Overwatch: Proof Blizzard Can Sell Anything

My review and thoughts on Overwatch will be straight forward and to the point as many or most of you likely already own the game. Overwatch is a rather generic and mediocre shooter when you strip away the Blizzard logo and look at it critically for what it really is. If this were released as a brand new IP from an unknown company, Overwatch would have gone relatively unknown and stood no chance against its competition in the space; In fact I have a feeling most would have knocked it hard for its shortcomings.

Overwatch is a straight copy of TF2 from character mechanics to game modes and even down to the zany nature of its characters personalities. They innovated some on certain abilities and attacks, tossed in more characters, but left it very vanilla after that.

There’s not much to Overwatch, and unfortunately little room to evolve the model. I’m sure they’ll add hats and gimmicks to the cash shop over the years to keep things fresh. That should work.

Team composition matters too much — probably the only legitimate comparison to a moba that I’ll allow. Have a poor team comp and you’re done. There’s also too much cheese. For example, stack a bunch of Toblerones and it breaks certain maps. Certain heroes have abilities which just aren’t balanced — and no, I don’t count having to swap heroes to take them out as balance. I had this discussion with Graev tonight about playing what you want to play vs playing what you have to play or are compelled to play. I like Hanzo the most, but I simply can’t play him when the enemy team comp won’t allow it or my team refuses to play a comp that stands a chance. If you’re on a team where everyone only picks the one hero they love to play, you’re doomed.

People aren’t going to stick with Overwatch long, but they’ll get their money’s worth (the single biggest positive influence on my scoring). Overwatch is a ‘good’ game, but it simply rehashes what has already been seen and done before. If you look past the rage-inducing balance issues, cheese, team stacking, and overly formulaic design, chances are you’ll have a blast.

  • Pretty much sums up every impression piece I’ve read. Honest and to the point. Why this is scoring so high (like Diablo 3 upon release) is all based on supreme polish and the instant graification it brings (again like D3 at release). A year or two down the line maybe some depth will be added, which i think is why so many have put their money behind Blizzard on this game.

  • Interesting that you give it a 7, as your review overall did not seem positive. I’m sure its has its issues and I never really played TF2 much, so I have no frame of reference to it. I’ve been too busy playing TW: Warhammer to play OW much, but I’ve had fun in the few hours I have played and look forward to playing more. A PC Gamer review I read claims its the best shooter to arrive in years and I have at least 2 friends that claim that it is so good they can’t stop playing it and are constantly bugging me to play. Honestly though, I’ve never been big into shooters though since the Unreal Tournament and Quake days, so I am probably not the best judge of their quality. But, I will say that I am doubtful that the interest will be fading all that fast.

  • The TF2 comparison really only works based on comparing singular features, because as a whole they aren’t close; TF2 is able to keep people interested for years, and my bet is that OW will be as popular next year as HotS is today (remember that game? No… yea no one else does either). That’s why it was smart of Blizzard to move it from F2P to a box sale, as this way even when most stop playing it, Blizzard can correctly still say OW was a financial success.

  • @Balthazar: I originally scored it a 6/10, but after seriously evaluating how much I’ve already played Overwatch and how much I can expect to play in the future, I had to give it a little more credit. I too have been into big shooters since UT and Quake. I think anyone with a longstanding relationship with the genre would say, “Didn’t I play this 10 years ago?” A huge demographic that plays Overwatch never touched games like Quake or Tribes or UT. Is it the best shooter in years? Yeah, but looking at the last 5 years that’s not saying much. Solid 7, but if you’re critical (I am) you’ll see the faults.

    @Coppertopper: Spot on with the polish and instant gratification being the reason. Otherwise there’s not a whole lot there to stop and say, “WoW”.

    @SynCaine: TF2 kept/keeps because of its servers, mods, etc. If it stayed in its vanilla state for years and years would not have yielded the same results. Agreed about the whole “financial success” angle.

  • i have so much fun with this game, not really a fan this type of game or any fps. i find i can play for 30 mins or so at a time and just have pure fun.

    as for the team set up i have not found this a problem at all on the EU servers. i sit on the character select screen and see whats needed, then pick my character. i see lots doing the same they will swap out to whats needed.

  • Re-skinned good games are still good games…. so the 7/10 is a fair assessment.

