Unlike a lot of other game studios, Blizzard doesn’t release a whole lot of games. When they do though, the whole gaming community stops and pays attention.
Overwatch is the first new release from Blizzard since Heroes of the Storm and the first FPS style game that they’ve developed, well that they’ve finished developing anyways (ahem, Starcraft Ghost…).
With all of the above in mind, everyone expected something special, and blizzard delivered in the only way they know how, with a fantastic title.
Overwatch is a first person 6v6 team based game that involves four different types of Heroes: Tank, Support, Assault and Defence. So far the list of Heroes is 21 strong, ranging from Mercy, a healer type support hero whose ultimate revives dead team mates, to Reinhardt, a tank hero that charges into battle with a shield and war-hammer. The differences between all of the Heroes is substantial enough that each of them contribute something completely unique to the match, yet the abilities that they have are simple enough that whilst challenging to master are easy to pick up.
Whilst the game won’t win any awards for realistic graphics it is still a gorgeous game that doesn’t seem to be too taxing on a reasonable gaming rig. The levels are well designed and include small details that show how much effort went into their development.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love the game. I haven’t had this much fun playing a title in a very long while. The game is as well balanced as a recently released game can possibly be and apart from the game starting up in Windowed mode every once in a while I haven’t found any glitches or errors, a triumph for any newly released online game.
Now, everything that has been said so far has been aimed at everyone, whilst the rest of the article is aimed primarily at those of us who live in parts of the world without a dedicated Blizzard server, in my case South Africa.
Anyone who’s played an online game with a ping of around 200ms will understand how frustrating it can be to be just that much slower than your opponents, to have to compensate for the time delay from when you execute an action to when it registers in game. It can drive someone nuts. The fact that the closest Blizzard server to where I live is in Europe means that I’m constantly playing with a 200ms handicap.
With most MMO FPS games this makes them unplayable.
That said, I’m not sure how Blizzard did it, but I hardly feel the 200ms handicap in game. It plays just as well as if I were playing with 75ms ping.
This, for me, was the biggest worry with Overwatch, whether it was something I would be able to play given my geographical limitations. I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t the only one with this worry as a substantial amount of gamers live in areas not covered by a blizzard server.
I do need to add this disclaimer though: I found that anything around or below 250ms ping was extremely playable, whilst anything above that, whilst still playable, caused a fair share of latency related problems such as erratic movements or being shot whilst having already left the line of fire. In other words, make sure your line is Unshaped and for optimal performance try and stick to off peak times.
I can’t recommend this game enough. If you have to wait a month to save up enough money to get it, do it. If you have to wash cars or mow lawns to get this game, do it. Just get Overwatch, it’s worth it.
Overwatch Rating: 9/10
Check out the Overwatch website: Overwatch