Well-crafted heroes and fun, addictive gameplay are the crux of ‘Overwatch’

Updating: In true Blizzard fashion, the company has announced that "Overwatch" will have a constant stream of content for players to enjoy. New maps, new cosmetic items, new game modes and even new characters will be added to the game. Blizzard has announced that no added content like new characters and maps will require a purchase to play them.

Andrew Shermoen

Cyborg ninjas, robotic monks, hyper-intelligent gorillas, peacekeeping DJs, mech-suit pilots and time travelers. These are just some of the words to describe the amazing cast of Blizzard Entertainment’s latest video game “Overwatch.”

This varied group is the core element that makes this game so much fun. The distinct play styles and lovable personas and quirks define what makes this game such a fantastic addition to this year. It isn’t a perfect game, specifically its pay model, which is way too high for the content available currently.

Ignoring that though, this game is a triumph. Blizzard, the company that pioneered franchises like “Diablo,” “Starcraft” and the beloved “Warcraft,” has done it again and created a polished game with great visuals, fun gameplay, an interesting setting and a great cast of lovable personalities.

The world was in a time of peace, but when a technology company created the Omnics, a race of robots that could be used to protect people in times of crisis, the robots gained sentience and began a war with the humans. The Omnic War was a difficult one and the United Nations gathered the worlds most trained fighters and scientists together to stop the threat of the monic uprising. This team was dubbed Overwatch.

After the Omnics were stopped, Overwatch remained with very little government oversight. They traveled the world stopping crises as they arose, but their actions caused damage, and many people started asking for more regulation of the team. After internal conflict in the group and a U.N. committee ruled on disbanding Overwatch, the famed group is now shut down. Years later, the weak and defenseless call out for help from Overwatch once again.

While “Overwatch” isn’t perfect, its characters are meticulously crafted. Each one has a distinct personality and their abilities are so diverse that each play style is noticeably different. The game centers around four classes including offense, defense, tank and support, with each of these classes having characters that are crucial in those roles, but have specific jobs that they are suited to. The character-swapping mechanic is crucial to the game and works flawlessly. It puts every player on even ground, making it friendly to people who are not familiar to the first-person-shooter genre or video games in general.

The maps are also fun, interesting visually and varied. They all follow only three different modes which occasionally makes gameplay repetitive, but the layout of each map is so distinct from others that you will very rarely feel that repetition. The visual beauty of the settings comes from how wonderfully detailed the maps are, with small references hidden around each map and many parts of the environments being destructible. The space you’re in and the characters you’re fighting against feel real, but still contain the cartoony visuals that Blizzard is known for.

The only actual problem with the game is how much it costs. While the game has incredibly fun, easy to control and addictive gameplay, it lacks content to justify its high price. While the $40 cost for PC is more justifiable, the Origins Edition for $60, which is the copy that console players must purchase, is way too high.

The only additional content you get is a few extra skins and content for other Blizzard games, most of which are not available on consoles. The game only has 21 characters and only 12 maps, meaning games similar to its content and genre have a cost much less than “Overwatch” does. There is no story mode that helps justify this price point, not to mention the game’s system for obtaining skins and other cosmetic items is poorly conceived, but that is not really a detriment to the game, just another annoyance that a whole article could be devoted too.

“Overwatch” may be too pricy, but in the end it is fun, visually beautiful, filled with lovable characters who are all incredibly enjoyable to play and it is addictive to play with friends. It is one of the most fun games I have ever played in my time as a gamer and one that will certainly be in my top 10 games of the year. I can’t wait to sit down with it once again.

Rating: 4.5/5