Once upon a time, I played Overwatch.

Last Christmas, I got Overwatch.

I did tried Overwatch before that during the free weekends, but I never got to play much then due to real-life matters (i.e. swamped by work). I only got to properly play Overwatch after I got my own copy.

Before I started, I made a promise to myself to stay as far away from Mercy as possible. I played quite a bit of Medic in TF2, and I am just sick of operating the mystery healing beam dispenser. I wanted to try something new, to see what Overwatch has to offer proper.

I started off with Lúcio and Soldier: 76. I absolutely love playing Lúcio, and like aabicus, I greatly enjoyed his movement and Crossfade. Aside for that, I tried playing Bastion, Mei, Pharah, and Zenyatta. In the end, however, I decided to play a tank hero, since that’s what seems to be missing from the team most of the time. A proper shield was needed, so I have a choice between Reinhardt, Orisa, and Winston.

I ended up mainly playing Orisa, with some Winston play from time to time.

For Orisa, my biggest task was trying to master Halt!, since I can’t get the projectile arc and the AoE quite right. As for playing Winston, it’s more on gamesense, knowing when to engage, when to flee, and when to rage and beat the enemy team senseless with my own two gorilla hands (are those hands or paws?). Other than that, I’ve just been learning the game in general, familiarizing myself with the maps and general gameplay strategies.

Since I got it around Christmas, I also managed to play Yeti Hunter, the Arcade brawl game for that year’s Winter Wonderland event. Aside for that, I’ve been mostly playing on Casual.

And after about four weeks of on-and-off play, I stopped. And I never touched Overwatch since.

Overwatch slowly but surely turned into a boring chore. Get to choke, place shield, Fortify when necessary, shoot people, drag people around with the mini-Graviton, die, repeat. I get that every game in the world will sound tedious and tiresome if I were to describe it as such, but Overwatch genuinely felt like I am ramming my head against the wall. The idiots who ran right through my shield into enemy fire isn’t helping my mood, too.

Speaking of which, it feels as if I am a lot more dependent on my teammates. I get that smaller teams will cause each individual teammate’s impact to be bigger, but it isn’t just that. Paladins is 5v5, yet the issue isn’t as bad there. Just by looking at how Paladins handle their support classes, it’s rather clear that the characters have been designed to have a certain degree of independence. A comparison between the champions and heroes of both games shows how much more specialized each Overwatch hero is. Sure, the heroes in Overwatch all excel in their respective niches, but this greater specialization means that every hero is more dependent on the others to cover their weaknesses. And since I am mostly a solo player I am subjected to RNG to get a good game. When teammates are all cooperative and sensible, the games are great, but the chances for that to happen is about somewhere between zero and nil. And yes, the same can be said for the enemy team, but then it’s just a race to the bottom on both sides, with me clinging on the edge of the bottomless pit of mediocrity with all four of my limbs and holding on to my whole team with my teeth. I can’t even care about the other team since I’m too busy with mine. And since I am more dependent on my teammates that in Paladins or TF2, that’s going to be a lot worse.

But still, beneath all these, Overwatch is still a good game. It is well-polished, and a lot of effort and thought has been put into the game’s design. It did not get its fame and popularity for nothing. It’s just not the game for me. There are things I like in games, like customizability and more accessible depth for solo players, which are not in Overwatch but are in its competitors. Which sucks, because I really like Winston and Lúcio. And throwing down a shield to deny an enemy Roadhog‘s hook will never not be funny.


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