Updated: April 26th 2018
Let me be clear about this, I bought Overwatch the day it was released. Sure I didn’t play Beta and I didn’t pre-order the game.
However, I bought it and started right off maining Pharah.
It was a lot of fun, I got better and better at it. The competition improved, the game exploded in popularity and then the announcement of competitive mode came, and soon Season 1 was looming.
The first season was simply brilliant, the change in pace and seriousness of the matches was a huge bonus. It was also amazing when they stopped allowing more than one of the same hero in matches.
All of these small changes, brought about big improvements for the gameplay when the game was released.
Blizzard is well known for constantly tweaking their games, and Overwatch is no different.
The team is constantly patching the game to try and better balance the game.
This can become a little annoying, as one patch to another the game can change quite drastically. In a sense, the game is almost fundamentally unbalanced all the time.
Since the initial release of the game Blizzard has released a lot of new heroes to the game which hasn’t helped with the balance issues.
One thing that myself and other players of the game have noticed is that these new heroes are almost purposely overpowered at the time they’re released.
This usually stays this way for at least a month, while the hype is still there. It makes sense for them from a marketing point of view, but for players that have spent time getting good at a few heroes and roles, it sucks to get your ass kicked by some noob with an OP hero.
New Game Modes
There’s a lot of different game modes on Overwatch that you can play via the ‘Arcade’, but generally I’m not a huge fan of these. Of course there are people that play these solely, but for me the draw of the game was always the 6v6 strategic FPS play.
A few of the game modes that are actually decent;
– 3v3 Elimination
Don’t get me wrong, these ones are fun sometimes, but the unbalanced aspects of the game show up even more in these game types.
In Deathmatch you’ll usually be facing whichever heroes are most OP in the current meta.
In 3v3 Elimination you’ll find certain heroes that are simply better. Right now in April 2018 one good setup I’ve seen is Mei, Brigitte and Roadhog. If those 3 players are on Discord, you’ve probably already lost that game.
Horizon Lunar Colony Update
If you’re reading this in 2018 then you’ll probably not be aware that this update is quite old now. The reason I bring it up is due to the massive issue it caused a lot of players, myself included.
This update created some kind of issue on the PC version of the game where a lot of players were constantly getting major lag and disconnect issues in the game. Across the web there were plenty of people giving their advice about how to fix it, but no real movement from the developers themselves.
It got so bad I couldn’t play the game for 6 months of 2017…
Luckily the issue seems to be fixed now, or at least for me. But any game where an update can make the game unplayable for a percentage of its players for that long, with no immediate action from the developers is something that I’d be worried about spending my money on if I were asking “is this game worth it?”.
Competitive In 2018
As I said, I’d been playing the game since more or less the beginning. I knew the maps inside out, I knew how to play several heroes to a high-level.
The one thing I don’t do is play with a team of people, or with a group of friends. This is the same for a lot of players.
I can play D.va and get 4 golds, I can do the same on a bunch of heroes that shouldn’t be dominating the stats like I do with them… Yet can I get out of Gold in comp anymore?
Hell no I can’t. I’ve been playing the game since the beginning, I’ve only got better and more experienced and my stats prove it. Yet more often than not I find myself flirting dangerously with silver rank.
I just thought, is this right?
Over the last few seasons I’ve played Zarya, D.va and Winston A LOT. When you start getting the stats with the tanks you know you’re playing with people below your level. Which is in a nutshell one of the main problems with this game. Take away the balance issues, and you’ve still got the fact that you can’t progress without a good team around you. Unless you find a team, or have a good group of friends, it’s really luck of the draw whether you get placed in a decent team.
It’s got to the point where I simply don’t play competitive beyond the placement matches at the start of every season. Just to get the sprays for that particular season.
How They Could Improve The Game
I’m not the only one that was frustrated with the direction overwatch has headed over the last year or two though. Small improvements were all that was needed, instead, there has been a focus on introducing new heroes, new maps and the constant tweaking of characters has left the game more unbalanced than it was originally.
The focus should have been on the servers at all times, an additional map or two that was actually decent. And most importantly, actually balancing the heroes properly. In terms of competitive, all they needed to do was implement a really good way of rewarding player contributions as well as the end result.
If you played 5 matches in a row and acquired a total of 15 golds, you should be rewarded for it, but for unknown reasons they refuse to implement such a system. Now I’m not saying personal achievement should reward more SR, but it should at least reward a tangible amount.
Instead what’s happened is a cluster fuck that’s sent a lot of players the opposite direction, when a game starts to make you more angry than entertained, something’s definitely not right!
What’s good about Overwatch…
Despite the fact that I’ve stopped playing the game regularly, I’m still glad I bought it and I had a lot of fun times playing the game.
What drew me to the game was the amazing possibilities for real tactical battles that were constantly evolving. The need to outsmart the enemy team as much a part of the game as your actual skill and accuracy.
It was like some kind of amazing mix between Team Fortress 2 and Battlefield or CoD. It mixed the good bits and left the bad bits out.
It was for a while exactly what was promised, and to this day there are still redeeming features about the game.
If you have a good group of friends to play with, I don’t think there’s a better FPS out there and if you simply don’t care about winning then the game is also a lot of fun in Quick Play.
Should I Buy Overwatch – The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a potentially game-changing FPS title that sees us shift away from the lackadaisical repetitiveness of the Call of Duty / Battlefield type games, then Overwatch is definitely for you.
However if you’re a highly competitive gamer, or a gamer without a huge amount of time – you’ve got to be aware that you’re not going to be able to progress very far competitively without a team.
There’s also the constant changes to keep up with, the game drifts between having periods where it feels extremely balanced and enjoyable, to points where the game is virtually unplayable due to over-powered heroes and ridiculous metas.
The bottom-line is if you want a stable game, this isn’t really it, and if you want a game where you’re not going to want to pull your hair out regularly then this isn’t it.
On the other hand though, if you want a game to have casual FPS fun on where you can experiment with many different styles of play, then this game is probably more than worth it for you.
Until the game matures, and the initial hype dies down I don’t think we’re going to see a game that lends itself very much to casual competitive gaming. It’s aimed at eSports teams and making more and more revenue. In order to do this, they need to keep changing things to cause hype and they need to pander to the eSports teams and the twitch streamers.
So should you buy overwatch? I can’t say for sure. It depends on what you value in a game. If this honest run-down of the game has put you off personally, I did put a list together of 5 good games like Overwatch.
Overall, before you purchase you’ve got to know that there’s plenty of problems with the game right now and that it’s got a long road ahead if it’s ever going to hope to keep the serious fans of the game involved for a long time coming.