Friday, 27 May 2016

So what is Overwatch, anyway?

You didn't seriously think we were done talking about Overwatch, did you?

As the title says, what is Overwatch exactly? Overwatch is a first-person shooter, developed and published by Blizzard. As mentioned in my previous post, Blizzard's previous games have included primarily PC only games, including the likes of World of Warcraft.

Amazingly, us console players were treated to the release of Overwatch, and my, how we've lapped it up. With a Beta that was one of the most played things on both consoles during its Closed and Open periods, and the release massively exceeding Blizzard's sales expectations, causing them to struggle to keep up with demand of both physical and digital copies, it's definitely off to a strong start.

It's a multiplayer only game, which caused a bit of disappointment to fans who'd hoped there would be a strong story presence, but with the four animated shorts that have been released so far (and with the promise of more for a "second season"), explaining a rich backstory throughout, as well as small character interactions in-game which more than make up for the lack of a single-player campaign. The various shorts released so far gave insight into one main character at a time (with other characters appearing as enemies, etc) explaining a bit of their history, and showing them in action.

"Recall" follows Winston, a scientist who also happens to be a genetically-engineered gorilla. He is desperate for the days of heroes to return. He struggles to decide whether or not to reunite the agents of Overwatch, whilst Talon agents attack his lab at Watchpoint: Gibraltar.

"Alive" follows Widowmaker, a Talon assassin who is on the hunt in London's Kings Row, trying to track down her prey.

"Dragons" follows Hanzo as he explores the history of the Shimada clan, returning to his family home in Hanamura to reflect on the past, before an unknown assassin comes, and reveals to him a surprising secret.

And finally, "Hero" follows Soldier: 76 as he investigates the Los Muertos gang members and their illegal activities, when he has to step in and save the day for a young girl.

All four shorts are exquisite, and really drive home the stories of these characters, without the need of a traditional story mode in-game. That's not to say we don't hope for some form of story-mode down the line, but for now the multiplayer is enough, as it is fantastic on its own. My favourite of the shorts would definitely have to be "Dragons" (same goes for Allan), as it is beautiful and really well told (not that the others aren't, of course).

There are currently 21 characters to choose from, in four different classes. Offense includes Genji, McCree, Pharah, Reaper, Soldier: 76 and Tracer. Defense has Bastion, Hanzo, Junkrat, Mei, Torbjörn and Widowmaker. Then there's the Tank class, containing D.Va, Reinhardt, Roadhog, Winston and Zarya. And lastly, the Support class, with the fewest characters (currently): Lúcio, Mercy, Symmetra and Zenyatta. And with more characters to be released free of charge in the future, I really can't wait to see how they all play, too.

Each character has a completely different set of weapons, abilities and Ultimates. And each can be very different to master, so it's natural that you'll end up with a favourite or two that match your playstyle well, and that you've comfortably learned how to play best as. For instance, Allan's favourite characters are Hanzo, Genji, Junkrat and Zenyatta - although as of tonight, he's starting to really enjoy playing as Pharah, too. For me, I'm a big fan of Winston and Hanzo, as well as Mercy.

The game is fast paced, fun and very addictive - especially when playing well with a good team. And whilst there have been some buggy moments at times, it hasn't affected the reception of Overwatch at all.

We'll be doing an unboxing at some point tomorrow of the Collector's Edition of the game, and I can't wait to show off some of the artwork from the stunning artbook. So be sure to check back tomorrow for even more Overwatch from us!

What did you think about the animated shorts? How are you liking Overwatch?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x 

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