Overwatch in the test - Will Overwatch get the 90?

Author: Dimitry Halley
Date: 2016-05-31 15:32:00
To test Overwatch, we plunged into the multiplayer matches for a week, on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Now we answer the question: Will Blizzard crack the platinum award?

Differences of opinion are normal in games - but it is rare for the opinions out there to be so disparate. It boils down to the Shakespeare question: 90, or not 90? So then: let's throw ourselves into the wasp's nest and find out which criticism is justified. And which ones don't.

First: the criticism

In the marketing of Overwatch, Blizzard played with open cards from the very beginning: Here a pure multiplayer team shooter starts that relies on classic virtues. The heart of the game are the actual matches, the focus is on a working team balance and convincing hit feedback.

On a world tour with Overwatch

Overwatch is more in depth than in breadth, so to speak. Sometimes we have to capture a checkpoint, then safely escort a vehicle and defend a "choke point" at another point. The scenery may change - we fight in Greece, Hollywood, Gibraltar, England and eight other locations around the world - but at the core we always do the same tasks. Blizzard loosens this up by combining some cards with two game modes and switching them within a match. For example, in King's Row we first have to conquer a point and then escort a cargo through the narrow streets.

Nevertheless - and the critics are right in the comments - the lack of variety in the game modes and framework conditions becomes one of the biggest weaknesses of Overwatch. Especially since the three variants remain quite innovative compared to other team shooters and in principle do not offer anything that has not been played somewhere before. There is no solo campaign either.

It's all a question of perspective

Because if you start together with five friends, coordinate things and win victories together, Overwatch shines as one of the best and most motivating team shooters in recent years. At the beginning of each game, we select from 21 completely different heroes, who can be roughly assigned to the categories of attack, defense, tank and support. Giant knight Reinhardt , for example, goes to the start with a gigantic shield and protects all team members behind it - if they don't rush forward impatiently. But he has practically nothing to report in long-range combat.

An offensive hero like Pharah, who flies over the map with her exoskeleton and fires missiles, scores here. Tracer, on the other hand, plays a completely different role, warping through the enemy ranks at lightning speed thanks to the mini-teleport and even turning back time for itself if desired. Trying out and using the heroes is a lot of fun because the skills differ so drastically, but the bottom line is that they all play well.

For »casuals«?

The next hurdle builds up when you hit Tank Reinhardt and the mobile turret Bastion when attacking - at the latest here you can't do anything as a solo player, because this defensive bulwark mercilessly throws down every frontal attack. In addition, there are some inconsistencies in the card design at such moments - some bottlenecks seem almost impregnable , the victory here mostly goes to the defenders. The team has to work together in such situations. And this is where most of the "casual" consumers will drop out in the long term.

The bottom line is that the heroes are very well balanced in the right hands, provided that two well-rehearsed teams are assumed. Overwatch is aimed (perhaps partly unintentionally) primarily at ambitious specialists and is really only fun for those in the long term, as long as the matchmaking is not optimized for soloists who do not put together a team privately and prefer to rely on good random combinations.

Finally: the trump card

But instead, we want to finish with the best aspect: the great feel of the game, which scores from the first minute. The learning curve remains pleasantly low - after the tutorial we instinctively feel at home in the Overwatch arenas and gradually learn more and more complex maneuvers . In addition, the game tries to reward the team and not the individual: assists are more important than kills, in the end both teams choose across the board who did the best.

The fact that so many players were already completely enthusiastic in the beta is due to the gripping "flow" : Every hero plays exciting, the hit feeling works, Overwatch controls itself incredibly handy, regardless of the platform. Blizzard has done the trick of crafting a gameplay out of all the individual pieces that feels direct and satisfying. Or in short: Overwatch is a well-rounded shooter in every respect.

Is that enough for platinum?

It's currently a game for team shooter fans, but it is also a fantastic entry point for those new to it. We can recommend Overwatch to all enthusiasts who find themselves in one of these two groups - for the really big catch, however, Blizzard still has to submit content, for example new maps. Then we'll talk again about upgrading .