Scripted Gaming – Overwatch

You wanna know my thoughts on Overwatch? I’ll give you might thoughts on Overwatch (as if you didn’t already know).

I’ll make this as crystal clear as I know how. Overwatch is an extremely enjoyable experience… most of the time. Like any game, it has its hiccups, but it’s predominantly a blast to play, especially with friends. No one is more surprised by this than myself, however. After all, I’ve made well known that I’m not the biggest fan of the FPS (First Person Shooter) genre. My reasons are multiple, but suffice it to say that anything of that genre had better try really hard to impress me, by offering something both easy to pick up and play, and fresh and enjoyable for me, personally.

Overwatch succeeds in the first category by miles, given its almost RPG-like play-style of characters each having individual roles that you try to capitalize on. At the same time, however, it’s far more simplistic a system than something like Battleborn or most FPS games, where customization, ammunition, loadout, and all manner of other factors get in the way of my just enjoying shooting things. But where Overwatch truly shines is in the second category. Overwatch is a departure from the general FPS template, not just in gameplay, but in style. It doesn’t focus on gritty realism, or even any sort of war. It’s bright. It’s colorful. It’s absurd. It’s funny. For crying out loud, one of the characters is a talking Gorilla and another is a cyborg ninja. There’s a robotic monk, a couple of Mad Max wannabes, and a ton of other extremely colorful characters. But it’s the sheer volume of hidden lore in the game that truly sells it. Hearing characters interact with one another, and with the different maps yields all kinds of information about the world. And that’s without getting into the comic or other background information.

However, as I said, no game is perfect. Overwatch does have its issues. To be fair, many of them aren’t even the fault of the game, itself. Many of the issues with the game revolve around either dishonest players, many of which Blizzard has banned from the servers, and people who don’t seem to recognize that Overwatch is a team game. These are the people who, instead of watching the point, will up and run off on their own, leaving one person behind on the point to defend it so when the enemy manages to push by the first line of defense (which will happen), that one poor sucker is forced to fight on the point alone. In case you can’t tell, yes, I am often that poor sucker left to defend the point by himself. There are other synergy issues as well. Whole teams refusing to choose healers is a big one, often forcing me to pick Mercy. As much as I love playing Mercy (especially now that I have that sweet Valkyrie costume for her), I’d like to play someone else, from time to time. Simply put, the game’s community (at least on PS4) doesn’t seem overly open to the idea of team play.

Stepping away from that, however, let’s just chat about the “Play of the Game” feature. I have a beef with this system. It isn’t particularly salt regarding the rarity of my getting a PotG when I’m playing anyone other than D. Va (who I seem very good at getting PotG’s with, for some reason). This is about the brokenness of the system. Now, Blizzard has gone on record saying they intend to tweak and fix the system. I greatly appreciate that. Because so many times I and other players have been snubbed for PotG by something as bogus as a Torbjorn player standing perfectly still while his turrets do all the work, or a Bastion player slipping into turret mode and just holding down one button while not moving at all to mow down hordes of enemies that don’t see it coming. Meanwhile, I can have a play like this—

 

And somehow lose the PotG to a Mei who just activated her Ultimate and failed to kill a single enemy. Yes. That happened. And it was extremely irritating. And all of this is to say absolutely nothing of how borderline impossible it is for Mercy to get a PotG in a match where literally any other character is present. The Highlight feature offers little consolation, since most times it’ll save highlights of moments in a match that were nowhere near your best plays in it, forcing you to rely on capture cards or whatever your system’s sharing option (thank you PS4 share button).

I adore Overwatch. I truly do. It’s like Super Smash Bros meets the FPS genre. Simply put, it’s fun. So I can’t wait for Blizzard to address this issue further. Here’s hoping they work out the issues with the PotG system, while PS4 players look to bloody coordinate with one another. Until then, game on, everyone. Thanks for reading.
Keep up the awesome, and take care,
Chris V.

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