Overwatch: A year in the service

Season 4 is underway and the one-year anniversary for one of the most celebrated games of 2016 is quickly approaching. Overwatch has entered the fray of gaming and has made A LOT of noise offering a product that’s fun enough for casuals, and deep enough for the hardcore gaming community.

Overwatch, created by the OG developer Blizzard, is a competitive shooter that pits two teams of six against each other in objective-based game modes. It has a huge variety of characters to choose from ranging from high attack, tank, and support. The stages are lush and vibrant with deep detail and are set in futuristic versions of real cities around the world. These two combinations toppled with the short but very fun game modes deliver an experience that’s very enjoyable from a casual to a competitive level, which is rare in shooters these days.

One of the biggest driving points in Overwatch is its vast selection of characters with different skills, moves, and personalities to choose from. Whether it’s the time-jumping Tracer, that uses two close range submachine guns, or the Mammoth sized armor-clad Reinhardt, that uses a rocket-propelled hammer to smash his foes, each character has a full set of moves that make each engagement in battle that more fun. Each character fills the standard roles we’ve seen, being Attack, Defense, Tank, or Support. It’s important to know how to use at least one of these characters from each group so your team is well-rounded, thus giving you a better chance at winning the match.

The stages are designed with the game types in mind with areas large and spacious enough to host control and capture points, and routes lined with alternative passages for quick ways to escape or chase down an enemy, the stages are built with purpose while also displaying various countries around the world with very futuristic themes. Whether it’s finding a backdoor to flank ya enemy in Egypt or marching a forward winding path weaving through buildings marching an objective in Beijing, the areas around you feel spaced enough for all matters of combat. You could engage a person one second in a narrow hallway and the next would be in a hanger bay and it all feels natural and within the game and city, you’re in.

The pure simpleness of this game is one of its more rewarding features with the goals, and objective being pretty straight forward. Move this, here. Protect this. Capture that. While that may sound pretty basic, once you add a diverse cast of combatants, it’s a formula that works perfectly. To mesh these things together would require a balance you wouldn’t wanna clog down with bulky multi-objective-based gameplay, and inversely you need modes that aren’t too generic and solo oriented as the team death-match type. The game rewards teamwork and is one of the rare games where the lone wolf strategy simply does not work. The need for teamwork makes you pick your character more wisely to balance your squad and ensure victory.

One of thee BEST parts about this title tho? Free shit. It’s been almost a year since this game dropped and it has given us new characters, boards, and various other things that are usually asked for in DLC micro-transactions. Overwatch really listens to its community, fixing and adding things wrong with the game with updates that create a  better experience. The upkeep with the combatants along with the free content just makes this a damn joy to play and with different modes being rotated in, it’s fun to just pop in and just try a new mode for fun before returning to the competitive circuit.

For a game to explode and get national love like that in under a year is pretty unheard of and honestly, the game is still soaring. It just finished its first National tournament with it being a new E-Sport and after being given every damn Game of the Year award under the sun, Overwatch is poised to be a fixture in the gaming community for quite some time and Blizzard seems to only just be getting started.

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