Overwatch on Xbox One, PlayStation, PC MAG

February 23, 2018
By Soup1039 GOLD, Christiana, Pennsylvania
Soup1039 GOLD, Christiana, Pennsylvania
16 articles 0 photos 2 comments

On May 24,2016, Blizzard’s new shooter “Overwatch” took the world by storm. Although I only recently joined in on the craze, I can already say that the game is different from any shooter I’ve ever seen, and played, to date. Before I continue, let me clarify that I’m playing on an Xbox One, with a microphone.


My initial reaction to the game was awe at how amazing the graphics are. The game immediately loads up with the Blizzard logo, and then a five-minute cinematic play, with Winston explaining a brief background of “Overwatch.” It’s nothing too fancy; you’ll have to go on the official “Overwatch” website for comics and full descriptions of each character. My only criticism is that the cinematic always plays. Although you can skip it, it’s annoying to have to click past every time you load the game. The game takes you into a 10-minute tutorial about the controls. The game automatically makes you play Soldier 76, and only focuses on his abilities. Finally, you’re taken to the menu of the game, and left on your own.


I hopped into a game, and was brought into a character selection menu. On the far right was warnings about team composition, which I found extremely helpful. However, I wish that the tutorial explained the categories of heroes and how to navigate the character selection menu, which I found stressful since the game was constantly telling my team and me to add more tanks, use less supports and snipers, along with other messages. To the left of the warnings was my teammates, and the characters they chose. Below my teammates character icons were the characters themselves, separated by plain icons indicating the role of each character. As you scroll through the characters, they each ‘pop’ up on screen with a large full body image and a head shot from the waist up.
I eventually settled on Mexican Sombra for no real reason but that she looked cool. The game soon started, and I was left to fend on my own with teammates. We were playing on the map Junkertown which I found extremely confusing. Whenever I died, or was eliminated (as Blizzard calls it), I was taken to a random spawn location. I would often get lost, and end up wandering for a few minutes before finally finding an enemy. After engaging, I was able to use a vast amount of abilities which were unique to each character. As I shot (very badly I might add), the controller vibrated and my ultimate percentage rose. Every character has a different ultimate that hinders the other team. The ultimates range from Zenyatta’s healing, to Soldier 76’s never-miss tactical visor. The character I was playing, Sombra, along with the other characters, also had numerous abilities which have various cooldowns – from an eight-second Sombra hack cooldown to a mere four seconds for Doomfist’s rocket punch.


The attention to detail in “Overwatch” definitely blew me away. Each character’s gun, reload, and idle movements are different: Bastion’s weapon swings around like it’s hanging by a thread and rusted, while Soldier 76’s gun is very precise, without a piece out of line. This is very different from “Call Of Duty” or other shooters where the guns are purely functional and don’t display unique characteristics. Another small detail in “Overwatch” is the interesting and interactive dialogue. I found myself listening for the tiny quips of conversation between characters on various maps and times. For instance, Soldier 76 shouts, “Back in my day, we would have had this payload delivered by now!” if the payload isn’t delivered quickly enough. There is even special dialogue for certain skins, if you choose them. The skins vary from simple blues, greens, or yellows, to abstract dresses and backstory clothing. For instance, Pharah has colored skins, but also has one that references her past job as a security guard.


After exploring the maps, skins, and characters, I decided to embark on my final journey: voice chat. “Overwatch” supports the ability to plug in a microphone and chat with other players in games and parties. I plugged in my mic and started talking. I’ve found that unless you’re in competitive mode, people don’t really talk, but I did manage to enough experience with it to offer advice to the new mic users: When you’re adjusting your mic, mute it. No matter what you do, your mic will sound like you’re shoving it down your throat, which will annoy everyone. Also, don’t scream or complain. You’d think that would be obvious, but 60% of the people I’ve met on voice chat speak in screams, or complain that you’re not good enough while they die for 40th time in a match.


My only overall criticism for “Overwatch” is the reporting system. After being thoroughly disappointed by it, I decided to experiement with being the worst player ever. For a week, I threw games, hollered,complained, and jumped off of cliffs on purpose. Even after hundreds of reports, I was never banned, or even warned. If “Overwatch” can fix that, I would be much happier.


A final tip of advice for new players: If you’re coming from “Call Of Duty,” “Halo,” or any other shooter game and you’re looking for a character that hits close to home, try using Soldier 76. As his name suggests, his character is a soldier and a great starting point for new players just trying to get their feet wet in the world of “Overwatch.” 



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