I recently wrote an embarrassing article admitting my addiction to Overwatch. Since I’ve started this website, the addiction has gotten better, and I’ve decided to review the game I’ve spent over 200 hours on.
Style, and Lots of It
The first thing I noticed about this game is the sheer amount of style: the characters all look unique and the graphics have that timeless Team Fortress 2 look.
Unfortunately, the Team Fortress 2 look just doesn’t look that great, so nothing really stands out. I cranked up the graphics as high as they went, and it simply didn’t look much better than a PS 2 title. Capping the graphics for online play makes sense, but it doesn’t make the game look any better.
And the Toxicity Starts
A big part of the game is ranked play, and this is a double edged sword. It’s really addicting to climb the ladder: since games don’t last too long (an average ranked game is around 20 minutes), the “just one more” mentality kicks in. I would play this game with my wife for six hour sessions consistently, only stopping once we had lost enough games to warrant a break. And this would happen frequently. I’d like to try new strategies, and that would inevitably lead to losses. Once a losing streak starts, it’s hard to stay calm, and the community in Overwatch doesn’t help. I’ve been playing since the game officially launched (I didn’t play the beta), and I’ve noticed a degradation in civility. Players will get angry if a character is selected that they don’t want, like a Mercy on a King of the Hill map, or a Junk Rat on attack. I won’t debate the validity of the argument, but it sets the whole a negative tone on the game if we’re already bad mouthing each other before opening the gates. This isn’t an isolated incident either, the meanness was apparent and contagious.
Blizzard has done some things to try to combat the toxicity, such as replacing the all text “gg ez” with funny sentences, such as “I need a hug.” However, I think this toxicity is simply going to be a part of the game, when the stakes are high, and very serious elo points are being tossed around. People are going to take the game seriously, and they’re not going to accept losses easily. It’s unfortunate, but it’s just all part of the game.
This is the most I’ve ever played any game, and I definitely had fun doing it. There were a few bumps in the road, and there is some time that I wish I had back. In the end, Overwatch is a solid game if you’re looking for a competitive shooter that’s addicting and captivates.