If you’re looking for a new multiplayer game to sink your teeth into, you might turn to Overwatch, Blizzard’s (developer of World of Warcraft) big, brand-new property in close to two decades.
Overwatch is a class-based first-person shooter that has drawn many comparisons with other class-based shooters, particularly the immensely popular Team Fortress 2.
With over 1,000 people dropping by Capitol Theatre for the launch in Singapore, the game is decidedly well-received. But what is it about Overwatch that reels people in?
A Lush World And Vibrant Characters
Even more than Team Fortress 2, Overwatch pulls focus onto its colourful cast of characters.
The design of each hero character is striking and bursting with distinct personality which extends to their own unique set of skills – meaning they each attack, defend, and manoeuvre in different ways.
Fights can seem frantic, but you get to play out with the spectacle and organised chaos of a comic book splash page as a result.
With 21 playable characters to choose from (and rumours of a couple more hidden characters), players are spoilt for choice. Players are encouraged to explore too; you can switch up heroes any time mid-match as long as you’re in your base. With each character seeming so fully-realised, I was tempted to look up all of their backstories even before I started playing.
Even the beautiful environments in Overwatch are filled with charm. For example, shooting a range of bells in a Mexican city lets players produce fun melodies, while a Hollywood backlot allows you to shoot at buckets of popcorn, sending popcorn flying everywhere in comedic fashion. Little touches like these breathe life into maps that would be otherwise sterile.
Furthermore, given the wide array of abilities and character types, total precision doesn’t feel entirely necessary, creating a game that’s incredibly easy for even casual gamers to pick up and play. That being said, here are some essential tips you should be mindful of:
1. Learn The Characters And Their Strengths
Sure, eventually you’ll probably stick to a couple of heroes you like, but understanding what each hero is capable of will help you play better. Knowledge of each character will not only hone the character you’re playing, but also help you anticipate the opposing team’s moves.
Additionally, the flashy moves and audio cues characters make along with their attacks communicate ultimate moves and other tactical information. For example, if you hear an enemy shout something like “IT’S HIGH NOON!” or “JUSTICE RAINS FROM ABOVE!”, get the hell out of there quickly!
The game also offers helpful and relevant information about characters during a match, so don’t ignore them.
2. Play A Class You’ll Excel With
The heroes in Overwatch are divided into four classes — Offense, Defense, Tank, and Support. During team composition, the game offers helpful team tips to guide you to a balanced team. If your team is lacking a support hero, maybe try playing as one this time instead of your usual offense hero. Besides, every character is fun to play.
The classes also pretty much define your role in the match. For example: One of my favourite characters is Mei, a Chinese climatologist with an ice gun. As a defense character, I can create ice pillars to block halls and corridors to wall off enemies or even split them up. I can also freeze enemies to momentarily halt their assault.
Tanks are better at taking hits, so they should jump into a fight and cause chaos, providing enemies with an enticing target to shoot at while your allies do most of the killing. Support classes should stay close to teammates to provide buffs and heals, but also hang back because the opposing team will be gunning for you.
Being able to switch up heroes during a match also means that you aren’t stuck in your role. And as the battle rages on, you may want to be actively changing characters to suit different needs.
3. Teamwork Is Key, Grab Some Friends!
Overwatch is a game that demands teamwork. Running off on your own to confront enemies is an easy way to get yourself killed. Overwatch places emphasis on completing objectives, supporting, and healing as much as it does plain ol’ killing.
Peeling back the layers upon layers of overlapping systems is an exciting and rewarding learning experience, and working in a team has never been more fun. I can’t wait to jump into another match of Overwatch.