Form it’s very beginning in 2016, Blizzard-developed first-person shooter Overwatch was compared to Valve’s Team Fortress 2. Similarities are obvious – fast-paced gameplay, different characters with unique abilities and gameplay mechanics, fairly light mood compared to other first-person shooters. Yes, Overwatch is very similar to Team Fortress 2, but at the same time, it’s completely different.
Blizzard is a well-known company not because they make original games, but because the company has a natural talent spotting promising ideas in other games. World of Warcraft was born out of Ultima Online, Hearthstone was born out of Magic The Gathering, Heroes of The Storm was created trying to simplify the popular MOBA genre. Same thing with Overwatch. Blizzard developers played a lot of arcade shooters like Quake, Unreal Tournament or Team Fortress 2 and Overwatch was born. It’s a mix of the best practices developed over the years with a unique twist.
The game was released with 20 heroes and throughout the years Blizzard added some new ones. In Overwatch every hero is different and their gameplay can be compared to wielding a different gun in any other game. Tracer shoots rapid rounds and does monster damage if you let her blink around you in close proximity, Hanzo arrows can hit like a train from a distance, while Phara’s rocket launcher can do some serious splash damage. Same as switching a gun in other games, Overwatch lets you switch a hero if you feel like your teammates are getting stomped and some new tools are required to breach the enemy ranks.
In any FPS shooter weapons are the key ingredient to enriching the gameplay experience. The more weapons you have the more variety the game has to offer. However, Overwatch is not only about shooting – each hero has an additional set of skills to give the game even more depth and tactical nuances. These abilities give Overwatch countless scenarios in a variety of maps, hundreds of different ability combinations and numerous tactical decisions a player or a team can make in every situation. This is an FPS with a depth you’ve never seen before.
You know what the best part is? Every new hero added to the game changes the dynamics of the combat. Some may argue that this is not a great thing but I insist to disagree. Every newly added hero combined with the five old ones poses ever new set of challenges, new puzzles to solve in each match. And that is truly wonderful. None of other shooters could boast about so many new things with a single “gun” update.
You may not like arcady Overwatch style and that’s fine. It’s not for everyone. But people who love these type of games have purchased a really great one. And not only quality wise. As long as Blizzard will be adding new heroes, Overwatch will have something new to offer gameplay wise. And that is why Overwatch will outlive its predecessors and will feel fresh for years to come. I truly believe that.