    Having said that… I already bought TF2 like 20 years ago. You missed my monies this time Blizz! Mwahahaa.

  • I’ve been playing FPS games fairly steadily for the past 18 years or so and I think Overwatch is a blast. My wife also plays and loves it. I played Team Fortress 2 for a few months off and on and it never connected for me the way Overwatch does. It’s all about the characters. They all have their own personality and charm, which Blizzard does very well. And even within each sub group of character type e.g. flanker or forward harasser, each of those plays completely different from the other. It’s a very refreshing change of pace over the Call of Duty style military shooter.

    I don’t think the player drop off for Overwatch will be any different than any other major shooter that has come out in the past 5 years. It’s just the nature of the FPS world. Well, the nature of the non-mmo world really. Just because you won’t be playing it in 6 months doesn’t mean it’s a bad game.

  • I played the beta for about 90 minutes and uninstalled. Un-original gameplay that I got tired of almost 10 years ago, but on top of that forcing you to play musical chars with characters because of severe balance issues.

    Completely average, but something blizzard is starting to get known for.

  • I may not be playing it in two years time (but who knows; drop in, drop out shooters are fun), but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my experience so far. More so than any other shooter I’ve experienced recently.

    Is that not the measure of a good game?

  • @Bathoz: I think it’s definitely the measure of your money’s worth and, as I say in my post, Overwatch is indeed a ‘good’ game. Have to wonder what could have been if it wasn’t so generic and a rehash/reskin.

  • While it is TF2 reskinned and polished, its not a bad game. Honestly TF2 is no longer TF2 considering all of the crazy shit they have added with every class now having 50+ weapons.

    What I find interesting and hopeful for Overwatch is its patches. Right now they are Blizzard has established themselves as a game company that can make any game. Not just RPGs. They have a new engine and a lot of cool assets that has a lot of potential. Who wouldn’t want a single player campaign set in the world of Overwatch? They are going to keep this game going, don’t think the success of DOOM’s single player was overlooked. In a few years you’ll see something come out that is either co-op or FPSMOBA.

    I’m already happy with my purchase and I’ve had a ton of fun playing with my friends, and it leaves me wanting more.

    Keen if you want to play Hanzo… play Hanzo no one really cares all that much and if they do, mute them and set that player as one you don’t want to play with in the future.

  • “People aren’t going to stick with Overwatch long”

    Keen you are usually on the mark with reviews, but I hate to say it, you are so way off on this., this game is a solid 9 , haven’t had this much fun in years.

  • Actually I just want to add more to this, Some one above mentioned a comparison to this being the same as diablo 3, that it scores so high but is just instant gratification. How many countless reviews has Keen gone through that he reviews a game for a 8/10 and finished it in a month, and now Diablo 3 and Overwatch are held to some higher requirement for longevity than other games?

    What Rubbish, if a game is good and provides at least of months entertainment then give it the 8 it deserves, but don’t come moaning how diablo only lasted you 6 months and then berating it for that, Diablo 3 was a fantastic game, I played it for 5 months and I have let it sleep now, remembering it for what it was, no one berates Call of duty or Warhammer or whatever other franchise a year down the line for not lasting more than 2 months??

  • @Joy-Energiser: A 7/10 is not a bad review on our scoring system where on other sites that’s the lowest score they give. It’s on the high-end of above average for us. I’d say Overwatch is a “good” game. That doesn’t mean I can’t believe it’s generic, or a rehash, or a game that won’t last long if it doesn’t add to its existing foundation. I also review games against themselves and what they easily could have been.

    We simply have different criteria for how we view games. I don’t think your view is “rubbish” nor would I fault you for saying a game deserves high marks because it lasts a long time. I don’t necessarily knock a game for not lasting a long time — I’ll knock it if it SHOULD have lasted a long time. For example, I definitely would not expect a game like Uncharted 4 to last me more than a month. Why? It’s a story game. I’ll play through it and be done. Do I expect a game like Diablo to be played for more than a month? Yes. Why? Because 90% of the game is built around doing things over and over again, therefore it can be judged upon its ability to retain. Same goes for Overwatch.

    I see myself happily dabbling in OW until Legion comes out. At times it’s fun, at times it’s not. When I don’t have fun, I stop playing. When I have fun, I’ll go another round.

    And note: I definitely knock Call of Duty for lasting only 2 months and being a recycled series.