I’ve been rather negative about Overwatch. Not as negative as aabicus was yesterday, but I haven’t exactly been kind to the game. Of course, most of that is because the damn thing gives me headaches unless I turn the HUD off, but let’s be frank, Overwatch is a genuinely very good game. So here’s a list of random crap I think Overwatch did right.
Alright, no matchmaking system can ever be perfect. Team Fortress 2’s matchmaking is either shit or 99% of the playerbase is so bad that the matchmaking system can’t work out what to do with everyone. It’s always a tricky thing to get right though and few games manage it. You’ve got lone wolves who always play on their own, couples who play together and whole parties of the maximum number of players (6 in Overwatch, 5 in Dota 2 for example) and ALL these people have varying skill levels. So how do you put them all together?
Well Overwatch does do quite a good job. You’ll still get the odd stomp or steamroll, but most games will be of decent length and not so one-sided. I don’t know what it’s like in ranked though.
Of course, part of this is because of the far, far higher player counts Overwatch has. It’s much easier to get decent statistics on gameplay and player skill levels when you’ve got a huge player population.
Reasons to Keep on Playing
In Overwatch, there’s a reason to play: to level up. There’s a reason to level up: to get loot boxes. I really dislike how it’s a pain in the ass trying to get a specific cosmetic – after all, I had to listen to two weeks of my sister complaining about how she had got the Halloween Roadhog skin five times and she only just managed to get the Junkrat, Mercy and Reaper skins in the last 6 hours of the event. I also really dislike that voice lines and profile icons are considered cosmetics
But the leveling up to get cosmetics thing really pushes players to keep on going. “Just a few more matches and I’ll. It also works nicely in competitive mode. Even if you don’t reach the top 500, if you work hard enough, you can get a neat golden weapon. Way easier than the pot luck of Mann Up missions.
While Mercy is really a very standard healer obviously designed to lure over Medic mains from Team Fortress 2, Overwatch’s support characters are pretty interesting in their own little ways. Lucio in particular with his passive healing is a real nice change to the role of the healer, and plays the way Sona used to, with an aura of power rather than relying on abilities.
There’s a Melee Only Guy and he’s Effective
Reinhardt is awesome. Okay, he’s mostly only effective because he’s got a gigantic shield, but he’s still awesome.
It’s like TF2 but it isn’t
It sounds dumb but it’s true. Apart from class-based, team-based Payload and Control Points gameplay in a Pixar-like style, there are a LOT of differences between Overwatch and Team Fortress 2, enough to not make it seem like a copy paste, or Blizzard just taking all the good elements and making a clone of Team Fortress 2. If anything, the more I play it, the more I realise that aim and movement are far less important than using your abilities at the right times. Yes, movement and aim are important, but Overwatch definitely strays far, far away from the Quake-based roots of Team Fortress.
I still prefer Team Fortress 2 as a whole. It’s just not as serious. Doesn’t mean I’m going to condemn anything that’s different.