Blizzard knows how important balancing can be. They constantly try to do their best with balancing issues in StarCraft and World of Warcraft.
Now, Blizzard has started trying to balance first person shooters. Overwatch started with 21 heroes to choose from, each of which has perfect scenarios to be used in, with almost all characters having a great balance to be needed on a team without being overpowered.
I do have to use the word almost here. Bastion still feels overpowered on Attack/Defend maps, as sitting on the payload moving around or camping a rally point can take the fun out of that mission. However, if done correctly, plenty of other characters can mow him down, like a snipe from Widowmaker or quick ports by Tracer. Another one worth mentioning here is D. Va with the self-destruct ability, but running away or being defended by Reinhart’s shield can help there.
Characters are placed in one of four groups: Offense, Defense, Support or Tank. Teams should have a balance of each class, and you’ll even be reminded of that as you choose your character if your team has too many of one class or not enough firepower.
Thankfully, Overwatch is not live or die only by your shooting ability. You’ll get experience and help your team by assisting, healing, defending, staying with the payload and more. As long as you aren’t standing still and are actively trying to help, you’ll keep ranking up.
That’s not to say Overwatch is a purely casual shooter. Seeing high-ranking players take control as Zarya, Reaper, Pharah and more can be amazing, even if the death their bringing down is on your team.
While the game modes may be limited (attack/defend, capture points) they are both fun to play, with maps being balanced with shortcuts to learn to get around quicker. Both Quickplay and Vs. AI can give experience points, while Custom Games can be fun to try new skills out with friends and mess around.
Personally, I’ve grown fond of the randomness of Arcade Mode. It changes each week, and has ranged from Defenders Only, Hanzo and Genji, only Soldier 76 and, my personal favorite, random heroes each time you respawn. If you’re ever unsure what to play, always remember to hop in here to try something new.
Now that I talked about the base game, I want to dive into the connectivity and extra content. Unlike a lot of online-only shooters, there really haven’t been a lot of connectivity issues after the first day. Servers have run smooth, with only probably a few dropped games since the launch in May for me.
The biggest draw for Overwatch in the long run may be its DLC. Blizzard has promised that to keep everything on an even playing field, all maps, modes and characters will be free to use. So far, the competitive mode (which requires level 25 to play, 10 matches to get your ranking and more games to move up or fall down) has been added, and Ana is coming soon, although the sniper/healer support class is available to try out on the Public Test Servers.
Another great thing the game has going for it is the art style. All characters are unique and eye-catching to see as action get frantic, and it’s easy to see who is coming at you based on their look, even with different skins on.
Overwatch is the best example of a shooter made for everyone. New players can learn the ropes with easier characters while still helping out, while advance players can lead the charge into the fray. If you haven’t played yet, this may be the best time to hop in as Ana prepares to be launched and possibly change the way some players take on matches.
Final Score: 9.5