Hi! We're Project Derailed! Making nerdy content on the internet!

Overwatch: First Look

Overwatch has been out for a bit now, and out much longer if you count the beta period. I only just started playing it in the last couple days though.

I’ll start by saying that shooters, particularly multiplayer PC shooters, aren’t something I’ve played very much. My impression of Overwatch is coming from someone who is fairly rusty at this sort of game. I’ve also never played the game’s clear predecessor, Team Fortress. It’s not that I don’t enjoy these games, it’s more that my gaming time is fairly limited, so I end up missing a lot.

My first reaction when I booted up Overwatch and started the tutorial was: damn, that’s a pretty game. I was running on the lowest graphics, too. Blizzard’s artists have blown me away with how stylish everything in this game looks. The game is super crisp and super clear. The animations are all incredibly tight.

I don’t think a game has ever put as much thought into reloading animations as Overwatch has. Each of the 20 or so characters has their own unique weapon, and every one has its own distinct reload animation. Not all of them are anything super special, but a lot of them go to great lengths to characterize the hero through this simple thing. One guy who dual wields pistols just throws the pistols away and pull out two new ones. Another guy who looks like a pig version of Immortan Joe opens up his scrap gun and throws a bunch of loose parts in, then slams it back down, sending loose bits falling to the ground. Soldier 76 has this beautiful, professional, crisp reload that looks like he’s rehearsed it a million times. The reload times are also as a rule faster than in most other shooters I’ve played, making the game feel very fast and smooth.

Overall, the feel of this game seems almost perfect to me. Everything is fast, precise, and full of flair. Every character screams “I’M A BADASS.”

I haven’t had nearly enough time to evaluate the gameplay in any deep way. Right now though, the game modes seem fun, and the maps seem open enough to encourage flanking, but closed enough to let defensive heroes do their thing. One interesting touch is that I do think players will find that certain heroes are better-suited to certain maps and game modes, or even for a particular side of a game mode. Playing Bastion, a robot who can plop himself down and turn into an immobile sentry, feels very different on attack vs on defense. I think that most players will definitely want to develop a repertoire of characters that they can play well in different situations.

I played with every character on the practice range so I would at least have a bit of an idea how each worked, and each character’s kit felt very cohesive. Each hero only has a few abilities, but in general everything in this game feels very potent. I can say pretty decisively that no two heroes feel at all alike, and within each role (listed as offense, defense, tank, and support), there is a VERY clear differentiation between how each character goes about the role.

As a person with limited shooter experience, the game felt tight and well-thought-out. The animation looked stylish, fun, and badass, even with graphics on low. I’m looking forward to playing more and getting to know the game better.

Tom Goldthwait (@Authw8)
Tom is a furry woodland creature. At times, he emerges from the enchanted forest to make a new blog post.

Share This

Copy Link to Clipboard