Overwatch: A Heartbreaking Adventure of Heroes

A few weeks ago, Blizzard Entertainment released Overwatch, a new game that I’ve been seeing gamer friends repeatedly posting their anticipation over and over again in my social media feeds. The artwork online and preview videos on YouTube promised striking anime inspiration in its character design, a world of wild and wicket combat tactics, and a wide array of maps based on real-life locations. Pretty cool, I thought.

Then I watched this short film…

Now I wanted to play this game.

If you skipped by the animated short, what are you doing?! It’s only six minutes and so worth it! But if you can’t watch the short film, let me bring you up to speed…

Somewhere in the future, planet Earth brings an A.I. online that follows the worst-case scenario: global takeover. So the world government creates Overwatch, an elite law enforcement organization that protects Earth from the forces of darkness, A.I. or otherwise. The various agents of Overwatch performed their duties without fail; but once the malicious A.I. was defeated and peace spread around the world, nations asked “Why keep Overwatch?” Not only were these heroes of the world disbanded, they were also deemed as outlaws.

Now, an ominous darkness is spreading across the face of the world’s nations. In secret, Overwatch reassembles to fight for the side of right.

mercy-overwatchVisually, Overwatch is stunning. The global setting of the game and the characters representing various countries and cultures set the stage for a white-knuckled, adrenaline-pumping, full-on player-versus-player experience. Once unlocked, a player can choose from a variety of different characters, all from different classes:

  • Offensive (designed to deal damage, but vulnerable)
  • Defense (optimized to defend a position, lay traps, and keep opponents at bay)
  • Tank (yeah, you can guess what these characters are all about)
  • Support (healers and hindrances, these are heroes you want on your side)

Overwatch pairs up six combatants against six other combatants, and the combat coming next pits character’s skills and player’s strategies against one another. It’s a lot to take in, but the combat is equally as beautiful and breathtaking as the maps you are exploring. Sound great, right? Sounds like I’m loving this new offering from Blizzard, right?

Well…

Don’t get me wrong—I like this game a lot. The problem is I want to love it.

Before those gamers begin hammering my Comments with “n00b” slurs, I’m the first one to say I’m in new territory here. I found myself slowly slipping back into console gaming after decades of being away (“Back in MY DAY, I had a joystick and a button AND I WAS HAPPY!”), so yes, maybe I am not completely educated on the nuances of the PvP style games. What I find so frustrating about this game is this incredible backstory and its fascinating characters revealed through the game’s introduction and Blizzard’s accompanying short films…and I am not offered any kind of interaction with this intrigue in game play.

Seriously, have you seen this?

Or how about this one?

Okay, so, hold on—why did the world cast Overwatch aside? Why are they now considered outlaws? What brought them out of retirement? What about the world’s reaction to Overwatch’s return? These are the questions I have no answers to!

And no matter how many hours I clock in with the game, no answers will come.

Overwatch-GenjiThere is that possibility that Blizzard has something in the works though to remedy this. On downloading the game Overwatch carried a subtitle: Origins. Could this mean DLC that is more story driven as opposed to only PvP? Don’t get me wrong—I don’t have an issue with PvP games. I just prefer games that offer a story, and it is clear that Overwatch has that at its core: an incredible story. Presently, it’s worth playing. The visuals are stunning, but can those visuals offer staying power?

How about you? Are you playing Overwatch? What do you think of it? What direction would you like to see Winston and crew undertake?

And what would you like to see next from these incredible short films?

3 thoughts on “Overwatch: A Heartbreaking Adventure of Heroes

  1. I have been playing Overwatch as a casual gamer, or as casual as you can get with that game. I didn’t even know about the backstory before reading this. It’s been pitched to me so often as a turbo version of Team Fortress 2 that I never even thought about what “origins” referred to. Now I have videos to watch!

  2. I haven’t watched the animated short yet. But yeah it’s a little frustrating that the gameplay and PvP setting where Overwatch are fighting… Overwatch? isn’t explained. I think it’s just part of the game design, as there’s no single player campaign.

    I have a feeling Blizzard will address this somehow either with more shorts, another game down the line, or possibly some sort of DLC or expansion pack.

  3. I was so psyched for Overwatch’s release, til I learned it was PvP only. I had hopes from Tracer’s comment in the Cinematic trailer to the older brother meant we could create our own heroes…but, like you said, maybe Blizzard has a whole world up it’s sleeve for us yet to come.

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