Saving the world one match at a time
Let us for just a moment imagine our world through the eyes of a video game character. It might seem weird, maybe too 3D-ish and surely interesting given that he or she could examine every nook and cranny in an otherwise endless world of opportunities for leveling up and slashing weird organic creatures.
I have lately discovered a couple of new games in my free time thanks to a gamer friend who is quite the pro in strategic thinking and memorizing techniques. This encounter, which had brought me back to the gaming world after more than a decade, incited me to pre-purchase one of Blizzard Entertainment’s new games; Overwatch.
What is Overwatch?
Overwatch is a multiplayer first-person shooter developed by Blizzard Entertainment – the amazing guys who came up with the iconic Diablo and released in May 2016. Those guys have a sense of style, yes they do! And despite being a relatively new-comer to the Diablo world, I can only say that I fell in awe before the amount of work that Blizzard puts forth and the efforts that are deployed to keep on reinventing their games and adding something to look for with every season.
So starting with the story, the game tells the tale of a futuristic Earth overtaken by robots and rescued by a task force called Overwatch. Yet, while the force is disbanded thirty years later, danger looms ahead and those same heroes will have to team up again to face whatever is coming their way. So that’s the story and I love it! The trailer is enticing and gets you in a playing mood especially when Tracer and Widowmaker appear with their swift moves and I can tell you, that’s what got me to pre-purchase the game.
I have always been fond of the online aspect of games and so found myself hooked to the core and playing non-stop, despite the fact that I was horribly losing– and I am a sore loser, trust me you do not want to see my face after every defeat and so, I thought of writing a concise review so that the less game-savvy could understand what to expect before actually tackling the battlefield head on and suffer the jolts of panic while under a sudden volley of bullets coming out of nowhere.
Now let’s tackle the game on the inside. Graphically speaking, Overwatch is eye-candy with smooth effects, colorful worlds and interesting locations you are captivated by the effortless movements, interesting textures, interaction with the environment (loved shooting those pop corn boxed in the Hollywood area ha!) and witty lines that the characters say whenever they re-spawn. This game is a whirlwind of beautifully crafted characters, come on Blizzard! 21 characters?! That says a lot! And yes! I fell in love with each and every one of them, from the Support, to the Tanks, the Offence and Defense personas. Each one of these beauties/ beasts has unique and impressive abilities that will possibly have you switch from character to character with every match drooling as you get power-hungry; however, please do not do this, and take it as piece of advice from a sore loser, focus on one or a couple characters to fully master the abilities and familiarize yourself with the movement speed, reload time and so on. You can always find online tutorials, tips and tricks that will give more insight into the various game styles upon which you will build your own and find your best match.
The five arenas or stages are also a thing of simplicity and beauty, you are whisked away to well designed locations with numerous passages into the battlefield that sometimes feel a bit too far given the fact that the match does not really last for long, which takes away from the game’s killer charm. Moreover, the character progression is disappointing since you only receive sprays and skins that will not boost your attack/defense powers. You are then left with pointless esthetics and a progress bar that does not really make sense. Additionally, the repetitive missions can take a toll on you as you play over and over again, especially if you teamed up with players who are not aware of the squad-based nature of the game that requires all team members to join forces in every type of mission.
All in all this game is an attractive bundle of action and allows you to have a great deal of fun that is restricted to five arenas and four missions that are randomly selected. The gameplay is not an easy one, as you will have to deal with quick learners that will keep you re-spawning until well, further notice. I would have loved to see my character level and acquire more powers, but this does not seem to be the case, so we’ll have to settle for sprays and skins.
In collaboration with Maher Kahwagi