Thursday, June 02, 2016

Nerf this! (But actually please don't)

Based on how quickly I've lost interest with team-based multiplayer FPS games in the past (Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead, specifically), I didn't expect Overwatch to grab me like it has. I avoided the open beta (instead playing the beta of Battleborn, which I didn't care for at all), so all I knew about Blizzard's highly-anticipated team shooter was that it had cool-looking characters.

By Overwatch's launch week, those cool character designs had captured my full attention, and on launch day, I bought the game, armed only with the knowledge that it had more than 20 characters, each one unique in both visual style and play style. That, and the fact that everyone seemed really excited for the game.

That variety and personality is what makes Overwatch so good. Unlike fighting games, whose character designs lure unsuspecting players, only to have them dislike (or just not understand) how the character works, Overwatch offers characters ranging in difficult from dead-simple to pleasantly challenging – and encourages players to switch characters when a match isn't going well. My first hour with the game started with me enjoying the firepower and mobility of Pharah, then the versatility of Widowmaker's sniper-rifle-which-is-also-a-machine-gun, and later, Winston's long-distance ground pounds and fits of rage.

Currently my favorite is D.Va, the gamer girl with the big, pink powersuit. Her ability to survive the destruction of her mech and then re-summon it again in the same life means that, if played right and supported well by her team, she can bring about a perpetual cycle of woe for the opposition.

Here's a match that went really well for D.Va and me:

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