Overwatch Review Part 1: Beta Analysis

The release of Overwatch is upon us and boy have we been anticipating it! Awesomley, Blizzard has upped the release date, with Overwatch servers now becoming playable by 4:00pm PST. If you haven’t played the May 5-10 open beta, now will be your chance to get a hold of the full game and see if you can take your heroes to victory (or failure, since admittedly I’m kind of bad). We here at TGS will feature a2-part review with a beta analysis following this intro and the review coming out next Sunday. So on with the analysis!

Upon entering the beta on May 5, I was impressed with the ease of drop in play the menu had. A minute or so of waiting, I was immediately taken into the selection screen and got to pick the champion I would start the match with. Overwatch allows you to change your champion on the fly, meaning if you die or find that the opponents are changing up their roster, you can try to fill the different roles you need to survive. Overwatch has 4 main roles for its roster: Offensive (damage dealers and assassins), Defensive(snipers and more long range support), Tanks (shields and bruisers), and Support(utility and healers). Now some roles have a few more champions than others, but all champions have a very unique play-style and you will easily find your niche on any team. Some champions are a little more difficult to play than others, but all are fun and all have a place in any match(as long as you can counter your opponent). By the way, never do a full team of Genjis; although he is amazing, 5 of them just will not get you the victory you need.

There are three main game modes released in the beta: a king of the hill scenario, a defend/escort scenario, and a timed control/defend scenario. Each scenario is played on a wide variety of maps based on real world locations, from a Hollywood studio back lot to a ruined Egyptian style temple. Each environment is absolutely gorgeous, with numerous hiding places, vantage points, and hallways to plan your attack and find your way to defeat your enemy. Although the maps were simply beautiful, we found the initial game modes to be extremely similar to the other. Each one involves an attack and capture or defense and secure type scenario run by a time clock. If you successfully defend your objective, you win, and if you attack and capture all objectives, you win… that’s it. Here’s to hoping that either there are more game modes released tomorrow to play or that Blizzard quickly updates the game with more to do. It would be fun to run a capture the flag type scenario or a team death match/last man standing to be added in.

One thing that will disappoint is the sheer amount of unlockables that the game contains. Every character has at least 4 color variations on their main skin along with 2 different costumes each with their own color variant. You can collect cool victory poses for the characters as well as new emotes and taunts to harass your team or challengers with.

Every level you earn on your profile gifts you a loot chest, which when opened contains 5 different pieces of random gear to add to your profile. What isn’t surprising is that there will be some amount of optional micro-transactions, as you can purchase coins to help you quickly unlock your desired skin for your favorite champion. On top of this, Blizzard is announcing a new character for tomorrow to add to the roster, which either will be released free or unlocked through earning or purchasing coins. So although micro-transactions are frustrating, we shall see if Blizzard will keep the carrot desirable enough for us to keep emptying our pockets for it.

This week we shall be playing and analyzing Overwatch even further and providing you with more insight into whether Blizzard’s journey into first person shooters will be a flip(most likely, Overwatch is really fun despite its limited game modes) or a flop. Let us know what you think, what were your impressions of the beta? What do you hope to see in Overwatch for the future?

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