November 7, 2014, was the first time I ever saw Overwatch. I heard rumblings online of a new Blizzard game that was radically different from anything they had ever released before. I found the first cinematic trailer and for the next six minutes, my eyes were glued to the screen.
Watching as Winston crashed through the ceiling of the Overwatch museum as Widowmaker and Reaper rained down bullets on him was intense and thrilling to behold. But as soon as Tracer made her debut – blinking and flipping across the screen, hollering catch phrases at the top of her lungs – I knew that the game was something special. The first four characters that were shown off displayed the diversity of the game’s cast. The Pixar-like animation in the trailer perfectly highlighted the fast paced action, great character designs, and originality of the world. The same day saw the release of the first official gameplay trailer, showing off the abilities and how the game really looked in action. As soon as I saw both of these trailers I rushed out of my room, down the stairs and to the kitchen where my roommates were sitting. They’re all big fans of Blizzard’s games, so I started gushing about it to them. After roughly ten minutes of footage, I was already hooked on Overwatch.
I hadn’t even touched the game yet but I was already fully on board. But there was one issue – I only had consoles and Overwatch was announced for release exclusively on PC. So I turned to my roommates and declared then and there that I would build a PC and play Overwatch the minute that it graced store shelves. But that didn’t happen.
I continued to take in any information on the hero shooter as soon as it came out while continuously pushing back my dream of constructing a capable gaming rig. But late last year, at Blizzcon 2015, Blizzard made an announcement that had been a long time coming; Overwatch was officially coming to Xbox One and PS4. I heard this news and knew I had a decision to make. Would I just sit back and wait for the game to come to consoles, or take action and finally build a PC powerful enough to handle the hectic action so I could play it the way it was meant to be played? I hastily decided to take to Newegg with the help of my roommate (who had built a PC or two in his day) and start assembling my machine. By the days end, I had put everything in the cart and ordered everything I would need. I still had months until Overwatch finally launched, but I was ready to go.
You’re probably wondering, why would I go to so much trouble for a game I had never even played? From the minute I saw the first trailer, I was completely on board. Everything about the game seemed right up my alley, especially considering how bored I’ve gotten with the multiplayer modes of Call of Duty and Halo over the years. Whenever a new Call of Duty makes its way onto store shelves I eagerly jump into the multiplayer but end up only staying invested for a week or two. Unlocking guns and being constantly shot by twelve-year-olds isn’t the most fun in the world. And even though Overwatch doesn’t have any unlocks and there will still be plenty of twelve-year-olds who seem just a little too skilled for their age, the diverse roster of characters means that no two matches will be the same.
Learning the ins-and-outs of each character, how they fit into the team dynamic and which heroes they work best against takes time and patience. Everything about the title appealed to me, so I didn’t hesitate for a second to make sure I would be able to experience it as smoothly as possible.
Now that I’ve finally gotten my hands on it, I can confirm that my instant fanboyism was well placed. The cast of characters speaks to me in a way that the cast of other, similar games – like Battleborn – simply haven’t. Each objective pushes the action forward at a good clip while simultaneously allowing for plenty of tense enemy encounters. It’s everything that I’ve been looking for in a multiplayer shooter for years, which makes it even more surprising that I was so sure that I would like it from minute one.
It’s rare to like a game instantly like that, and I say that as someone who has been playing games for the majority of my life. To me, this just highlights how important Overwatch will be in the years to come, especially in the very saturated shooter market. I know I’m not the only one who was ready to lay down $60 after seeing the first trailer.
The fact that it reached so many people this quickly, and kept them interested for almost two years after that speaks volumes about its approachability. I was borderline obsessed with Overwatch leading up to its May 2016 release. I watched every trailer, found any Twitch streamer that was playing the closed beta and read any articles that popped up. I haven’t been this invested in a game pre-launch in years, especially a new IP.
Even now, as I write this article, I have to fight the urge to get up, walk over to my PC and boot up Overwatch. It’s a truly superb multiplayer shooter that is already set to define the genre. I’ll certainly clock dozens, if not hundreds of hours over the next little while in Blizzard’s fantastic shooter.
For more on Overwatch from The Nerd Stash, check out how Overwatch will change the multiplayer shooter.