“We need a Hero!”: Overwatch Review

Posted in Kulturecade by - March 13, 2017

Overwatch is the latest outing by the widely-acclaimed studio, Blizzard, who graced the world with exhilarating titles such as World of Warcraft and Starcraft. The difference is that Overwatch decided to jump over to console despite Blizzard’s standing with PC gaming. Overwatch has won multiple Game of the Year awards, high critical praise, and fans all over the world enjoy it. But why? I am going to explain everything that makes Overwatch such a unique gaming experience. As the Overwatch character, Lucio says, “Let’s break it down!”

As I do all my reviews, this piece will be broken down into multiple categories, making it easier to ingest the game’s features. So, onto the visuals.

Visually, the game is stunning, but not because the graphics are amazing, but because the art style of the game is very anomalous. What I mean by this is that the style of Overwatch is different from other games, and didn’t try to follow the standard ‘ultra-mega super-duper graphics’ trail. This game strayed more towards a cartoony feel or a comic book style. Every character’s look is perfectly done for each character, every map’s details, whether it be small or large are very well placed and thought out, and every weapon, every spray, every costume; it’s just done so uniquely. There have been times where a friend and I would play custom games and mess around on there for a while, and while playing, I never noticed that each map is beautiful. It’s these things you don’t see during the fast-paced combat or trying to fight your opponents off the objective point; these are things you must see closely and realize how much thought was put into Overwatch.

The sounds and music of this game are unbelievably imposing. The music has a ‘battle feel’ and is energetic. Also, each map has its own theme song of sorts and hearing each one makes you excited to get into the game (if you’re a fan of the map, of course). The sounds of the guns, the ultimate abilities, the voice lines for each character, these attributes are what make the sounds of Overwatch some of the best in a multiplayer game I have ever heard.

Onto the story aspect, but might I add, there isn’t much to talk about. If you’re looking for a game with a well-paced story, then you’ve come to the wrong game, bucko.  I will say, however, that there is a story, but it’s not in the game. Confusing, right? Well, it’s a little different than what you would expect. Before the release of Overwatch, Blizzard released multiple CGI short films that explained the plot and characters of Overwatch. I will say that these films are super enjoyable and I’ve watched almost every one of them, but it still doesn’t add to the fact that the awesomely portrayed story in the films are not in the core game.

Okay, gripe at me. Sure, if you take the story from the films and throw it into your gameplay, then yes, there is your story, but I would rather not have to watch multiple short films to understand the backstory of the game I spent my money on, no matter how interesting how it is. I will also add that the more I play, the more I uncover that there are story elements, hints, and references placed throughout each map. That’s awesome, but once again, I would love a story to go off. Basically, in short (and yes, I know it is just a video game), but there are multiple teams in the Overwatch lore, and there are many characters for each team, each of which you can play as. I just don’t understand why there are characters in the lore fighting side by side with their archenemies. I would love to be corrected, maybe I haven’t dived deep enough into the lore of the game, but it just doesn’t make sense at times.

Another cool aspect of the story, however, is the dialogue between each character. Each hero you play as seems to have dialogue with another player’s choice of hero chatting on past events that are shown in the lore. It’s neat to uncover and break down these lines between each character, but enough with the story since it is practically nonexistent in the game.

Onto the doozy of the review, the gameplay. This gameplay is some of the most fast-paced, smoothest and just damn exciting gameplay I have ever witnessed. This game is first person, with just a pinch of third person depending on the character. The game modes are simple; objective. Objective, objective, objective, and objective. The only game modes available other than Skirmish, which is what you play when you are waiting for players or just playing a custom game. I love the fact that this game is objective based. It’s different from the Call of Duty and Battlefield ‘run and gun’ type of modes. This game takes cooperation, although sometimes it’s not there. It’s highly team based; without the proper team, you’re screwed, so play with a friend or friends, and if you can’t do that then join the voice chat, it does wonders, trust me.

Each hero is what makes the game. Each one you choose has different roles, abilities, stories, and attributes, which some characters could have a whole game based off them honestly. You need to make sure you pick the one for you, and it takes a little time to see who you are best with. If you want to be an offender, try the ninja star throwing Genji. Defender? The Swedish turret-loving Torbjorn. Tank? Reinhardt, shield your team and take down some baddies with a giant hammer or ax. Support? Mercy. Revive your teammates with your ultimate ability and give your team some heals! Any of these sound interesting? I just listed 4 of the 23 playable heroes. Get in there and find out who you think you would be bets as I promise you there is someone.

The more I play Overwatch, the more I realize that you need at least a few character choices. Some heroes are good for some maps and not for others, some for each game mode and some not. You will learn to realize that Overwatch is like Shrek, it has layers. You must slowly peel these layers and focus on what character is good for what map, or just what hero would benefit your team the most at the time. Each hero plays a role, and I cannot stress that enough. Do what is best for your team. Need a healer? Do not spam the ‘Need Healing!’ button a million times, just switch to a healer. You could benefit your own healing skills and benefit the team at the same time. Don’t feel sheltered to one character, have multiple choices! I have about three mains that I run with, and I’m always working on more.

The best part about this game is the customization. There are many, many, many, unlockables that you get from loot boxes, which are earned through leveling up. The feeling of opening a loot box is just something magical. There are skins, voice lines and sprays and each character has multiple of each that fit that said character.

Overwatch was a smash hit, and there are many reasons why. I explained my opinion on the game, but there are just some things that cannot be said through words and only gameplay. If you are even thinking about checking this game out, do it. I said it, DO IT! You will not regret it. The fast-paced combat is something to pick up, the unique characters are something to die for, and the overall atmosphere of Overwatch is something rare, and it does it so well. From all of us at Kulture Shocked, happy gaming!

  • Release Date: 5/24/2016
This post was written by

Tucker Boyd is a gaming staff writer for Kulture Shocked. Growing up, all he wanted was to play video games. Jokes on you, he never grew up. His life consists of video games every day, reading comic books and watching movies. These things have molded him into a giant pop culture fanatic and he’s not a bit ashamed of it. He loves sitting down and having discussions about games, movies, and comics and dreams that one day he will be able to make a living off these things.

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