By Cam Stephen (Contributor)
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The newest game from developers Blizzard is the first-person objective-based shooter, Overwatch, and boy have they hit the mark with this one. Overwatch is addictive, and with its 21 unique characters and 12 richly designed maps, each game feels like a unique experience that plays slightly different from the last, and things never feels boring as you quickly lose yourself in the chaotic rumbles.
Each of the characters is split into one of four classes: offense, defense, tank, and support, but these are really simplistic labels. Each character is so varied from the next that you need to look further to understand what you will truly need for your team. One tank, for example, is Roadhog, a large man with a double-barreled shotgun who fights by singling out targets with a chain hook before blasting them in the face. But then another tank, Reinhardt, fights with a much different style: he has no gun, wielding a massive hammer as his primary weapon, and he is most known for the giant shield he projects, blocking damage for his team.
Loading into the game, you are placed onto a team with five other players and sent to one of 12 beautifully crafted maps. Each map features a different objective, such as capturing and defending a point from the enemy team or pushing a payload to the end of the map while the enemy team attempts to stop you. Games are fast-paced with many coming down to the wire in a tense overtime finish. Many times have I seen a team (mine or the opposing one) be far from victory, only to somehow extend the game long enough via overtime to push forward and win. It’s an incredibly exhilarating experience to be a part of and only makes you want to dig deeper and play more.
Overwatch never makes you feel like losing is a terrible thing, either. In a few other online games, if you lose you get nothing, experience points are minimal at best, and any added incentives are also taken away during a loss. In Overwatch that isn’t the case — you still gain a decent amount of experience to level up your character, and if you or someone else on your team did well enough, they can show up in the commendation screen or even be featured for having the “Play of the Game.” The commendation screen lists four players who all did well during the game: if you did a lot of damage, were extremely accurate, held the objective for a long time, you have a chance to be featured. The Play of the Game is a bit different; typically, it will show a character who deals a massive amount of damage to multiple opponents at once, resulting in a triple or quadruple kill.
Overall, Overwatch is a great game, whether you’re playing solo or with a group of friends. The amount of fun it offers without being repetitive is incredible and you’ll find yourself wanting to keep playing game after game.