Overwatch Beta Impressions
The recent Overwatch beta has come to a close and I know so many of you have just been chomping at the bit to hear my opinions about Blizzard’s hyped up upcoming FPS shooter, Overwatch. Well you’re in luck because I’ve come here to let my Overwatch beta impressions come to light.
I knew very little about Overwatch, for some reason I kept thinking it was another MOBA coming to the console market but after receiving a closed beta invite and continuously playing into the open beta I immediately noticed that it’s not a MOBA at all but rather an arcade FPS with “Ultimates”. I’d been wrong to compare it to Gearbox Software‘s Battleborn as Overwatch is less MOBA much more Team Fortress than anything.
The first thing I and many of you may have already noticed prior to the Overwatch beta is this, Overwatch looks great. I mean, it looks really good, sharp lines with bold colors. Then you notice the Heroes who look equally amazing, Blizzard giving each hero their own style and flare. This makes identifying each hero in the heat of battle easier, an idea made popular by Team Fortress (minus the hats).
So then you actually start playing the Overwatch beta and discover there’s a giant power struggle between heroes. I hate to use the word “balanced” but you instantly notice that not all heroes are created equal. Three Tracers on an Attack team of six, a McCree with 30 eliminations during a match, or Soldier: 76 with a well powered assault rifle, an AOE heal, and an auto aim one shot death cannon ultimate proves some kits are bloated and still need some reworking. But, that’s what beta’s are for, fixing these things before they ruin peoples lives, hopefully.
Overwatch is pretty easy to pick up, its heroes kits are pretty self explanatory (except for it’s stars identifying difficulty. Does 2 of 3 stars mean the hero is easy or hard? Is 1 star the hardest or easiest?), some are harder to use that others, but with 21 to choose from, it’s easy to find another you’re at least competent with.
Minor complaints are personal preference, like the ability to have multiple players as the same hero or changing heroes during a match, this becomes noticeable against both spectrums when you see three D.Va’s rush an objective or three turrets defending it. On the flip side, having the ability to change mid match also helps to create better late game team comps or switching up play to counter the opposing team’s comp. I don’t see a plus on having multiple people play as the same hero, it doesn’t help the team comp and it just makes the matches tacky and less enjoyable. I would like to think you as the hero are one of a kind, not some generic hero off of a conveyor belt.
It’s obvious that Blizzard wants Overwatch to be a team oriented experience, yet during the Overwatch beta I found it hard to find teammates who actually gave a shit about team comps and then even more difficult to physically find teammates easily on the map. Now pug teams refusing to create good team comps is nothing new, but there has to be a better way to find my team then searching the horizon for small arrows scattered on the map.
Overwatch flows well, both through gameplay, matchmaking, and leveling. It rewards you as you level and teases you with content you could eventually learn. This is nothing new to Blizzard and it shows. The “Loot Boxes” are like mini goals I’m always looking to accomplish, a shiny light at the end of the tunnel.
My time during the Overwatch beta was very similar to my experience with Tom Clancy’s The Division‘s beta, it made me a believer in the game, but there’s one glaring issue with Overwatch, its price tag. $60 is a hefty price tag for a title that was once being touted as free-to-play, and honestly, I’m not sure its worth that price anyways. 21 heroes and 12 maps doesn’t look or sound like a full retail price point to me. What it does look like however is Blizzard flexing its muscle knowing blind fanboys will throw their money at them.
My overall experience with the Overwatch beta was enjoyable, obviously some matches were more frustrating than others, but that’s gaming. I will however point out that I started to be much more successful with my Razer Wildcat pro controller, the ability to move jump and ultimates to triggers really helped with gameplay overall. The Overwatch beta was a great time, I’m just not so sure about its $60 price tag.