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It has been three weeks since I heaped praise on the Overwatch beta and it has been three weeks since the game’s release. For the sake of keeping things from having a favorable bias towards the greatest game to come out in a long time, let’s talk about its flaws.
This game is pretty expensive, coming in at US$60 for consoles and US$40 for the PC standard edition. That is already a big red flag for many who are just hearing about this game now. If you’ve already bought that one game you buy every two or three months, I suggest you stick with the free to play Team Fortress 2 for your fix (which is the template that Overwatch was probably based on) until a cheaper edition comes out next year.
Overwatch essentially has only three game modes: King of the Hill, Escort, and, well, a combination of those first two with specific player setup. On any other day, 99.99% of the time, this would have turned me away from the game. But the fates had me play through the beta and tap into the thing I place the most importance in – the ability to have fun.
What saves it from being EA’s Star Wars Battlefront (yes I went there, come at me the 12 people still playing that game) is a combination of the map design and the characters chosen to play those maps. Like I mentioned in my review of the beta, the certain ebb and flow present within this game, thanks to various strategies that are implemented by each team, never seem to cease. However this brings us to our next issue…
NO RANKED MODE YET
The absence of this mode shouldn’t be an issue at this point and will definitely be patched in the near future, but the fact that both casual players and more competitive players are playing in the same team breeds a great amount of toxicity. Not at a Call of Duty level, but if this keeps up, I guarantee it will match it.
That three people decide to play as a sniper and berate you for not being a good healer – despite having to cover plenty of ground to reach each of those snipers without anyone watching your back – has forced me to quit mid-game and look for others. Easily remedied, but this brings us to…
THE NEED FOR FRIENDS TO BE EFFECTIVE IS IMPORTANT
I was lucky enough to have people in my friend list get Overwatch, so every time I’ve gotten on I’ve had someone with which to communicate and formulate plans/strategies. But on the times they weren’t on, the lack of communication and coordination between randoms in your team is maddening. The game devolves into a match between tactical geniuses and a bunch of dumb apes (Winston, you are not dumb), an issue that plagues games of this genre. Everyone is out for themselves and their statistics, numbers that won’t matter until a ranked mode comes out.
So, here we are all the flaws I’ve noticed after playing this game constantly for the past three weeks. I did not find any issues with any of the characters as it mostly comes down to finding the other players’ weakness. Blizzard have been pretty good at recognizing any inherent issues and have fixed them quickly – as shown with a new patch for both McCree and Mercy. Everything else that I have written in my reaction to the beta still rings true and I’ve already pegged this as a top contender for my game of the year.
What do you think? Am I being too easy on this game? What are your experiences with the first few weeks of play? Let me know in your comments!
Enrico and his cat, Oswin, are always looking for new games to play when not worrying about the Red Sox season. A former Montreal resident, he now lives in Toronto eating all their korean bbq.