Overwatch is the first orginal IP by Blizzard in 17 years. Released on the 24th of May this year, it was really good as it killed all other competitors when it was released for a while. The class-based first person shooter is out on the XBox One, Playstation 4 and PC.
First and foremost, the gameplay is really smooth, it is unbelievably easy to pick up any hero in the game. It is easy to get used to a certain hero but really hard to master him or her with a few exceptions. There are 4 multiplayer modes, Quick Play, a multiplayer match with a bunch of people around your skill level, vs AI, a multiplayer match against AI bots, Competitive, where everyone is playing their best against you and Arcade, where there is a special theme for every week.
Unlike the tactical shooter Rainbow Six Siege, Overwatch has all 22 playable characters unlocked at the start. Each character is very unique to their core, in short Bastion and Widowmaker are polar opposites, though they are defenders. Since everyone has unique abilities, certain heroes mixed with others create a deadly duo or trio. For example, Bastion and Reinhardt is a lethal pair. Bastion mows down enemies effectively while Reinhardt soaks up all damage with his Barrier Shield. That said, every hero has a counter too. Bastion with a minigun might shred your team apart, but Genji’s deflect is a good way to kill a Bastion. That said, some matches are an endless game of rock paper scissors as both teams keeps on swapping heroes to counter the other team.
The maps are really distinct from each other. Dorado and Route 66 may be Payload maps, but they play really differently, Route 66 is more ‘sniper-friendly’ with all the high ledges while Dorado has many routes to ambush or flank. Each map is hand-crafted till the point that playing Payload on Hanamura feels odd. Each map is well crafted, with secret ledges and pathways for both sides to utilise to their potential. Blizzard also pays lots of attention to intricate details. On the last point in Hanamura, you can see Hanzo’s arrows and Genji’s shurikens all over the place, Junkrat’s grenade launcher has a flap that bounces around while moving.
That said, Overwatch is strictly multiplayer only with a handful of modes on a few maps. Yes it is fun to watch jaw-dropping Play of the Games and surprise everyone with a comeback, but if you play long enough, it becomes really boring. To earn boxes to customise whichever character you have picked up is really slow too, you earn these Loot Boxes everytime you level up, at higher levels, it becomes an endless grind to look good with your ‘main’.
All in all, Overwatch is a masterpiece when it comes to meeting the requirements of a multiplayer first person shooter, excelling at the balacing the characters. However, the Origins Edition is not worth it if you are on PC and do not play any other games, which costs you around 80SGD.