Tuesday, 31 May 2016

My BETA experience with Overwatch

I've played a lot of Overwatch during the open beta, and it... was... sweet! The gameplay is so addicting and satisfying that it got me hypnotized over and over. It's the kind of game that doesn't take itself serious, there's no real story, yet it's brim full with personality and so are its characters. You will fall in love with it. And it's fantastic that we've actually played the full realease version of the game during the beta, at least mostly. That's extraordinary, especially for a shy industry like our gaming. So here are my opinions on the game, both positive and negative:

- The game looks great. The level of detail in the graphics doesn't stem from photorealism, instead Blizzard focused on a stylized cartoony aesthetic that's just gorgeous, from environment to weapons and characters.
- The sound design is not only well done, it's imperative to the gameplay. You have to be able to hear the enemies and, most important, their Ultimate Abilities.
- Ultimate Abilities. I don't know how they did it, but these abilities (or "ultimates") that you charge up slowly by completing goals and killing foes are well thought out, well implemented, and really well balanced.
- Counters. To every ultimate there's a counter, with one character or another. Not every character can counter all ultimates, but it's fantactic when you can pull off a hard counter using Genji to reflect Widowmaker's hitscan snipes. I never did it, but I've heard stories...
- The maps are really layered and intricate, very strategy oriented, some more than other. There are lots of maps, each with its own rich theme.
- There's a deep combat mechanic, or rather many mechanics. Not only does Overwatch feature four different classes, but the characters are very unique, some not even combat oriented. For example, you can use Mercy to extract health from enemy players, but she's a lot better at healing your friends.
- The characters are fun, each and every one. They're full of personality, they're really unique and a blast to play as. Most likely you'll find you're best as one character than other, and that's alright in this game. You'll fall in love with 'em.
- Fun for everyone, big or small. Easy to get into, even if you're not very good at games. You may not win many matches, but you won't feel like you've lost either. At least, you know, not painfully.
- No pay to win microtransactions. I hate to admit that this has become a thing to notice, but it's something we have praise whenever we can. Also, every microtransaction can be purchased with in-game currency that you can acquire by just playing, and why wouldn't you?
- Only a couple of modes so far.
- Some character feel just a tiny bit overpowered, while others subtly underpowered.
- *Leveling doesn't feel like it's rewarding with much. Sure, there are those obligatory loot boxes, but they only give out some skins, tags, voice lines, victory poses or just poses, I don't know, feels really cheap and pointless. But that's from someone who's more into RPGs that online shooters. (*This might feel like a negative for me, but not for others.)
- For a full-priced game, there are a lot of microtransactions. Sure, you can basically unlock them with the fun sort of grinding, a lot of grinding, but their pointless presence has a blatantly obvious means.
Just to be sure, this is not a review, just my opinions on the beta I've played. There's a lot of promise in Overwatch, one I'll happily invest in. Outside of stuff I'm generally not interrested in, personally, the game is an absolute blast to play for a long while. Also, for whoever likes Esports, Overwatch isn't only a good candidate to become that, it already is. So go get blastin'n have fun!

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