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Overwatch really went overboard when building up to yesterday’s release with larger-than-life action figures placed all over the world and beautifully-animated shorts. But it sure paid off, because this is probably one of the best multiplayer games I’ve played all year.
There was a time in my youth that I spent hunched over my laptop playing Team Fortress 2 long into the night with my friends. I wasn’t much of a PC gamer before then, but when I discovered Team Fortress 2, I became obsessed. And that same feeling is very present when I pick up Overwatch.
In Overwatch, you can choose from 21 different heroes to go into battle with, and they’re all situated into classes: Offense, Defense, Support and Tank.
In the Offense class, you’re going to have characters with missiles and assault rifles, weapons meant to go running in guns blazing. The offense category includes Pharah, Tracer, Genji, McCree, Soldier 76 and Reaper.
The Defense class includes heroes that have the highest damage output in the game and are better used to protect a team rather than run into a fight guns blazing. The heroes in this class include Bastion, Hanzo, Junkrat, Mei, Torbjorn and Widowmaker, and they might be a little more advanced in understanding controls and how to use them correctly.
The Support class is just what it sounds like: a class meant to support the team rather than attack or defend. So this is where you’re going to have your medics, those who help give health to teammates that might be on the verge of death. And as always with the support class, these heroes won’t deal that much damage because, again, support isn’t used for attacking. Heroes in this class include Lucio, Mercy, Symmetra and Zenyatta.
And finally, the Tank class is going to be the heroes are the front of the line heading into battle. Tanks tend to be bulkier characters with a longer health span so that they can handle more damage than the average character. D.Va, Reinhardt, Roadhog, Winston and Zarya are the champions in Overwatch labeled as the Tank class.
The class I used the most was, of course, the Offense class. And I really took a liking to Pharah. Blowing the missiles out of her gun and blowing away other players was a lot easier than my experience using the Soldier in Team Fortress 2, who I thought was similar to Pharah. It was easier to aim with Pharah and I felt like I was more on-point. I’ve always been a player who loves using missile-style guns, but I also tried out the other characters and found the easiest class to use was the Offense class. I don’t like the class because it’s easy, I like it because it fits my style of gameplay. I’m pretty good at using a heavy tank character in Team Fortress 2, but I noticed it wasn’t so easy for me in Overwatch.
In terms of the controls, I played Overwatch on the PlayStation 4 and this was the first time that I’ve played a game like this on the PS4. I went through college playing Team Fortress 2 on my laptop, so it took me a little bit to get used to the controls. They don’t feel as fluid on the PS4 and maybe that’s just because a game like this probably works best on the PC. Combining the popular WASD keys to move with the mouse to shoot in moments of high action allows for quick and fluid reactions, but not so much on the PS4. The analog sticks took me a little bit to get a feel for how they move and aim. If I had the capabilities to play this game on a PC, I would definitely do so over a console.
If there was ever a way to take the concept of Team Fortress 2 and upgrade it to something even better, Overwatch is it. I mean it took all of the elements of what made that game great like the characters’ distinct personalities, the classes, the weapons and the iconic maps and turned it into something totally different, but something much more elevated. The one thing I do hope to see from Overwatch is the same sense of community that I had with the Team Fortress 2 community. It’s the feeling of when I load into a map and start a match, I know exactly who I’m dealing with and can team up with people or know who to avoid.
So while Overwatch, in my opinion, felt more memorable than Battleborn, I can safely say the game totally exceeded my expectations. I was expecting it to be just a Team Fortress 2 wannabe, but it was something much more than that. There’s a wider selection of heroes to choose from, more gameplay modes, a number of different maps and so many weapons to explore. Overwatch delivered an unforgettable gameplay experience and left me wanting more.
This review based on a PS4 copy of the content provided by the publisher.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Activision Blizzard