Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A week to Overwatch Release: Tales of Beta withdrawal.

My watch has ended.

The Roster
Overwatch (beta) has been such a treat to play. It really is such a refreshing take on FPS game where there is a lot more to winning than just simply killing the enemies. Being forced (gently) to play the objective and above all play as a team is something that I have not experienced for a long long time. There are very little games that incentivizes team-play as well as Overwatch (that are like Overwatch). I can't wait for it's release on the 24th!

What is Overwatch? Well Overwatch is kinda like.. an FPS that revolves around multiple classes that each have their own strengths and weaknesses. There are currently 21 unique heroes and each of them can contribute differently towards a game. Every hero has powerful abilities that can change the flow of the game. The rosters is one of the most colorful and diverse roster I have personally experienced. Each character oozes with personality and you can't help but want to know more about each and every one of these characters. Blizzard (the developers) are also slowing including comics, shorts, and trailers to further flesh out these characters to make you love them more (or hate them more, depending on your view of the character).

"So basically TF2?" Well you are not wrong, and I'd agree there are similar abilities and roles for both TF2. I don't want to go down the road of comparing Overwatch to TF2 or any other games since I believe every game can be fun to play. I'd instead list out what draws me to Overwatch, and what gets me excited about the release of the game.

Support: Mercy
Being acknowledged as a support. Better put some respeck on my name. Yup. That is top of the list. WHY? Honestly if you need to ask that question, you don't play enough support. As for how the game recognizes support players, basically the game keeps track of the number and the statistics related to your support plays. From laying down turrets, to placing armor packs, to providing healing (I NEED HEALING), the game recognizes all these thing and will AT LEAST try to award you if you did a decent job. 1 support minimum is heavily necessary since sustaining a siege without healing or armor is like trying to break a brick with your forehead. Now I am not saying that you will get a pat on the back every time you play as a support, but this is more recognition than most games will ever give to any support player so that they will continue doing God's work. If only DotA had "MEGA HEAL"...

Bastion: Turret
Game changing ultimates. Instantly changing the momentum of your team with the click of a button (Feels good man). Ultimates are a heroes strongest ability that can only be used once it is charged up by securing objectives, kills, or even providing support. Each hero have their unique ultimates, and each have their own distinct function. Bastion, a hero that can transform into a sentry turret will transform into a tank when he uses his ultimate, and will shoot tank rounds that deal massive damage for a limited amount of time.
Bastion: Tank
Ramirez 76 is your typical Call of Duty soldier that will never miss a single shot from his rifle when he turns on his ultimate, which makes him perfect for scrubs. Using an ultimate requires patience and also the knowledge on when to use them. Using an ultimate sub-optimally or getting your ultimate completely countered is the fastest way to losing the round/game. Of course, there is more depth to the game than just using an ultimate to maximum effect, but having a tool and getting nothing out of it is not that great either.

Being able to switch heroes based on the situation. Enemies are utilizing cheese strategies? You might have to switch your hero to be able to counter their strategy, This is one topic that I personally think is slightly harder to talk about since this is a team based game, and sometimes it isn't the lineup that is bad, but simply the approach towards a situation or the lack of chemistry between team members that is the reason behind the loss. But let us just imagine that this is a perfect world where those variables are non-existent. Then the only solution towards tackling a certain situation would be hero switching. The enemies are locked down in a room full of candies traps and turrets? You might need a hero that carries explosives/room clearing weapons. Enemy sniper is absolutely tearing up your team? Tell them to stop poking their heads out under enemy recon visor. You might need to switch to something that can reach their back-lines fast enough and harass their sniper from cleaning up your team. There are so many of these situations that will need tactical hero switching, and this is one of the appeals of the game, every play-style can be countered. Every strategy has its pros and cons. When your hero is getting countered hard by the enemy team's play-style? It is time to switch. This creates a situation where the heroes are dynamically switching from one to another between both teams, which keeps the game-play engaging at all times.

Flashy Character Intro Collectible
Loots. I am a simple man. I love loot. Loot makes losing all the time not feel so bad
(oꆤ︵ꆤo). Cool costumes, intros, emotes and poses keeps the game fresh and visually appealing. Customizing you character with different skins is kinda fun too. Just like going out and buying a superhero figurine. Not much to be said here if you are not a fan of dressing up your character though.

The Vibrant World and its Rich Lore. The world that the game Overwatch is built on is fascinating and enthralling. Every character has their own unique (and for some, cliche) backstory and the character's abilities are tied to their lore. Zenyatta is a robot monk... That shoots prayer beads (if thats what it is) at you. So metal. Killing in the name of PEACE. Just kidding don't kill me please. Genji is a cyborg ninja that shoots shurikens weeb. Characters have distinct interactions with each other too. Which... feels kinda weird when I am teaming up with the "villain" but whatever man. There are also comics and animated shorts to supplement the lore, with the most recent being the Dragons short, which is about Hanzo and Genji. If you have not watched any of the shorts, I'd recommend watching at least 1, you might like it.

Well, to sum it up, with just my experience in the beta, I think that this will be a extremely addictive game that will provide hours upon hours of pure enjoyment. And I am thoroughly excited for the release on Mei 24th. See you soon heroes!

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