Overwatch blazes to promising debut

Overwatch
Overwatch

Overwatch is a new game offered by Blizzard Entertainment

Preparing to roll out, both teams lie in wait for the battle to commence. Guns are loaded, and armor is fastened. Each second on the timer is an anxious second for the fighting to start. Once the gates open, the offensive team is unleashed, charging for the first point and those beyond. Guns blazing and feet stomping, the offensive team faces assaults by sentries, barriers and giant ice walls, but through synergy and teamwork, they reach the last point, triumphantly standing on it as it pulses, with the announcer calling a victory for the offensive team.

Overwatch is the first game in 17 years developed by Blizzard Entertainment that takes places in a new universe. Overwatch will be released on May 24. The game is on PC, XBox One and PS4, and can currently be preordered for $39.99. Overwatch is a first-person, team-based shooter, designed with 21 heroes to start with, each filling one of the four roles: Offense, Defense, Tank and Support.

The story of Overwatch is based on a futuristic, fictitious version of our world where robots, known as Omnics, and humans can live together, although tensions became high when the producers of the Omnics went rogue began to militarize them.

When this happened, a group of elite soldiers came together to create Overwatch. After the Omnic Crisis was over, Overwatch began to become hated, which lead to it disbanding. Now the heroes have gone separate ways, but the world still needs heroes.

The gameplay in Overwatch is similar to other class-based shooters like Team Fortress 2, but Overwatch still sets itself apart with the mechanic of an ultimate meter. This ultimate meter builds as the player deals damage or heals an ally. When the ultimate meter is fully charged, the character can unleash their ultimate ability, a signature move that can potentially change the flow of a match from a team resurrection to firing an arrow that lets loose a massive dragon to devour the enemy team.

What’s also a change are abilities that are used via button presses depending on which platform the player is using, although in the case of PC, it’s the Left Shift and the E key. Abilities have cooldowns, preventing the player from spamming certain abilities constantly. Abilities have cooldowns depending on how strong they are typically, although some are toggleable abilities, such as Bastion’s Configuration: Sentry. It adds depth besides mindlessly shooting like some other games, and some abilities have even deeper mechanics besides what’s at the surface.

Each character has a variety of customization options, ranging from voicelines and types of graffiti to special skins that can transform how a character looks. Certain skins are being released with the Origins Edition of the game, most of the skins showing certain characters before or during Overwatch’s peak. Everything can be purchased with in-game currency, although some skins are limited only to pre-purchases and to the Origins Edition of the game. None of these skins improve character stats, but just make the character look different.

Overwatch was in open beta at the beginning of the month, and I had an absolute blast. The game is fun, fast-paced and will definitely be the next game I get addicted to. The game shows an extreme amount of promise, and I’m very excited for the release on May 24. I’ve already pre-ordered Overwatch, and I strongly urge anyone who’s into team-based, first-person shooters to get the game on its release, as this game will go up and over your expectations.

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