A Year of Overwatching

It has been a year and I’m still playing Overwatch. Blizzard announced last month that Overwatch now has hit the 30 million player mark. With its constant updates, events, rebalancing and trickle of new content, on a semi monthly basis, Overwatch has kept many of us hooked. This encouragement to explore new sections, characters, and game modes means I will definitely be playing this for a long time to come.

At its release, I waited a couple days before actually playing it. It just sat on my desk still in the shrink wrap. Once I popped the game into the Playstation, it did not come out for months. I knew very little about the game going in, only had seen the Pixar quality animated shorts they did of Overwatch on youtube, and did not know what to expect. The graphics and art direction of the game is damned gorgeous, just by looking at it one can get a sense of fun.  In the year since it’s release, Blizzard has shown it really does give a shit about it’s game.

The online community on the PS4 is pretty chill, probably due to the lack of a text chat feature, on the PC though, it can range from great to the most toxic. Queuing up for a game seems to be faster on the PS4 than the PC, but from my experience, the PC offers a much higher level of play. I have spent countless nights raging angrily, and laughing in pure delight of some of the intense matches not only in competitive mode, but in quick play as well.

Game play has not gotten boring for me in this year, being that there are so many characters to master. Playing with one character all the time is great, but soon the game teaches you the positives and negatives of a given character in varying situations. Does this character work for a defensive position? Do we need anti-air or long distance shooters? Do we have enough power to be offensive and take over a well entrenched team? Are we watching our flanks and providing cover? These are the questions you find asking yourself as you gain experience and play through many matches. Blizzard also retools and rebalances the characters of the game, so every couple of months certain strategies need to be switched up. This adds to game feeling fresh, and the player wanting to learn more and figure out different strategies.

Over the year I have learned to observe much more than ever in my gaming behavior. Up until this point, I usually played single player games, rarely ever spending much time on anything multiplayer. There is much work I need to do to be a better team collaborator, than an independent and disconnected player. A team without any collaboration will lose in this game, much like many things in real life. Who would’ve known?  HA! Another key here is communication and observation of each other. Keeping track of 5 teammates and the opposition is crucial, and not something you ever come across in a single player game. This has lead to a different perspective on gaming in general for me that I’m still trying to grasp fully, but know that it is an expansion of understanding or comprehension. Or maybe it’s more of an immersion?

There is tons to say about this god damned game that has dominated so much of my gaming for the last year. Only thing I can say is this: play this game, and don’t be an asshole.