The Overwatch open beta has come and gone, but it was an absolute blast. With Blizzard finally making good on their promise to deliver a solid FPS experience with their first outing into the genre (remember StarCraft: Ghost?), the open beta was a resounding success and left many new fans of the game clamoring for the oncoming release of the full title this year. Blizzard has unexpectedly interwoven elements from their other titles into the game, evidenced by the MOBA-style character selection, individual abilities and a solid progression system.
Gameplay wise, the game does not stay too far from the common aesthetics of FPS games today. This is evidenced by the very short tutorial that goes over the basics of moving and shooting. The real depth comes from the abilities, weapons and items your character comes loaded out with. While it sounds similar to Team Fortress 2, the game has a much more precise feel to it, similar to more recent shooters of the CoD mold. There is no ADS, but the controls are tight, precise and take a degree of skill to use. No run-n-gun or pray-and-spray in this game.
The modes in the beta were of the typical FPS fare, but the hectic matches caused by a flurry of different players characters were simply incredible. Instead of seeing similar-dressed drones running around shooting each other with the same weapons, I was treated to what seemed to be a comic book battle of heroes and villains using their unique advantages to gain an edge on each other, usually simultaneously with three or more combatants. It gives the game an element of whimsical flair that is just not present in shooters today, something we have come to expect from Blizzard, whos developers and designers have had similar success with games such as Diablo III and the Warcraft series. The elements that made those games so appealing have been added to Overwatch, and with great success. The game itself, even if you aren’t very good at it, is just downright fun to play.
Given that the game is coming from a developer whose track record is basically spotless and the both the private and public betas have been met with rave reviews, this game looks to be a definite day one purchase. Aside from the expected woes with server stability that will come from a popular upcoming title (especially from Blizzard), look forward to a solid FPS experience this month.