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HXR Review - Overwatch

The release of Overwatch was some what of an odd one a week or so before it was due to come out. Doing what I do on the blog and Twitter I tend to have my eyes on numerous places all at the same time, so it's a tough for me to focus on just one game and gauge the fan base that is has coming up to that release. On the outside, Overwatch seemed to just blast out of nowhere and onto the must buy lists for seemingly every gamer on every format. I'm still unsure though if this because we are in the drought of decent releases that we always see in the Summer months, or, if Overwatch is that great it deserves all of the fanfare it is getting right now (typing this part of the review before playing it).

Overwatch went from no one talking about it to EVERYONE talking about it in such a short space of time. I mean I couldn't look at social media for longer than two minutes without seeing a story, a video, or something being wrote about it. We've had giant characters popping up all over the world, and not forgetting some of the best trailer/shorts that I've seen in a long time. The question still remained however, is Overwatch worth all the hype?

For those that have not really had an eye on Overwatch at all prior to release it's all pretty simple stuff. The basic summary of the game is that it's an online team-based-shooter, which sees teams of six battling it out on a stage that has you protecting or defending an objective/area from the other team to get the win. The game is all online, as there is no story or campaign to speak of at all in the game. So chances are if you're not a guy/girl who's enjoyed these types of games before, then already I can tell you Overwatch is not going to be the game for you.

I will focus on my negatives for Overwatch first before I talk about the ton of good stuff the game does offer, but we of course have to have a little chat about the format.

Coming into playing Overwatch, it's pretty hard not to see what normally would be a game format that would see a release as a free-to-play title, with the game being all online and only a handful of modes to play with. My one worry and negative point would be that Overwatch might get a little dull and repetitive if you fully decide to sink a ton of your time into it like gamers would do other shooters. It's for this reason that I've found myself limiting to how much time I actually played the game when loading it up, with an hour or so blast of it every now an then just to give me my fix, just so I wouldn't hear myself mutter the words "not this mode/map again". Over time though I would assume Blizzard are going to stop it becoming stale by adding new maps and modes in after the success it has seen since release. As outside the lack of modes the game pretty much hits a homerun in every other department.
The pull back the game has is not just how great the game feels to play, but also the characters you get to play with playing a massive role in the likability that the game has. It would be easy for one of the 21 characters available for you to choose from in Overwatch to be a little dull and not worth trying out. But what the game does really well is make each one different and unique, making each character have something different to them and almost forcing you to try them all. Of course a few hours in and then you will start to find yourself having a couple of goto characters in each group, but this of course depends on what characters you're other team mates go for, as the key to victory is a well balanced team in Overwatch.

All 21 characters are split into four groups, those groups being offense, defense, tanks, and finally support.

Offense are good characters to play if you're not afraid of some close combat play. Characters such as Reaper who I spoke about on a recent post here, to the seemingly overused Tracer are both good ones to try out in this group.

Next up Defense, and in this group people tend to use the likes of one man robot Bastion, sniper queen Widowmaker, and turret building basta** that is Torbjörn. I don't hate him really, well only when the other team has a few of them, making it a pain in the ass to break through.

Tanks are exactly what they say they are, and while there are a few to choose from my love goes to D.VA. Just something about her since the beta made me enjoy playing as her, as not only is she deadly in her mech but she can also handle herself outside of it when the opponents blow it up.

Then we have the group many overlook, and it's left to people like me to sacrifice my own pleasure as we try our best to take our team to victory. Having a decent support on the team will help victories come a lot easier, with Lúcio and Mercy being the ones I tend to go for. The only downside to using one of these characters is that team mates tend to forget that you need them to have your back in combat to help you do your job to help keep them alive/ boost a certain attribute. So keep that in mind if you see someone go with one of these characters.

Now there is also one downside to the characters too, but the issue is more the people playing than the game itself. I touched on it earlier about Torbjörn and when on defense people using two or three of him when playing the game. This also gets even stupider when people use the likes of Widowmaker when your job as a team is to attack something. So having say 3 of these characters on your team sitting way at the back of the map is just making the gamers closer to the objective trying to secure it even harder to do. Sure they may pop a few heads back there, but there is a high chance you will spend most the game dying while they miss shots on the multiple enemies you are under attack from. So yeah, just have a bit of sense when on the character selection screen, as it gives you pointers for a reason. Overwatch is a team game, it's not fun or clever to go at a match just for self gain, you're a team.

Then we have the final piece of Overwatch and that's unlockables and ranking up. The second pull back for you to play the game is earning loot boxes and coins, so you can buy and unlock things for your character to equip. You can of course go the weak person way of buying loot boxes with real money, which kind of defeats the object of having any sort of sense of satisfaction when getting that expensive item you just bought for your favourite character, but whatever floats your boat people. You will earn a loot box every time you rank up in the game, with each loot box giving you 4 items  that will be anywhere between common to legendary. You can tell Tthe difference by the colour of the counter that spins in the air when unlocking the box. White is common, Rare is blue,  Epic is purple, and wrapping things up Legendary is gold. Netting yourself a duplicate item will see the game giving you some coins in return for that item you just unlocked again. Sadly at the present time this is the only way to get coins for yourself, with the only other option being the loot box gifting you some currency as one of the items you unlock. It would have been nice to see challenges or something which you could complete to unlock a bit of coin too, so hopefully this is something looked at in the future. Check out the below image to see what sort of items the loot boxes will throw at you, with all items listed on the left side of the image below.

Overall: I'm not normally an objective type gamer when it comes to my shooters, but Overwatch has indeed sunk its claws into me and become a game I can't get enough. Sure it lacks in modes right now. But even without tons of those, the game is still a ton of fun to play, and much like shooters such as Garden Warfare it breaks down that wall where fun and enjoyment comes first.

Oh and one more thing before I leave, please stop putting this game in the same bracket as Battleborn. I've seen many people put these two games in the same bracket in recent weeks, and I would bet my life these same people are the ones who think Battlefield and COD play the same too. Battleborn plays more like a Borderlands game, where Overwatch plays more like games such as Garden Warfare. Seeing them pitted against each other is just totally stupid. Both offer their own thing, just enjoy them both and stop feeling the need to make every game have an arch enemy.

+ Fun to Play
+ Every Character is unique
+ Looks bloody gorgeous

- Teams being able to fill themselves with the same character


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