Overwatch. Where to start with this? There are so many articles and reviews about this game already that if I wrote something similar to those, it would get lost in the mix, so this won’t be a review, or an article about what the game is or how awesome it is or anything like that. This article will be about how I experience the game, with all my oddities.
I will give a brief description of the game first, though if you don’t know what Overwatch is by now, I don’t know why you are on this site.
Overwatch is a multiplayer game where two teams of six players, using various characters, battle against each other to perform a few different tasks. The characters are many and varied, the goals few. Overall, it smacks of Team Fortress 2, the hugely popular game with largely the same play style. Overwatch differs slightly now by bringing in abilities for the characters, similar to what you might find on MOBA characters.
So basically, a bunch of people jump around a level, smashing various abilities as often as they can, and hitting Q to win, all the while trying to maintain control of spot X, whatever that may be.
A good formula, it seems, because the game seems to be very popular. Interesting and funny things happen in it, because of those various abilities that I mentioned earlier.
I’ll give a little info on myself, so you know my motivations for writing this and what I’m generally like when it comes to gaming.
While I have been gaming for the majority of my life, with a fair amount of focus put into first person shooters over the last 20 years, I’ve never gotten really good at them. Some things that make
me not very good at FPS games:
My reaction speed is pitiful.
My fine point aiming is so much worse than it used to be.
I cannot anticipate where people will move.
I have major trouble randomising my movements to prevent being shot.
I either reload too much, or not enough, always to my detriment.
I tend to forget that people can come up behind me.
I am predictable.
I push too hard, over-extend, and forget that I have a team, so I die because I have left the support behind.
In addition to that, I possess the following qualities:
I typically dislike competitive games.
I very much dislike overly competitive people.
Competitive multiplayer environments can be very toxic, and I don’t want to get involved in that.
I don’t care enough to play excessive amounts and improve my abilities (mainly because I’ve tried in the past and I still sucked).
It’s a game (whatever that game may be), and I want to play it to have fun, not to get angry.
One might ask, “Kris, why are you playing a game for which you possess little skill and generally dislike that sort of environment?”
Short answer: Because it is fun.
Long answer: For some reason, I don’t know why, I like playing these competitive multiplayer first person shooters. I played a huge amount of Quake 3 when I was younger (which probably started it all). I played TF2 for years (even if my steam profile doesn’t reflect that). I played a good amount of Battlefield 3 and 4, of which I was absolutely terrible.
I don’t take it seriously, I never have and I never will (regardless of what my partner would say), and maybe because of that, I get a sort of perverse pleasure when messing around with those who do. It’s like when you are playing a fighting game, such as Tekken, against someone who knows the game, knows the moves, but you just button mash the controller and still kill them. I know I have some skill in the game, because otherwise I would just die all the time, and that doesn’t happen, but I know I’m also very inconsistent. I can have a magical streak where I am amazing, getting all the kills and being awesome, but mostly I am slightly helpful at best, or just die repeatedly, no matter what I try.
The level system present in Overwatch, to some, indicates skill level, but due to the way the experience works and the amount of time a person could play, it really means little. At the time of writing, I am 20-something. I am only as high as I am because I’ve played a fair amount of games. A friend of mine only just started playing, so he is low level, but his skill level is every bit as good as mine. I’ve heard Overwatch be compared to other FPS games as Heroes of the Storm is compared to other MOBA games; a simplified version, easily accessible to new players. Some might say ‘Baby’s First Competitive’ shooter. The introduction of the MOBA-style abilities has changed up the old FPS formula. The Ultimate abilities have made certain plays within the game easier, but there is still some skill required to know when to use them effectively.
Surprisingly, the environment of Overwatch is not very toxic. There isn’t much of an environment at all, to be honest. Voice chat within the game is almost never used, and text chat will have little more than ‘GG’ after a game. Of course, there will always be idiots, but it is easy to leave the game and find a new one. It is more enjoyable to get some friends together and crank out a few games with them.
I suppose, at the end of the day, what I am really trying to get at here is that Overwatch seems to be a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I don’t think anyone else should take it too seriously either, lest it turn into a League of Legends type environment. It’s a good game to provide a good time, and if a schlub like me can sometimes do alright, get a few gold medals a fluke and Play of the Game every now and then, anyone else should be able to do the same. Apparently there is a system within the game that evens out win/loss ratios for the players, but I don’t know about that. Sometimes it does seem that the other team is either winning too easily, or dying too easily, but that could just be my own perception of it. Though, I will say, there are times when I will do something, such as chaining an opponent with Roadhog, and then shooting them, only to have it do little to nothing, and for that character to kill me, but when the same thing happens to me, I get killed by Roadhog every time. This sort of event seems to happen frequently, when I do something and it fails, but someone else does the same thing to me, and it succeeds every time. But this is not enough to stop me from playing the game, it only causes me to rage slightly. I also don’t care if I win or lose, the XP difference isn’t a huge amount, just as long as I enjoy myself.
If you ever see ‘Scuggins’ floating around in a game, that’ll be me, so say hello. If you are on the other team, I won’t be annoyed if you shoot me in the face, because if you don’t, someone else will. My characters of choice are:
Offensive – Pharah.
Defensive – Bastion, Junkrat, Mei, Widowmaker.
Tank – Roadhog.
Support – Zenyatta (Even if I am rubbish with him).
And of course, I play on the only platform that matters, PC.
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Starting with an Atari 2600 and arcade machines in the late 80s, moving through a Sega Master System 2 and onto a PC in the mid 90s, I've been gaming in one form or another for the greater part of my life. Now part of the PC Gaming Master Race, I enjoy all things PC related.