As soon as I heard that a new IP was in development from Blizzard Entertainment, I jumped on the hype train. I’ve been a fan of their games for as long as I can remember and there’s very few developers out their that can live up to Blizzard’s reputation. Of course, releasing an all new shooter to an already crowded marketplace was never going to be an easy job, but I couldn’t think of a more capable developer for the job. So here we go, Overwatch on console, reviewed.
Of course, being the skeptic that I am, I did have my doubts, this is Blizzard’s first attempt at a shooting game and given their reputation comes from the world-famous MMORPG World of Warcraft and top down strategy series Starcraft you couldn’t blame me for thinking they were a little out of their comfort zone. But they have the resources, the backing and most importantly the community support required to make a truly great game. But of course the question will always remain, is the game they’ve made any good?
Most of you will know we’ve already answered that question, as our resident PC gamer has already reviewed the PC version of the game in some detail. But let’s not forget about the millions of console gamers out there that will still be dubious about plowing their hard-earned money into this all new title. “But Matt Matt, surely the game is the same on PC as it is on console?” Don’t worry I’ve anticipated this question, and have an answer all lined up.
Yes, it’s the same game, however in the final year of Overwatch’s development timeline, Blizzard announced that it would also be coming to console, before that we were led to believe that this would be a PC exclusive, like that of other Blizzard titles. At first this led me to believe that the console version was thrown in as a kind of after-thought, and that while we could experience the game at the costly premium price of £40-£50 it would be at its best at home on the PC. Plus you wouldn’t ignore a second opinion from your Doctor… Would you?
For the sake of avoiding repetition of what Kev said in his review, I’ll just quickly cover the basics. Graphically this game is utterly gorgeous fully utilizing the consoles capabilities as a gaming machine, Blizzard are renowned for their attention to detail and I’m happy to report they’ve spared no expense with their efforts on Overwatch, don’t be put off by the cartoony visuals either, they’re part of what gives this title so much character. As with the PC title there’s plenty of characters to use each with their own unique looks, abilities and personalities to give them their own place in the game, you select which one you want to play with depending on which of the four roles you want to fulfill for your team, then jump into one of several beautifully designed maps for some good ol’ six verses six, objective based action. Matches are dealt with at a smooth and crisp 1080p/60 FPS making gameplay as a whole feel fluid but overall somewhat slow paced compared to the footage released during the game’s development.
However while this game is fantastic to look at, I’m struggling to continue playing it, it’s not a bad game that would be a ridiculous thing to say. But I can’t help feeling that a lot of those who covert this game have only fooled themselves into thinking it’s more amazing than it really is. The simple fact of the matter is, we’ve seen this kind of thing before and it doesn’t matter what Blizzard do to the concept, it was never going to feel right in the hands of a console gamer.
And that’s really where the problems lie with Overwatch. As a console gamer I don’t really feel like this game was meant to be played using a controller as the pace of matches seems to be a lot slower than that of those on its PC counterpart. This means that after a few matches, boredom derived from repetition inevitably sets in, and there’s just not enough to the game to change that, and that’s the final nail in the coffin for Overwatch as a console title (for me at least). I paid the best part of £40 for this game and there just isn’t anything to it. And don’t for a second think that more content is unlocked through progressing through the level system as is the case with other Blizzard games. While there is a lot of addition skins, logos, character poses and character voice lines to unlock none of it has been able to captivate me in a way that I want to continue playing the game.
It’s a shame because I really wanted to love this game purely because of the beautiful aesthetics and the hype it generated however its simplicity and repetitive gameplay let it down in areas in such a way that I just can’t justify spending the amount of money Blizzard are asking for at retail. On the plus side, future content is planned and will be added to the game free of charge. Until such a time comes however, I’d recommend sitting this one out. You’re not missing out on as much as most would have you believe.
In conclusion then it seems that I’m against the masses on this one, and of course that’s an important thing to remember when reading any sort of negative review. I am just one man who doesn’t like this game against millions who do. I’m sure there are people out there that do agree with me, but you’ll struggle to single them out in the ocean of positive feedback Overwatch is receiving. Overwatch is a ruthlessly polished game in that typical Blizzard fashion; you’ll fall in love with its looks and the way it plays. Chances are, if you’re like me, you’ll quickly realize that your affections are nothing more than a holiday romance as opposed to a long-term relationship.