Overwatch 4.5/5 Stars
Overwatch is a tactical, team-based, multiplayer first-person shooter (FPS) from one of the biggest names in gaming, Blizzard Entertainment. The primary game modes pit two teams of six against each other in objective-based matches of attack and defense. Overwatch features 23 playable heroes split across four archetypes: Offense, Defense, Tank, and Support. Players can swap characters multiple times during the match to adapt their strategy to the situation and the opposing team, leading to deep and complex tactical decisions and stimulating teamwork.
Overwatch’s gameplay borrows heavily from Team Fortress 2 (TF2), a classic of the genre. Veterans of TF2 will find that their skills transfer over. While similar, Overwatch differentiates itself by innovating and improving upon the classic formula. Where this is most true is in Overwatch’s variety of playable characters. If your team needs a support (or any other archetype) there are several different character and playstyle options available, so that you can find the option that’s best for you.
Overwatch is a game that rewards a diverse gaming skillset. If you come into the game with experience in FPS games and MOBAs* (such as DotA or League of Legends), your learning curve will be much lower than it would be otherwise.
Overwatch is an online team-based game that requires you to interact with other players. While this type of game is best with a group of friends, Overwatch creates a great experience even for those playing solo. Built-in voice chat and easy-to-use keyboard communication commands make it easy to work as a team, even if you’re playing with a group of random strangers.
In Overwatch, the story is only communicated through subtle voice lines and small details in the maps. The actual story is found on YouTube in a series of well-put-together animated shorts in the style of Pixar. While the story is interesting and the characters are compelling and well-defined, it’s clear that story is secondary to gameplay.
As a gamer, I was impressed by the exciting gameplay. However, as a person of faith, my greatest critique of Overwatch lies in its portrayal of women. Several of the female characters have victory poses and intros that feature body-panning camera angles that unnecessarily and uncomfortably sexualize them. I am bothered by the way this contributes to and supports a culture of objectification. If our goal is to make gaming more inclusive, this is a step in the wrong direction.
As a whole, Overwatch stands as the best game in its genre. Overwatch has exciting gameplay and a great multiplayer experience that I would highly recommend.
*Multiplayer Online Battle Arena
Chris Clark | Portland | Northern New England