Overwatch is a P2P team-based first-person shooter game released by Blizzard Games in May 2016. It is set in a sixty years in the future, where there has been an uprising of AI robots called ‘Omnics’ that seek to overrun humanity. This led to the creation of a specialized unit of super-powered individuals known as the Overwatch, who are given the task of protecting humanity and restoring peace to the world. The various scenarios allow for either 1v1, 3v3, 4v4 or 6v6 player options.
This game pits six-man teams against one another to complete map-specific objectives before the other team succeeds at accomplishing them. There are currently 26 maps available to choose from, each with their own combination of goals. These may vary from 1-3 objectives per map. Each map is based in a different locale, with varying infrastructures and landscapes. Players can kill their opponents in order to achieve their objectives. Each map scenario has a time limit associated with it.
The eight possible goals include:
- Assault – one team is given the ‘Attacker’ role and the other the ‘Defender’ role. The Attackers are responsible for fulfilling a number of objectives, while the Defenders are tasked with preventing them from succeeding.
- Escort – the Attackers try to ensure that a payload reaches its destination, while the defenders try to prevent them from succeeding.
- Assault/Escort – Attackers capture an objective and then need to ensure that it reaches its target destination, while the opposing team tries to prevent the Attackers from achieving their objective.
- Control – Each team tries to gain control of a specific target and to have it in their possession when the time-limit is reached.
- Capture the Flag – This is a 6v6 player scenario, with each team trying to capture the opposing team’s flag before their own is captured.
- Elimination – This is the only scenario with a solo option. Here, each team tries to eliminate all members of the other team. This is available to matches of 1v1, 3v3 and 6v6 players.
- Deathmatch – 8-player battle free-for-all mode, where the goal is to gain the highest kill-count by the end of the game.
- Team Deathmatch – 4v4 killing mode.
Overwatch currently offers players 29 playable hero characters to choose from, with new characters being introduced incrementally. Each of these characters boast their own distinct skills and personalities, and are roughly categorized into four distinct roles. I say ‘roughly’ because the play-styles, weaponry and abilities vary enough for them to provide very different experiences and control-options. They also each have their own strengths and weaknesses, both in terms of physical abilities, as well as their compatibility with various weapons. They are also ranked from 1-3 stars in terms of difficulty to control.
All characters can be exchanged for other characters mid-match, allowing for adaptability to the environment, team needs and their opponents’ strategies. Each character has a unique ultimate ability attributed to it that naturally builds up power as the game progresses. The abilities are further boosted as the character deals damage to opponents, with the current level being retained even if the character dies. However, the progress will be lost if the player decides to switch characters.
Each hero has a minimal HP of 100, but they each vary according to their innate abilities and items. HP limits can be increased with certain enhancements, such as the Armor Pack ability. Each hero also has a varying health cap, therefore the minimum to maximum caps that can be found across heroes is between 100 – 1925. Winston has the highest range, as his minimum HP is 900, with his cap at 1925.
If a hero’s health falls below 75 points, they will begin to breath heavily and the edges of the screen will be tinged with red. This will abate once the hero’s health has been restored above 75 HP. Health can be restored by certain hero abilities, or by items that are scattered across the map. It can also be boosted by armor and shields. Some items provide permanent boosts, while others only offer temporary effects.
Lucio Vermelho (Rare)
Lucio Andes Epic
Lucio Hippityhop (Legendary)
Lucio Jazzy (Anniversary Event)
Players receive loot boxes each time they level up, in exchange for real-world money in the Blizzard Shop or from Twitch Prime promotions. The contents of each loot box are randomized and can contain up to four items, including sprays, highlight intros, skins, voice lines, emotes, player icons, emotes or in-game credits. Some loot boxes are seasonal and are either gifted by Overwatch, or purchasable from the store. Both loot boxes and individual items are also available as rewards for certain in-game accomplishments, such as winning certain numbers of game modes. It is possible to receive duplicate items, in which case the player can trade them for in-game currency to the value of on-fifth its purchase cost. All loot box content is ranked with different degrees of rarity, with each loot box containing at least one rare item or higher. Seasonal items are often three times the price of similarly-ranked items in the game store. All customizations are purely cosmetic.
Weapons and Enhancements
All Overwatch characters have one primary weapon associated with them. Weapons differ from abilities in that they have fire-rates, rather than cool-down rates. They can be broken down into three types, namely melee, beams and ranged.
- Melee types are used for close-combat, with a general range of around 5 meters. The are able to inflict damage on multiple targets.
- Ranged weapons are on limited by their damage falloff effects, projectile travel speeds and the bullet spread. This means that while these weapons can be fired from a safe distance, they are also more difficult to aim accurately.
- Beam weapons can be either short or long-range, depending on the weapon. Their properties also differ, as some are offensive, defensive or provide healing.
- The Overwatch team plans on slowly phasing out all of the male characters and introducing only female characters in the future.
- HearthStone was intended to be a sequel to ‘The Vikings’ arc in In fact, the original title was planned to be HearthStone: Vikings II.
- When Zarya fires her Graviton Surge, she says, ‘ogon po gotovnotsi’, which means ‘fire at will’ in Russian.
- Match-making takes longer for more skilled players, in order to protect less-skilled players from being overwhelmed.