Overwatch (2016)

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    Well, if I’m doing a review of Doom (2016), I might as well do a review of this game….


    Soldiers. Scientists. Adventurers. Oddities.

    In a time of global crisis, an international task force of heroes banded together to restore peace to a war-torn world: OVERWATCH. It ended the crisis and helped to maintain peace in the decades that followed, inspiring an era of exploration, innovation, and discovery. But after many years, Overwatch’s influence waned, and it was eventually disbanded.

    Overwatch is gone… but the world still needs heroes.

    Overwatch is Blizzard’s entry into the First Person Shooter scene. Elements of this game were taken from the ashes of 2014’s cancellation of the MMO game Titan. When the game was released in May, 2016, it was an instant hit, even taking down the release of 2K games Battleborn which was released just two weeks previous.

    The folks at Blizzard intentionally designed this game for as wide of an audience as possible. With the settings turned down to a minimum, you can even get acceptable performance on a Intel Integrated GPU, just not all of the so-called “eye candy”. My rig had no problems running this game.

    From my impression, this is Blizzard’s take on the Valve’s Team Fortress 2 (TF2), only added some additional elements to make it more “family friendly”. Having put in over 250 hours in that game a few years ago, one of the bothersome things were user-generated “sprays” could be any graphic, and some of the players would use imagery that was a bit immature or of a sexual nature. Blizzard strictly controls this by only allowing you to use sprays that you have either earned or obtained through a loot box. Other elements, such as different skins, is nothing new to this game. It should be noted that the skins and sprays do NOT affect the actual gameplay.

    One of the big features that got included is a “Play of the game” which is a highlight of a game where a player killed several members of the opposing team within a few seconds. Just recently, Blizzard FINALLY included a way to record those highlights for later playback (or uploading to YouTube), however, I had to edit the configuration file in order to have the files saved on my FreeNAS server Vaultron instead of my local 1TB SSD. This demonstrates Blizzard’s commitment to their games after their release. Most publishers, once they release the game and DLC, make several patches, then abandon the game after laying off most of the development team. Blizzard, however, keeps improving the game, and have added additional maps and characters since it’s release, plus special events.

    The strongest element, however, is the game lore. Each character have it’s own abilities and strengths, and there is a backstory on each character. This was extended to even the movies that Blizzard has produced to promote this game. And, that’s where I’m get my impression that the Overwatch universe as portrayed in the films is the actual story, while Overwatch the game is like those action figures that you would play with your friends in the sandbox when you were young.

    The biggest problem I have with Overwatch is the regular retail pricing. The normal price is $60, which I feel is overpriced for this game where there are similar games at this price. I picked this game up last November for $35…. still a bit overpriced, but I have gotten plenty of gameplay out this.

    “We’ve never lost an American in space, we’re sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option.” – Gene Kranz

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