Blizzard’s new FPS Overwatch is undoubtedly one of the most successful games released in 2016 for PC and is on track to become one of the largest and best eSports in the world in the next few years.
Blizzard seemingly were inspired by both Team Fortress 2 (TF2) and League of Legends to make this game. As a former casual TF 2 player I can say a lot of elements from the game are present in Overwatch. In TF2 there were 9 or so different classes that you could play as, and you couldn’t modify their equipment or abilities. Overwatch also uses this system. The two Heroes you see above Lucio (left), and Mercy (right) are both healing heroes who help other allied heroes. These supportive heroes calls to the rigid role defining of League of Legends, or any MOBA for that matter. This isn’t like Call of Duty or Counter Strike, where everyone is running around with a sniper rifle or assault rifle. In this game different heroes have different weapons and uses. And for all you CS:GO players who don’t what to do with yourself since Dust2 is down for a rework you might as well try out Overwatch because who even plays Mirage or any of those other maps?
The most successful and engaging thing they adapted from League of Legends was the addition of abilities. Heroes in Overwatch don’t just run, jump, and shoot. They each have special abilities, some of them can fly, some of them can leap across the map, others give shields, or build turrets, each hero has a different ability they can use to impact the game. They each also have an “ultimate” ability that is their strongest or more impactful ability that they have to charge to be able to use. Mercy, the hero above, is able to resurrect her teammates who have recently died, arguably the most impactful ultimate in the game, if you can do it right.
The game doesn’t have a story mode or a campaign, but rather it is a 6v6 team game. Each team can pick out of the pool of heroes, but you can only have one of each hero on a team. Typically teams use a composition that involves 2 damage per second heroes, 2 supportive heroes, and two defense/tank heroes.
What distinguishes Overwatch from other games like it is its blend of arcade style and competitive elements. Because heroes never run out of ammo, and the seemingly teeny bopper characterization of heroes the game has a much less realistic feel than other games hardcore fps players are familiar with. For example, the hero below is Mei, a supportive/defensive hero, who can instantly create a massive wall of ice to isolate targets or protect her team. This is definitely not reminiscent of what you would find in other traditional fps games. With a unique arcade like style Overwatch is visually appealing to all ages, but despite the “casual” looking graphics it takes a lot of skill to play the game at a high level and because of this it has a flourishing competitive scene.
I played competitive in season 1, its currently in season 3. I peaked at a very high rank season 1, I was in the top 15% of PC players when I quit playing in season 1. The lack of toxicity in Overwatch was unbelievably refreshing coming from League of Legends where toxicity runs rampant. What was even better was as Season 1 was starting up so was the eSports scene. Those of you that have followed my League articles in the past know I am a huge Cloud 9 fan and C9 has one of the best Overwatch teams in the world. Blizzard must be incredibly happy with the games development given major tournaments are already starting up all over the world, there is a pro league in Korea, and even a world cup for Overwatch already took place this early in Overwatch’s lifespan.
I would have to say though that what makes Overwatch so much better than other FPS games and why you should own this game is because it’s a great blend between a plethora of different game genres and it’s a game you can play just for fun or a game you can get serious about and try to be one of the best in the world at. With a wide blend of different heroes with different playstyles, it will be easy to find something that you enjoy playing and provides a rewarding experience.
Origins Edition- $60
This gives access to the game as well as a host of different in game, and other Blizzard game related content. Most notably it gives 5 locked skins that can only be acquired from purchasing the Origins edition. Two of these skins, the Tracer, and Soldier 76 skins were very popular around release as neither had a very good collection of skins, and though I don’t play the game as much, they still seem to be very popular among those who own the skins.
The access to game modes, and the quality of the game do not change with this edition, it just gives a lot of unique in-game content. I would not recommend getting this edition.
Standard Edition- $40
The standard edition gives standard access to everything Overwatch has to offer besides the extra skins. I would recommend getting this version of the game, and I believe it’s possible to upgrade to the Origins version for $20 at a later date. That being said, unless you really love several of the Origins-only skins, I would recommend spending that extra $20 on loot chests that grant you in-game content like skins, voice lines, emotes, and other awesome little extras.
Be sure to check the system requirements for the game, it is a rather gpu intensive game but well worth getting if you have the time/money to do so. This is just the first article in a series that will chronicle the 5 games every PC gamer should own. If you have any comments leave them below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.