Blizzard’s ‘Overwatch’ well worth the wait

Tyler Chilcote, Split Screen

People everywhere are getting excited for superheroes again. With the release of Captain America: Civil War this past weekend, the flames of fandom have been stoked. Less known but also popular this weekend was the open beta of Blizzard’s latest game “Overwatch.” For those that don’t know, “Overwatch” is a leap into brand new territory for the company that has previously best known for doing real-time strategy and MMO games.

“Overwatch” is one of the new genre of games known as Hero Shooters. These games put a focus on playing an individual character from a large cast of heroes. Each of these heroes has a unique set of stats and abilities that make them distinct from each other. You play your character with a group of other players against an equally matched group of players on a selection of different objective based maps.

What makes “Overwatch” unique from the other hero shooters out currently is the focus on backstory. Blizzard has taken the time to painstakingly craft a completely new IP for this game. In the world of “Overwatch,” the Earth is falling out of a golden age into a time of war and strife. Thirty years prior the 1st Omnic Crisis came to a close. This war between humans and sentient robots was equivalent to one of our great world wars. The only force the humans had to stop the Omnics was a group called “Overwatch.” This group was formed of the best people from all the human nations across the world. Following the Omnic Crisis, “Overwatch” was implicated in a scandal and forcibly disbanded.

Blizzard took the time to completely flesh out the backstory of the world and each character, but you don’t need to know any of this to enjoy the game. The gameplay is focused on being fast-paced and exciting. Any shooter stereotype can be found within this game. Did you play a lot of Quake back in the day? Then play Pharah, the rocketlauncher woman that has limited flight. Do you enjoy Modern Warfare? Pick up Solider: 76, the basic shoot your enemies with your assault rifle and duck behind cover to heal man. Love the engineer in Team Fortress games? Grab Torbjorn and set up your death almost anywhere on a map.

Each of the maps in “Overwatch” falls under one of four types: Assault, Escort, Hybrid, and Control. Assault maps involve one team attempting to take control of two points from another team. Escort maps are similar to Payload maps in Team Fortress 2, where one team must escort a cart throughout the level to the end. Hybrid maps involve initially capturing a point followed by escort a cart to another point. Control maps are classic king of the hill, with each team attempting to control a point the longest in a best-of-3 setup.

The best part of this game is the amazing moments that come up in every match. Each character has a powerful ultimate ability that can be game changing if used correctly. Many times a perfectly placed D’Va or Hanzo ult can clear the other team off a point you need to capture. Or a slam from Reinhardt can stun the whole opposing team long enough for your team to clean them up. At the end of each match the best ‘play of the game’ is chosen by the server and shown to everyone, along with cards for four players that did really well at a certain aspect of the game. My personal favorite is getting a card showing my hook accuracy on Roadhog was above 65%.

Overall, this game is amazing. I would highly recommend giving this game a try if you get the chance. Even if you aren’t normally into shooters, the objectives and specific abilities of certain characters allow you to contribute and be skillful without requiring the ability to pull off perfect headshots.

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The opinions expressed in Chilcote’s column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Barometer staff.