader leaves the game it doesn’t bring everyone else out as well. On many occasions I’ve found myself in another game without my friends. And what’s more annoying after that is that you then have to re-invite all your friends into the group again.