Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Overwatch: PS4 Review

Overwatch: PS4 Review

Developed by Blizzard
Released by Activision
Platform: PS4

With 21 characters to choose from, a handful of scenarios to explore and a family friendly approach to the online shooter, it's fair to say that Overwatch, from the Warcraft developers, is a game that's more than worth playing.

As its recent BETA demonstrated, the game's tremendous strengths lie in the ability to see you working as a team to carry out a common goal and celebrate that victory or defeat.

Set in a technologically advanced future Earth, an international task force of soldiers, scientists, adventurers and oddballs have formed the Overwatch movement. But that lies ruined now - however, there's still a call for heroes.

Let's get this out of the way now - Overwatch's weakness is a lack of a campaign mode. Much like the maligned Battlefront, it's a shame that the Blizzard team didn't look further into this for the first person shooter and expanded the world without question.

And the reason for that disappointment is that the game is so much fun in its positivity soaked multiplayer that it's a shame it's not more widely explorable. As the developers have announced, they wanted this Overwatch game to be a plus experience for many, and based on the short bursts of multiplayer, it's easy to see why.

Assembling a group of players for a 6 versus 6 play-off in modes such as Assault (does what it says on the tin), Escort (where you guard a moving payload), Assault/  Escort (a mixture of the two) and Control (your typical seize and defend), the online FPS is fun to be part of - thanks to its wide variety of heroes and ease of play.

Powering up the heroes' special defence / attack capabilities relies on time more than anything and patience but unleashing their super-powers can be deadly if used well. However, the ethos is definitively on team-based co-operation - even at the menu stage, when selecting teams, you're advised against having too many of one type of character and unbalancing everything within.

The scope is purely on emphasising team goals, and potentially, that's where a traditional single player may feel a little disadvantaged. You may feel alienated without the technology to communicate and if one person decides to be part of a team that blocks the opposition from leaving their safe house without unleashing weapons upon them, your game is pretty much screwed before it's even begun. (This choking point is perhaps the single biggest bug-bear of Overwatch - it's easy to win when you don't play by the rules).

That said, and the lack of campaign grumble aside (bringing with it the threat of the game becoming obsolete without new content other than a weekly challenge), it's actually easily accessible, colourful and fun.

Bright, breezy graphics combined with immense playability and the desire to start all over again with a whole new cast of characters make Overwatch quite the game to dive into. Including doling out medals at the end and selecting a play of the game give you something to strive for other than victory and its general warmth and fuzziness makes levelling up and the inevitable grind something less than a chore.

All in all, Overwatch is on the cusp of brilliance.

Its online mode is fast, colourful fun that rewards immersion and there's no denying the pick up and playability of the title - it's to be hoped that outside of the weekly challenge, more will be added in - it'd be a shame if this was consigned to obsolete a few months down the track - especially when it's a welcome breath of positivity in FPS.

(Also you should check out the wealth of content including hero profiles, comics and more at the official Overwatch site)

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