It’s early June 2016, and Overwatch is out. Blizzard is now reporting approximately 7 million active players, showing just how damn popular the game is. Although I never thought the game was bad or would be unsuccessful, my last article focused exclusively on how I wasn’t going to buy the game. To no one’s surprise, that was a dirty lie, and I would like to give the game a more balanced review now that I’ve played through parts of the beta and spent plenty of hours mashing Q after the game’s release.
Ultimates Aren’t That Bad
My biggest issue with Overwatch during the beta was how powerful Ultimates were. They still are powerful, but it seems that the Overwatch player base, myself included, has learned to deal with them better. Not only are players saving up their ultimates to work in conjunction with their teammates, but they’re also taking more clues from the borderline obnoxious audio ques like “It’s High Noon” and “Ryuu Ga Waga Teki Wo Kurau.” I’m seeing a lot less team kills by random ultimates, even Reaper’s, whose ultimate is about as easy to multi-kill as it is to press “Q.”
Does this mean that I like Ultimates? Not really. I’d still prefer a separate Ultimate-free mode, but I recognize Blizzard’s reluctance and appreciate the power of Ultimates during particularly stale stalemates.
McCree & Mei Are Still Annoying
In my original article, I called for a very specific change to McCree’s Flashbang ability. Apparently I’m not the only one that thinks that McCree is way too strong at close range, considering there’s a lot of talk of Flashbang getting nerfed, but I’m not actually that pissed off by it anymore. McCree and Mei are the best close ranged characters by far, but they cause more tilt than actual damage to the game. “Feel bads” are a cause for concern, but like many of the game’s ultimates, McCree’s Flashbang is easy enough to anticipate and dodge. It’s dumb as hell, but if you see him coming, you shouldn’t be dying to McCree very often.
Maps Over Modes
I originally complained about not having enough game modes in the beta, but after playing for a while, I realized that my problem isn’t with the similarities between control points and payload maps, but with the maps themselves. I’ve gotten familiar enough with the maps in Overwatch to be able to instinctively run towards the nearest health kit, but with that familiar comes the frustration of playing the same maps over and over for an afternoon. I don’t have a favorite map, which is weird considering I’ve spent the last ten years playing Counter Strike exclusively on de_dust and cs_office. I do, on the other hand, have a few maps I wish I would like to avoid altogether. There are also some changes to specific maps that I would suggest, but instead of getting into too many details, I think it suffices to say that Overwatch needs more maps or some way to stop yourself from being Quick Matched on a map you hate.
Is Overwatch fun? Hell yes it is! It needs some work, but what game doesn’t at this stage in development? Matchmaking could be better (I’m approximately level 20, and have matched against level 115 players before), some characters could be rebalanced, and maps could use changing, but all in all, Overwatch is a great experience. Now I’m just waiting for mods to come out so that I can wipe the game of all the waifu/husbando garbage.