If you've been put off by the series meandering levels of quality over the past ten years or so, you're in for a treat
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It's hard to talk about Blizzard's Overwatch without referencing Valve's Team Fortress 2, the current champion of the online multiplayer shooter world. They both have a cartoon aesthetic, they both have similar game modes and they both have a roster of likeable characters with specific traits. The main difference is Blizzard are asking full price for Overwatch, Valve's game is free. So is it worth stumping up the cash for this new experience?
Yeah, of course it is, have you seen it? It looks amazing! We're talking Pixar levels of character design here, and to get twenty one of the buggers looking so beautiful is no mean feat. These chaps and chapesses are roughly divided into four types of playstyle; Offense are nippy buggers, but they also pack quite the punch, they aren't bulit to go toe to toe with the tank class though, slower but with much more health. Defence characters are good for the choke points on maps and portecting your objectives. Lastly we have support, whose abilities can heal and buff the rest of your team, upping your comrades speed and even their damage depending on who you pick.
Happily with this abundance of characters an A.I. Mode is included in the game, so you can take them all out for a run until you are comfortable with joining the unwashed masses. You should really take advantage of this too, as each avatar has their own skillset with cooldowns on most of your abilities, forcing a more tactical and team based play. And there is the crux of Overwatch. More than any other online shooter you are relaint on your team. Even on the character selection screen you are warned if you don't have any healers, too many snipers etc.
What this means in essence is that it's no longer the case you can have your favourite and just stick with that for game after game, if you are getting turned over you'll have to try someone else to force a break, a quick change to Junkrat to pepper a moving payload can sometimes be a genius move. Four modes of play are available at the moment, the aforementioned 'Payload' here called Escort, Assault were you must capture points on the map, a blending of the two with the genius name Assault/Escort and finally Control, where you must capture a point and hold it for a given time.
Overwatch currently has a roster of twelve maps, and all of them look superb, Blizzard surely have some of the best artists in the industry working for them and it surely shows here, but they play excellently too, with a verticality needed for some of the more high flying and grappling characters and a good smattering of killzones and choke points. Blizzard have also promised more maps and characters to follow later, and that they will be free updates. Microtransactions are available should you choose to buy them, but they are purely for cosmetic items and don't affect gameplay at all.
I've loved my time with Overwatch so far, and I feel like I've not even scratched the surface yet, there are so many characters and nuances to learn, it's even more fun with a bunch of mates though, communication can mean the difference between a brilliant victory and a humping. A must buy then, and the best purely multiplayer game in many a year. Since Team Fortress 2 in fact.