I began playing Overwatch slightly after the release of Ana, and continually played it for a good couple of years before stopping and returning to it occasionally for events and other content releases. The game was magnificent from the start. It felt like a fresh new take on a shooter that hadn’t been done in a while. It had likeable and interesting characters, a fresh coat of paint with Blizzard’s premium aesthetic, and a gameplay loop that could be played for hours on end. Quickplay was an enjoyable experience that didn’t need to be taken too seriously, and people were fishing to get their ‘play of the game’, a play that is featured to all players at the end of each match.
Overwatch also had a couple of fun side modes such as Arcade, where the traditional rules of Overwatch were bent so players could experience the game at its fullest. This included game modes like No Limits where players could stack the same heroes over and over again to test out wild compositions against one another. Blizzard continued to iterate on these game modes, eventually adding in things such as Team Deathmatch, Deathmatch, Ultimate Mayhem and Low Gravity. While these game modes were not available all the time, they were only really fun in small bursts due to their unbalanced nature. They were interesting for a while, but now Overwatch requires players to play the Arcade in order to gain loot boxes for cosmetics, it felt kind of drab replaying the same game modes over and over. It was supposed to be “fun” rather than a chore.
Though releasing new content happened quite slowly, Blizzard was really able to ramp up the excitement for each new event as it came through. The limited time events had really great quality in terms of content, each seasonal event releasing a new sort of game mode using Overwatch’s features/mechanics based upon the season. In the Summer Olympic Games event we received Lucio-Ball, a fan-favourite mode where all players are Lucio, and use his knock-back ability to propel the soccer ball into the enemy teams goal. Aside from the new mode, they also release skins for heroes based upon the season, which are only obtainable through the loot box from that event.
However, Blizzard has recently stated that Overwatch will not receive any new forms of seasonal updates, and instead will repeat the same ones over each year. This means that there’s less content to experience for a player who had already participated in the events last year, and is something you’ll have to put up with if you see yourself playing for a long time.
Similarly, Blizzard doesn’t frequently change and balance heroes, meaning that certain heroes can be way more powerful than others. This can render them practically useless for a very long time, and if that hero happens to be your main you won’t be very pleased. This also results in relatively stale team compositions.
Overwatch is a really great title that stands as one of the best hero shooters to date. It’s perfectly catered towards both a hardcore and casual market. Having Quickplay and Competitive game modes means that players can mess around in casual or take time to learn the games deep mechanics in order to test their skill in ranked. It’s suitable for uni students who don’t have heaps of time in between assignments and exams but still would like to grab their video game fix. It also works for hardcore gamers who’d like to focus and improve on their skills, as it has an e-sport scene supported by Blizzard. However, Overwatch does have a few problems, namely the lack of content throughout the year and slow balance updates resulting in the game feeling stagnant at times. That being said, if played casually Overwatch can be a great experience to play both alone or with friends.