After having burnt out of Overwatch a few months before its one year anniversary, I’ve finally dived back in head first (due in part to my sisters pleading to have a decent team composition). While Overwatch has hardly changed aesthetically, discounting the themed events, it has changed fundamentally and technically. Heroes that I formerly played religiously have seemingly lost their vigor and drive, while other heroes have seen relatively tame changes. Reinhardt is a hero that plays just as he has since the Beta days, albeit with slight tweaks to health, damage and cool downs. One question that remains is does this game still have charm? How is it able to keep a steady player base, despite being PVP driven and the loot box originator (Not the sole original of course, just playing)? Well it just does.
I wish I could express this deeply, but Overwatch just has this charismatic value about itself. It can entrance anyone who sees it’s Pixar quality animations and its stellar cast of characters. It branches the barrier of sports and casual play, while also maintaining a readily accessible stance. This ability is hard to not love and enjoy about a game. If I had a nickel for every time I looked at something Overwatch related I’d be rolling in expendable dough. The medium is so pervasive that it isn’t even funny. It just has so much going on for it that I cannot help but become enthralled through its spell. A game with this much charm is just too damn hard to miss or ignore; unless you hate multiplayer focused titles.
I of course understand this as someone who barfs at the idea of playing a MOBA like League of Legends. While I would argue that Overwatch is a blend of MOBA and Team Shooter genre’s, it sort of plays into a new and unique category of game. I haven’t played a game as much as I have this one and that is great. It is forcing me out of a comfort zone and opening up my mind to new and bolder horizons. I cannot help but scream or break into joyful clamor when I win a match or pull a clutch save. It is exhilarating and it is especially engaging when you take into account you played your main perfectly. That flawless play or win is enough to keep you playing match after match just to earn a loot box. Granted Blizzard handles the loot box situation perfectly by just having them there for purely cosmetic reason. No game winning weapons or power ups to be found here. Just a shot at epic or legendary skins for your favorite or not so favorite heroine or hero.
It is this personalization or customization that makes the game so much more enthralling than it should be. People fall in love with well made and written characters and Blizzard has done extremely well with Overwatch through the use of comic’s, animation and official art books. It expands the characters that we all have come to love and having them evolve and take on lives all their own is just so rewarding. Thus it gives us the ability to fall in love with a specific character (Mercy is bae) and you invest so much into them. Artists ship them and players crush them in cosplay and digital ecosystems. Every character is diverse and represents all demographics and ethnic backgrounds, which is more than MANY games can lay claim to. It gives voice to the unrepresented in gaming and it is so empowering to see this.
So yeah, I’d say this game still has loads of charm to give and the simple fact that we have a game that hopefully won’t see a sequel release, just updated support for changing consoles. The game makes enough money from it’s loot box purchases and various Blizzard outlets to stand on its own. Oh and every new map and hero has been free; Imagine that! If you have had doubts about jumping into this game, don’t. It is pure magic and while it has it’s darker parts due to being a PVP centric title, don’t let that phase you. Play it for the characters and the great game that it is.
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