Originally published on Trevor Trove on June 4, 2016
Overwatch intrigues me. Not in an “I have to play that game” kind of way. After watching my friends play multiple streams of the game, there just doesn’t appear to be enough substance for my taste. I don’t typically get too much pleasure from multiplayer shooters because I’m not overly interested in competitive play.
But I’m fascinated by this game’s place in the industry.
As an outsider, I can’t help but feel like Blizzard is “getting a pass” from vocal gamers for its underwhelming lack of modes and its laughably poor balancing. At least that’s what I can gather from all of the “Bastion is overpowered” memes that fill up my social media channels. So in the same way that people wrote off something like Fallout 4‘s bugs as a trade-off for quality elsewhere in the product.
The hype and excitement for Overwatch seems driven mostly by the Blizzard legacy. The characters are vast and bright, as are the arenas, but after watching a few hours of the game I feel like I’m just seeing the same fast-paced running and shooting stuff that I’ve seen in a dozen different titles. This one just happens to look a bit more colorful. People complain about how cheap certain strategies are and then resort to using them when it’s their turn. One of the selling points is how quick and easy it is to change characters mid match but I continually see people playing the same role through an entire match, often never switching to alternate characters.
Having watched the 3-part documentary on the game that Gamespot put together, it almost feels like people are playing the game all wrong when compared to how the team at Blizzard envisioned it. Perhaps that’s why balancing patches to level out Bastion or other overpowered players seem to be so slow moving.
Just like with Destiny and its original loot cave, it would seem Blizzard underestimated how much people would be willing to plant themselves in one spot and shoot endless bullets into the abyss because winning > fun.