Blizzcon 2014 attendees witnessed something that hadn’t happened in seventeen years. Blizzard announced an all new franchise; Overwatch. A team vs. team objective based first person shooter. The true origins of Overwatch might be a little hazy, but we know at least a few of the concepts found can be traced back to the now canceled Project: Titan. There are several details that separate Overwatch from our standard first person shooter. To start things off, the teams are made up of six players, this is to make the individual player feel as if they are an important part of the mission’s success while at the same time not bringing the entire team down if someone isn’t “pulling their weight.”
The name of the game is teamwork, that’s why Overwatch will not have a death match mode. Like Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch is about your team completing objectives. One game mechanic that speaks to this call to teamwork is the ability to choose a different hero with every re-spawn. There are two game modes announced so far and for each mode there are two maps. The first is Payload, in which the attacking team must escort a bomb to a delivery point in a limited amount of time. It’s the defending team’s job to make sure that the bomb doesn’t reach its destination. The two maps for Payload are Watchpoint: Gibraltar and King’s Row. The second game mode is Point Capture in which the attacking team must capture multiple critical objectives across the map, and the defending team must maintain their control over said points. Its two maps are Hanamura and Temple of Anubis.
When you select your hero, you must choose between four different roles, Offense, Defense, Tank, and Support. Offense heroes are faster than others and, therefore, arrive at objectives and firefights quicker than others. They pack a lot of firepower but lack in survivability. Defense heroes’ abilities excel at setting up a perimeter and creating choke points to guard objectives or strategic positions. For these heroes, the best offense is a good defense. Tanks are just what they sound like, it’s their job to protect their team from enemy assault. They come equipped with armor that mitigates all incoming damage by 50% and provide cover for your team’s glass cannons. Last but not least, Support heroes provide utility where there would otherwise be a hopeless outcome by both enhancing the abilities of their team and healing their wounds.
In good Blizzard fashion, the playable heroes are all unique and set up to make the player feel epic. From heroes like Tracer, a time-jumping adventurer. Reinhardt, a mobile fortress with a colossal hammer that would make Thor blush, and Winston, a super intelligent, genetically engineered gorilla complete with a jump pack and tesla cannon because, Blizzard.
Overwatch is sure to be a ton of fun for casual players and a sure-fire hit within the e-sports universe. While there isn’t a release date for Overwatch, the beta is right around the corner coming this fall.