This weekend I was one of the lucky ones that was granted the privilege of participating in the Overwatch stress test. While I didn’t get to play a lot, I played enough to tell that this is a game that I will be purchasing to play in the future. I figured while my play from this weekend was fresh in my mind, I would post my initial impressions and thoughts on the game.
When Overwatch was first announced I very much thought it was going to be a Team Fortress 2 clone. I am very happy to say that it is not. While I do enjoy playing TF2, we don’t need another clone of it out there for play. Overwatch is similar to TF2 in that it is an objective based FPS game, where it differs is in the diversity of the characters you can choose from to play. Overwatch is definitely designed with team/esports game play in mind as you have the capability to swap characters throughout the game as a way to counter what the other team presents.
The characters are all fun and different to play and the ones I tried I didn’t have too much trouble figuring out at least the basics on how to play them. Blizzard appears to be continuing the trend from Heroes of the Storm by trying to make this a game that even a beginner to the genre won’t have any issues picking up. The characters I got to play during the stress test were Lucio, Mercy, Zenyatta, Macree, Winston and Torbjörn. Lucio, Mercy and Zenyatta are all support characters designed to both heal and do damage, Macree is a pure damage dealer, meant to put high levels of damage on the enemy, Winston is a tank, meant to soak as much damage as possible while allowing the other team members to take down the opponent, and Torbjörn is a builder, he uses devices like turrets to put damage on an opponent while staying safe himself. The characters all have different play styles and each was fun in it’s own way. I will admit, I spent the most time playing Lucio, partly because of how easy he was for me to pick up and partly because hardly anyone I played with chose support. He is a blast to play and it was quite fun song dancing between speed and healing to make sure that the team had what they need when they needed it.
Overwatch has voice chat enabled in the game, and I can see why it might be necessary, though I will admit I didn’t use it myself yet. Having it built in makes it easier to be used in solo queues and still have the same team direction as if you were going in with an entire team with team speak or mumble.
Overall the game is a blast to play and fairly easy to learn. It was easy to tell it is still a beta product, but that did not take away from the enjoyment in the least. I look forward to future testing (if given the opportunity) and playing once it has been released.