Overwatch Review: Must-See Details & Screenshots

Whenever Blizzard takes on a new genre, it’s never satisfied with simply matching the best that competitors have to offer. The publisher/developer never settles for anything less than redefining a genre it tackles, making it thoroughly its own. With Overwatch, Blizzard takes on the ragingly popular MOBA genre, adding in first-person shooter elements. The result is nothing short of mesmerizing, if naggingly incomplete.
Game: Overwatch
Consoles: Xbox One (reviewed), PS4, PC
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Release Date: May 24
Just as in MOBAs such as League of Legends, the primary focus is on controlling lanes of access to enemy bases, coordinating with teammates to attack, defend, heal and make strategic sacrifices, all with the eventual goal of a full-on assault that will overpower the opponent at its core and seize the match. The twist here is that you’re locked into a first-person view familiar in most popular shooters, providing more of a visceral feel than the basic graphics and gameplay options that most MOBAs stick with. It’s a refreshing change of pace that gives Overwatch its signature feel, while retaining much of the visceral thrills of Blizzard’s Diablo titles.
The four modes available at launch are more than enough to get you going. Assault is the traditional MOBA slugfest, offering two control points to tackle and take down. Escort requires more finesse, tasking you and your squadmates to protect a moving payload from enemy onslaughts. Assault/escort is a multitasking-based combination of the first two classes, and Control is more of a King of the Hill-type throwdown that prioritizes the time you spend maintaining control of various areas. Assault is destined to be the most popular of the opening group, but the others provide a nice mix to keep things fresh and lively.

Although the game is well-stacked at the outset, packing in 21 characters to play on 12 maps in four game modes, but what stands out isn’t what’s included, but what is missing. Nowhere to be seen is the competitive mode that is sure to become the game’s calling card as it eventually makes inroads into the e-sports world. Blizzard is withholding the marquee feature for fine-tuning, promising it will come in a free update sometime in June. Until then, the Overwatch community will hone its skills in the current offerings, gaining a feel for the characters, maps and weapons.

Overwatch is tough to get a read on this early on in its release, because like Street Fighter V, it’s releasing with key features still missing. As of this writing, multiplayer servers have been live for less than a day, but the more time you spend with the modes and features that are there, the more clear it becomes that there is potential here for a dynamite release with the potential to match the wizardry of Blizzard’s best franchises, such as Diablo, World of Warcraft and Starcraft. That said, there’s no good reason to buy the game until competitive multiplayer is added and the early glitches — such as server outages — are ironed out. That said, it’s tough to stay out of the fray when you see everyone on your friends list having all the fun for themselves right now.


ORDER: Overwatch here

Overwatch Reviews Around The Web:

“Blizzard seems poised to tap into yet another audience—curious but too intimidated by the sheer weight of established brands elsewhere in a popular genre.” –Ars Technica
“It seems clear that Blizzard is going to make eSports a priority for Overwatch. Making sure that it sets a tone of fairness with a hard line against cheating is crucial.” –Game Informer
Overwatch makes a great first impression.” –Kotaku

Overwatch Screenshots

The publisher provided a review copy. 

Order Phil Villarreal’s novel, Zeta Male, here.

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