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 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.
I ended the first season at the higher end of gold. The second season in platinum…
As each season passed though, it got harder to play the game seriously. Competitive became full of griefers, and unless you were playing competitive with a team of friends or fellow competitive gamers then getting out of Platinum becomes increasingly difficult.
For someone like me, well I spend a lot of time playing other games to review here on Breech and out of my own curiosity and voracious gaming appetite. I certainly wouldn’t say that I played more than 20 hours of Overwatch per week after season 1. It was still certainly my main game though, at least until about three months ago…
So what changed?
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 heros to a high-level.
It got to half way through the season, and now I couldn’t even get out of gold. In fact I was flirting dangerously with silver.
I just thought, is this right?
Whether I played in silver, gold or platinum I’d usually have the most damage, eliminations and objective kills. Sure I mainly played DPS, but I also played Zarya and Winston A LOT. When you start getting those stats with the tanks you know you’re playing with people below your level.
Yet… Every season my skill was ‘dropping’. Then the lag hit, and the lag issue started for me as well as many others after the Horizon Lunar Colony update. This meant I started to disconnect at random times, as well as get massive lag spikes that would leave me as a sitting duck for the enemies.
After searching for a fix, and after many people complaining to Blizzard about the same thing. Nothing was changed. Instead what we got was Doomfist. An insanely OP hero that was released more to keep interest in the game high than anything.
I’m not the only one that was frustrated with the direction overwatch has headed over the last year though. Small improvements were all that was needed, instead there has been a focus on introducing new heros, 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, maybe an additional map or two that was actually decent. And most importantly, actually balancing the heros 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, or different SR gains based on your hero.
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!
That’s not fun, and that’s why I quit.
What’s good about Overwatch…
Despite the fact that I’ve stopped playing the game for now, 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. It’s still fun to play if you’re into a more casual FPS challenge, and there’s also the deathmatch game mode now which definitely means you don’t need to rely on your team so much. Which I can imagine is like a funner more modern version of Quake.
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 heros 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 than 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 you, but 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 players involved for a long time coming.