Finally we have Overwatch, a massive game, a FPS that, despite its peculiarities, has many similarities with other games already around for a long time.
Once the game starts, we find ourselves in front of a familiar scenario: fairly large maps, rich in roads and shortcuts designed to suit those who have "studied". The knowledge of the battlefield is fundamental to occupy and keep certain advantageous spots (for visibility, for position, etc.) and knowing the roads to take to get behind the opponents can make the difference. In this sense Overwatch is to be appreciated: it encourages teamwork and collaboration. Not only when choosing the character do you have to pay attention to the picks of the companions to compose a balanced team, but once in the game it is advisable to communicate and coordinate.
At the end of the game, we will see the replay of the best game, usually a multikill of three or more, and finally we will be taken to the final report, where we will vote the best player of the game and we will see our scores . The matches hardly last more than ten minutes, so the arcade imprint that was given to the game is evident, just to make it a product that is easy to use for everyone. Each character has a unique weapon (in the sense that there are no similar weapons between the characters) and three abilities: two with low cooldowns, rarely more than fifteen seconds, and a "Definitive" ability, a special with devastating effects. Characters can be divided into four "roles": assault, defense, support and tank. Depending on their role, their stats and the underlying theme of their abilities vary: for example, attackers will have relatively few HP (between 150 and 250), good DPS and lots of mobility. The tanks will be more static and slow but will have a lot of HP and many ways to mitigate the damage on arrival or disrupt the opposing formation, perhaps isolating an enemy so that it is easy prey for his companions.
The characters show all that is beautiful and ugly in Overwatch: they are all very different from each other, all very fun to play and some even complex to learn how to use. Yet, despite being very different from each other, they are not too different from other "archetypes" already seen and revised in other games. A striking example is Torbjorn, an extremely similar character to the Team Fortress 2 engineer. Both can build and repair turrets to place around the map, both of which can support their companions in some way by distributing buffs (armor for Torbjorn while care and ammunition for the engineer). This is not the only example, but it is enough to make the idea.
Each character has a unique weapon (in the sense that there are no similar weapons between the characters) and three abilities: two with low cooldowns , rarely more than fifteen seconds, and a "Definitive" ability, a special with devastating effects. Characters can be divided into four "roles": assault, defense, support and tank. Depending on their role, their stats and the underlying theme of their abilities vary: for example, attackers will have relatively few HP (between 150 and 250), good DPS and lots of mobility. The tanks will be more static and slow but will have a lot of HP and many ways to mitigate the damage on arrival or disrupt the opposing formation, perhaps isolating an enemy so that it is easy prey for his companions.
The most tactical part of a game is to adapt your team to the situation that will have to be faced: a balanced approach is sometimes not enough to break through enemy lines and you have to resort to a greater number of tanks to better withstand the enemy fire, as well as it is also necessary to turn towards a defensive structure when, after having conquered the disputed area, we will be forced to protect it.
Maps for all tastes
The games therefore express an unusual dynamism not only in terms of gameplay that always requires the utmost attention given its speed and the need to constantly timed the use of skills, but also in terms of the development of the game. The team, as well as the attitudes of the individual, will change during this and more times we will be forced to change character or try an alternative access route to be able to continue in the maps. Speaking of maps, there's a lot to say here as the work done by Blizzard is truly remarkable; in total they are twelve and they are all built around the modality that characterizes them: the result is that already from the beta each has been perfected to be the most balanced possible. The symmetry of those dedicated to the control mode alternates with the linearly progressive structure of those dedicated to conquest or transport, where particular bottlenecks or inlets could slow down the progress of the attackers if not even arrest it if properly exploited. The interesting thing about the maps is that they can be explored differently depending on the character. With the more mobile ones, including the Hanzo or WidowMaker snipers, it will be possible to climb in areas inaccessible to tanks like Zarya and Roadhog and thus open new paths to reach the goal or carve out a secluded lookout station from which to hit the enemies shot after shot.
Colorful and beautiful!
Overwatch is one of those games that captures you in a whirlwind of colors and doesn't let you get out. The cartoon graphics of the game can act as a mirror for the larks for any type of player starting from the very young ones. It is impossible not to be fascinated by those bright pastel colors that fill the simple polygons, but extremely characteristic of the various settings and characters. Their silhouettes are well defined and have a color that distinguishes them and that is reflected in the characteristic elements of the main outfit. Genji with green, Junkrat with yellow, Widowmaker with purple and Torbjorn with red access, are easily recognizable through these color references of which they are sprinkled. A separate discussion should be made for maps that are also very simple from a polygonal point of view, perhaps too much given the competing productions. Fortunately, this deficiency is overcome thanks to a strong characterization of the environments, using characteristic elements taken from the various countries from which they are drawn; Ilio is sprinkled with white houses on top of a cliff by the sea, Hollywood is instead represented by the sets of the studios and so on. To think that all this work has been done on twelve maps is absolutely another positive note in the overall evaluation of the game. The music itself is going to be inserted geographically in the countries that we are going to visit in the parallel universe of Overwatch, for example, African melodies will introduce us to the Numbani map or read sounds from the Far East will open a match on the Nepal map. If this was not enough, always returning to the extreme characterization of the various characters, even on the audio front a painstaking work was done with phrases, some already become famous during the beta, which go to tell the various game situations, on all the declarations of the characters during the use of the Ultra; there is also the possibility of customizing these by replacing them with others unlocked by opening the chests.
A look at the technique
From a purely technical point of view on PC the game could have been more daring on the front of models and textures, but the result obtained is still laudable, considering also the genre to which it refers and the framerate stable at 60 fps in most situations. Netcode for example, unlike many competitors, did not have any particular hesitations and proved to be solid and efficient right from the start. The experience gained during this year and a half of beta was felt and allowed the developers not to fall on the most beautiful, with waiting times for matchmaking in a very short average. For the moment we cannot fail to appreciate the good work done by Blizzard to allow players to immediately enjoy the game without major problems.
Overall - 9.0
After the many betas, Overwatch was finally released. What we find in our hands is an innovative FPS that in its own way evolves the concept of shooter through a narrative conveyed from the outside and gameplay hybridized with the MOBA genre where team play dominates the scene. Unfortunately, although the game is fun for everyone, the competitive vein means that many nuances of advanced gameplay mechanics are not easily accessible, making some characters decidedly easier to use than others. Nothing to say instead about the artistic direction that has taken care of every graphic aspect of Overwatch in the smallest details. Technically you could dare a bit more for textures and models, but given the general fluidity and the pleasant rendering on the screen there are no particular remorse. It seems that Blizzard has hit the mark this time too, but only time will manage to tell us if Overwatch will succeed in establishing itself as a new pillar of its kind.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP