Overwatch Reviews

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Competitive Mode is a Disappointment

Written by Aragonite

I've been playing Overwatch since release, and while still OK, it hasn't lived up to expectations unfortunately.
The game being objective based is something I find rewarding, and on that front, I have no real complaints. It's not a 'twitch shooter' and it does well to balance it out so that those players don't automatically dominate (although I consider myself pretty good at those). It has a bit of charm beyond its simplicity that it has kept my attention beyond its initial launch. I'm not sure if I would agree with those who claim Overwatch is dying. It still has a market it will entertain, and probably for some time.

However, I was initially super hopeful for Overwatch, and a lot of this was due to the much-hyped addition of Competitive mode on the horizon.

The matchmaking basically doesn't work. This is amplified by playing in a smaller group, or god forbid, alone. You never see competitive games, one team always seems to be stacked.

It basically doesn't work. Rank progression is haphazard and doesn't work as other games do, e.g. Counter Strike. If you're playing ranked and one of the opponent's team leaves, just one, at any time, your rank progression is wiped out. They rarely get punished for this as well. Your time is effectively wasted because someone left the game.

In-game wise, the game still suffers from balance issues. Asymmetric maps can be fine in theory, but it has -has- to be balanced, and there doesn't seem to have been enough attention paid to this. The heroes' balancing also leaves a bit to be desired.

Finally, the server tick-rate is really poor for a shooting game, which messes up the hit detection. The game runs at 20 ticks, i.e. 50ms chunks. Your shooting is effectively recorded at 20 frames per second, even if it feels smooth to you visually. I assume most of the hit detection pain is due to this. This is frustrating enough playing casually, but totally unacceptable for competitive!

Overall, the game is fine, fun to play with your friends as a team in bursts, but if you are used to a serious environment, you will find frustration.
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A Shallower TF2 with Balance Issues

Written by Spyroflax

Overwatch is heavily influenced by Team Fortress 2, and that's not a half-bad game to be influenced by. However, while TF2 has held my attention for years, Overwatch is already seeming a bit repetitive.

While there are a lot of heroes you can play as, you'll find that the game quickly repeats itself. You will see the same heroes over and over again in every game because of the lack of balance. This isn't the fault of the players, because there doesn't seem to be any reason to learn some characters when you can just go Bastion and kick ass.

There is also no story to speak of. Not really. Confusingly, Blizzard's animated shorts in the last few months don't seem to have any reason to exist outside of promotional material, because it just doesn't matter in-game. There is no single-player, so it doesn't have any way to showcase a story or a universe. I am not saying Overwatch should have provided a campaign, as it was always going to be an online thing, but it feels like a lost opportunity and sloppy for Blizzard. You have Heroes and Villains on the same side and it doesn't make too much sense. This may just be the Blizzard fan-boy in me speaking out however.

Also disappointing is that in addition to the lack of balance leading to repetition, the amount of content suggests that this should have been free to play, or at least cut price, rather than sold as a triple A title. This impression is further compounded by the fact that microtransactions exist within the game. I feel there simply isn't enough value in the game to justify handing over $60 dollars, and I feel that Blizzard is taking its fan base for granted slightly, because it knows that no matter what it puts out, it will sell very well. It's very possibly this will change as time goes on, and that more content will be added making it worth its $60 price tag, but at the moment, I don't think it is. It has only 2 game modes, 12 maps and 21 characters only in theory.

The foundations of Overwatch are good, and it's not a 'bad' game, but I don't feel it's worth it due to the balance issues and lack of content at the moment.
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Struggling to Live Up to the Hype

Written by Kayox93

Overwatch has been getting a lot of hype, even after the beta which left me feeling a little empty because of how pumped I was for the game. Having now played the full release, not much has changed and that includes my feelings towards it.
There are 21 heroes and a slew of unlockables. Each hero has unique abilities but I find them unbalanced - seriously unbalanced. This means that the usable set of heroes is lower than the 21 claimed. It's possible that Blizzard will balance this, but as the game is now out that will cause a lot of pain for people who are learning it this now and so I do not this this is too likely. This is my main complaint about the game. Many of the heroes just don't take a lot of skill to master, meaning the longevity for me isn't what I was hoping for.
Furthermore the game is a little low on the content side when you don't count the unlockable content. You can get to grips with all the maps and heroes in one session. Already, the same game modes and scenarios are repeating but this isn't that big a criticism because I find some of the map design to be truly great. However, as everyone can switch heroes at any time, it seems to make it even easier for no one to ever go support. I find myself wishing for quotas which a team must meet and encouragement to master a role. Regardless, I think there might be more content eventually from Blizzard that is hopefully free. I would look forward to even more greatly designed maps.
The mechanics feel nice to me, the shooting along with the movement is well done, and as a straight team shooter it has nice potential. But the hit detection is not as good as some other games. I believe the netcode is not optimized as well as it could be, as sometimes I found myself dying when my character had already become obscured by a wall, but the game dragged me back to die. I don't know if this will improve in updates but I am hopeful.
For team games, certain heroes are important, but outside of that arranged gameplay it is disappointing. The quick game mode is just short, messy bursts that serve to annoy rather than give any satisfaction in playing. It tries to be a FPS MOBA, and if this is what you are looking for, you are unlikely to be happy with the game, because it does not have the tactical depth I was wishing for. I may have been spoiled, as I have been playing League of Legends for close to half a decade, but Overwatch has not met what I was expecting, and I feel it is too easy to reach your potential in this game and so the range of player ability is not as interesting.

Kind Regards

Rodriguez (Kayox93)