What’s not to love about Blizzard these days? If the company had a Tinder profile, it would read something along the lines of: “Hi, I’m Blizzard, and I like to make addictive games.” Short, sweet, and straight to the point. One of the most compelling reasons to swipe right on the esteemed game company is their newest IP, OverWatch.
Announced at last year’s Blizzcon, OverWatch is Blizzard’s first foray in the FPS genre. It’s been a long time coming too: there have been several shooter projects in the company’s past that have been scrapped due to their persistent quest for perfection. Blizzard doesn’t release games that aren’t thoroughly polished and immensely fun. Thus far, OverWatch has proven to be nothing short of that quality of excellence that we’ve come to expect from Chris Metzen and company.
One thing that OverWatch has been quick to establish is its own unique identity as a competitive 6 vs. 6 shooter. Taking place in the not to distant future, the art design is vibrant and riddled with bright colors. The characters are over-the-top and laced with eccentric personalties. As for the gameplay, it is fast-paced and mechanically precise. The glut of Team Fortress 2 comparisons coming from within the gaming community aren’t unwarranted–-this game is a strategy-heavy, character-based shooter where rapid thinking and ample communication are of the highest importance.
Let us not forget one important fact: OverWatch is a hero shooter. There will be times where matches are won at the character select screen. That team composition plays an integral in the game, with each character tipping the scales of victory for or against their team depending on the heroes with whom they’re grouped. So, it is with great pleasure to be one of the first to introduce you to the newest heroes who will be entering the fray.
McCree is a futuristic cowboy whose motto is “Justice ain’t gonna dispense itself.” He’s pretty much a badass; I mean, the guy’s belt buckle reads “BAMF.” He’s also got a slew of quick-draw tactics that are sure to make any speed-shooting players drool. To see some of McCree’s basics in action, check out this video:
McCree’s combat roll not only allows him to be quick and evasive, but it also allows him to reload his gun in one quick motion. This works great when used in conjunction with his rapid fire ability. His flash bang allows him to stun opponents momentarily, and even interrupt other characters’ ultimate abilities. Deadeye is almost identical to John Marston’s in Red Dead Redemption: he basically takes count of every target standing in front of him, and accurately one-shot kills them all in one quick spurt. Yeah, McCree definitely may seem like he’s overpowered, but he is a bit on the squishy side, so there’s definitely a learning curve to him.
While McCree walks the line of chaotic good and lawful good, there’s another character that is definitely 100% lawful good. And her name is Zarya. Zarya is the game’s first female tank character who’s looks could kill you just as fast as the big gun she totes around. Her radiant, pink hair is like a warning beacon for the impending destruction she leaves in her wake. Also, muscles. She has very big muscles. Perhaps her boisterous biceps are the reason that her silhouette, which Blizzard teased on social media not too long ago, was mistaken for that of a male’s. Her rock solid physique aside, take a look a this a quick crash course on Zarya:
Zarya has a kick-ass grenade launcher-like secondary fire option for her particle cannon, and her ultimate ability is nothing to sleep on either with the way it clusters up enemies, leaving them vulnerable to a combo attack. However, none of these abilities quite measure up to the significance of her teammate-shielding particle barrier.
For all of you Heroes of the Storm players, you could say that her shielding maneuver is similar to Tassadar’s in that you can use it on yourself, or slap it onto your teammate from afar. What makes Zarya’s particle barrier so unique is that her shield absorbs incoming fire and charges up her particle cannon, which in turn increases the weapon’s damage output. A well coordinated group of Zarya players can undoubtedly cause problems on the front lines of any battle with this ability.
Along with getting some hands-on time with OverWatch‘s newest cast members, we also got to spend a bit of time on one of the game’s newest play areas, Watch Point: Gibraltar. This map encompasses most of the history of OverWatch‘s lore, and is a command center built in the mountains overlooking the Mediterranean. Here’s a closer look at the map in all of its glory.
Most of OverWatch‘s storytelling and world building will happen outside of the game, but there are still a ton of easter eggs, details, and clues within the maps to unravel the backstory. It’s also worth noting that Watch Point: Gilbraltar is a map for the Payload mode.
OverWatch is still a ways off, with the beta being scheduled to hit sometime this fall. If you’re at PAX East this weekend, make sure you head down to the OverWatch booth and take the game for a spin. And stay tuned to Nerdist.com as we’ll be following the game all the way up to its official release and beyond.
Are you excited to play OverWatch? Which hero has been your favorite so far? Let us know in the comments below!