Overwatch: Release Date and First Impressions

“CAPTAIN! Great news!”

“What is it?”

“We have a release date!”


For some reason, I thought of  time-pirate and imagined if the captain was a video gamer and-

For those of you who are following Overwatch, Blizzard Entertainment’s latest venture into a new genre, we now have a release date and an open beta!

Overwatch2For those of you who aren’t keeping tabs, Overwatch is a multiplayer FPS that incorporates a ton of gameplay elements and unique, quirky characters into a MOBA-esque frame. Just like Team Fortress 2 did, Overwatch focuses on the co-operative aspect, with teams of six duking it out with their guns and abilities in a battlefield to complete an objective, whether it’s sending a Payload to an objective or capturing and securing points.

Or you could just get a ton of kills and lose the game. There’s always that option.

With tons of characters to choose from, Overwatch differentiates itself from said counterpart and rival, Team Fortress 2. While TF2 sports a main ensemble of nine playable characters (while allowing you to collect and equip weapons), Overwatch gives you the option of 21 “Heroes”, each with their own equipment, abilities and an ultimate ability. While the former 2 are immediately available to you, the “Ultimates” require you to rack up points by participating in the match to fill up an Ultimate meter before they can be activated.

Personally, when Manfred and I both got to try out the game, I initially felt overwhelmed by the amount of characters. It was one of the reasons why I couldn’t get into TF2, except it was their collection of items that was the cause. For Overwatch, however, the more I got to try out new Heroes, the lesser I got that feeling. Even though I didn’t manage to try out all of the Heroes, I managed to get through about 2/3 of the list.

Following the trend Team Fortress 2 started, Overwatch sports a cartoon-ish, almost Pixar-like graphics that turns the violence down a notch, mostly to allow it a much lower maturity rating (Imagine it Rockstar-style; That would be pretty crazy). There’s very little background music but the sound effects that pop up can feel very rewarding when you succeed, such as pulling in an opponent or freezing one in place. The quotes from various characters also fit in with their lore and backstory. Visuals and sound combined, it breathes life into a genre not known for character development and differentiates every “soldier” into a person.

While the game is currently in closed Beta, the “open-beta” will begin soon but it’s only available if you pre-order the game for its whopping price of $79.90. While I usually think twice to pay for a game at that price, Overwatch feels like it has an experience worth that steep price tag.

At least they didn’t use World of Warcraft’s monthly subscription.

Wesley Tay

Wesley here. When I'm not too busy being trapped in a basement, I'm usually playing video games about war, death, suffering and cupcakes.

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