Getting to Know Blizzard's Overwatch
Overwatch, the team-based multiplayer shooter from Blizzard Entertainment has proven to be an unstoppable force in the industry having now reached the hands of more than 7 million gamers within a week of launch. Many predicted as much once the early beta saw nearly 10 million users. Admittedly, we too have been immovably glued to the game since installing the PC version early last week. It features a wide variety of characters, and play styles, with frenetic-pace gameplay that is easy and intuitive for casual players. Yet Overwatch dishes out plenty of depth and strategy for crafty players who strive at filling specific roles in a team-based setting.
It’s great to see Blizzard step so adeptly outside their wheelhouse here with Overwatch, their first official shooter. The beloved developer is most known for their vast open-world MMOs, RTSs, and MOBA games such as World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo III and more. Ironically it was the cancellation of Titan in 2014, which made way for the development of Overwatch. Titan was yet another massive MMO game suffering an unfinished 7-year development cycle. After its cancellation, a smaller team was created, who’s love for first-person shooter games helped shape the direction of what became Overwatch. While the game is unique, you can definitely see inspiration from other class-based shooters like Team Fortress 2. For some of the characters, Blizzard has also employed mobility mechanics such as wall-running, grappling hooks, jetpacks and double jumps also found in recent games like TitanFall, Dirty Bomb and newer entries in the Call of Duty series.
What these influences culminate in is Overwatch, a twitch shooter that is team-oriented and objective-based, where every character feels completely different—yet each is surprisingly satisfying to play.