If you have any passing interest in the FPS (first person shooter) genre, chances are you have heard about Overwatch. If you haven’t, it’s basically Blizzard’s (World of Warcraft, Diablo, etc.) attempt to enter the FPS market and make a name for itself. To say it’s been anything less than an utter success would be selling it short. Overwatch has quickly become a fan favorite and has been eating up The Dadcade’s gaming time week in and week out. Blizzard has truly stumbled onto something monumental, yet utterly simple in it’s approach to an online shooter and it’s surprising it works so well. Why does it work so well? Well, there are a couple reasons.
The game, at it’s core, is a multiplayer shooter where you pick a character that plays in a completely unique manner and then play against others in a 6v6 battle. The characters range from full on attack, defense oriented, support (healers and buffers), and tanks with each having unique abilities that make them different from the others. I’m not the best FPS player and I actually tend to avoid them, especially when they are online only. But in Overwatch, I have found a new calling – being able to support others. My favorite characters in the game are the ones that heal others instead of doing direct damage. I’ve actually become quite good at doing it, without having to focus on aiming at an enemy, something that I am less than stellar at. And this, at it’s core, is why Overwatch works. There is something here for everyone. Games like Call of Duty or Battlefield allow you to heal, but you’re basically a guy with a gun that throws down healing items in between taking shots at the enemy. In Overwatch, playing a healer means healing, and not much else. Characters exist that both heal and buff damage or maybe speed up characters movement speed, but your primary role is that of a healer. Same with the tanks and the defenders. Everyone knows their role and characters exist to fill those roles. Some characters counter other characters, so it’s good to become fluent with a couple different ones, but having a favorite is always a good thing. When you get a good team with everyone playing their roles, success is almost always guaranteed.
The gameplay is fun and is accepting to all types of gamers, but there is another reason why this game will stand the test of time – Blizzard. If you are new to Blizzard games, just know that they know a thing or two about how to make a successful game and make it last for years to come. World of Warcraft has been around for over 10 years and while it’s not what it used to be in terms of player base, it still has it’s faithful (myself included). In just the few months since it’s release, Overwatch has gotten a competitive mode, a new character (Ana), and even a fun little soccer map called Lucioball. Blizzard is always heavily invested in it’s community and they are constantly tweaking characters to make the game more balanced. You can expect a lot more of this in the future. Updates will most likely be free (supported by in game purchases of their loot boxes that give cosmetic items) and we’ll see a ton new events coming out as the game evolves.
Being a parent, time is often an issue when it comes to gaming. Overwatch has become a huge hit in my house because of it’s pick up and playability. If my son is napping for an hour, I can get a few rounds in before we go out for the evening. If I had a long day at work and don’t feel like playing for too long, a quick game can be the perfect stress reliever. But you’ll often find that 1 game leads to 2 or 3 due to the sheer addictive nature of it’s gameplay. The one more round pull is strong, especially if you’re on a roll. These games are great for those of us with small kids and the violence on screen is pretty cartoony and not as violent as other games, even though it does include guns.
Blizzard really has made an excellent FPS game that has held my attention for longer than I thought possible. I own the game on both PS4 and PC and I have logged at least 55 hours on the PC version and maybe 20-30 on the console. It has become my go to Saturday morning coffee game. The game is truly a unique experience that shows a game can be fun to a wide range of gamers without excluding any. The characters themselves are also incredibly inclusive with lots of female characters and those from all around the world. If you were to read about Overwatch on paper, it would sound like any other FPS game trying to make it to market. But playing is truly understanding how awesome this game is. It’s great to play alone, but even better with a few friends and a headset. If you were on the fence about trying it out, consider this a ringing endorsement from us at The Dadcade. You won’t find anything else on the market that matches it’s style, ease of play, and all around inclusive content.