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Blizzard’s Polish Makes Other Games Hard to Play

Today I actually managed to get some gaming in! I played Overwatch for the first time in many, many months. The first thing I noticed was how ridiculous smooth and gorgeous the animations were.

I chose to play Junkrat. Lobbing those grenades reminds me of Demoman from TF2 — one of my favorites. The attention to detail is miraculous. Even when you jump, Junkrat’s grenade launcher’s little lid that goes over the barrel flaps with the physics. I seriously would jump just to watch it happen.

I don’t have much more to say for this short entry other than to marvel at the polish and wish that other games would carry that same level of awe-inspiring finish. The gamingverse would be a much different place if they did.

Even Battlefront 2, which felt infinitely better than a game like CoD WW2, pales by comparison.

Anyway, just musing on the observation.

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  • Tristan says:

    There’s also polish in the out of game UX. It’s immediately obvious how to get into a game (whether casual or ranked) as soon as you log in and it’s no more than one or two button presses away. And that doesn’t change over the months and updates. The same can *definitely* not be said of most other multiplayer games which in adding features and options to how to play create a barrier to just loading up the game and playing, particularly if you haven’t played the game in awhile.

    • Keen says:

      Very good point. The UX is polished and everything is intuitive. Psychologically, that removes friction which causes frustration. Even the micro-moments of frustration such as “how do I exit the game?” can lead to prolonged animosity toward a game or brand.

      I was playing CoD WW2 and I couldn’t get out of the game. Escape wasn’t doing anything. I had to make my way through menus to find one that would finally show “quit”. ALTF4 should not be the easiest option.

  • SynCaine says:

    I think a lot of the additional animation work in Overwatch is a carryover from the game originally being the next MMO they were working on for years, so they had a LOT of time poured into such things before changing course. I’m not sure if they started from scratch it would be like that, but with all those sunk costs they already had it all ready to go. Going forward, it will be interesting to see if they continue it; it’s a lot of work most people likely don’t notice too much.

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