Overwatch PC Gameplay And Performance Review: Blizzard's First Shooter Soars High

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Overwatch: Our Opinions & The Wrap-Up

Overwatch is the first new property from Blizzard since StarCraft launched in 1998. It also happens to be one of the best reasons to create a Battlenet account, if you don't already own one. The game could definitely benefit from more content. But with 12 maps and 21 diverse characters, it starts off strong and it just plain fun. We do hope Blizzard supports the title with a steady stream of new goodies, though. Four game modes and no storyline is a bit thin for the $40 price tag. Similar games such as Dirty Bomb, Brink, Ghost in The Shell and other squad-based online shooters are all Free-2-Play titles featuring micro-transactions. Blizzard is steering clear of this sort of pay model to give users all the characters abilities, maps and such up front. However, the cosmetic items can be purchased for a small fee. So micro-transactions are here as well to a lesser extent, for players who want to bypass the grind for skins, sprays, additional voice overs and the like.

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The gameplay should remain fresh for a good long time, providing you spread your playtime around the different characters. In-game videos are available for each and every ability in the game, with written descriptions. More importantly, each character is a blast to play, even though some do look incredibly silly. As of this writing, we can't wait to dive back in. Overwatch is one of those titles that leaves a lasting impression after each play session, where typically you're still thinking of new strategies and tricks to employ the next time you play.

But it's not all white-nuckle action. Sometimes getting to the battlefield from the spawn point can take a couple crucial minutes. Worse still, several characters feel a bit sluggish making the trip to the fray even more tedious. The character Symmetra has the ability to spawn a portal, and create a handy gateway direct from the spawn point to the action. But without her, or a speed buff from Lucious, you're most likely hoofing it!

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If Blizzard can continue its trend of diversity and regularly add wacky new characters, new game modes and such, we think the future is as bright and colorful for Overwatch as the game's infectious art style. If you enjoy squad-based shooters that task players with team-oriented objectives more intricate than simply padding your kill / death ratio, then Overwatch comes highly recommended. 
hothardware recommended
hotnot
  • Addictive and fun
  • Balanced and accessible gameplay 
  • Diverse characters, abilities and mechanics
  • Very competitive
  • Great performance on midrange hardware
  • Wealth of in-game graphics settings
  • Light on content for the cost
  • No single-player story
  • Some character movement can feel sluggish
  • Bring back 21:9 support, Blizzard!

hothardware recommended
hotnot
  • We're raiding tombs again
  • Gorgeous, immersive 
  • Great blend of survival & exploration
  • Depth in customization w/ tons of skills to acquire
  • Plenty to do for would-be adventurers
  • Significant replayability
  • Gun battles seem overly used, add little to core appeal
  • Lukewarm, uninspiring story line
  • Very intensive on low-midrange systems
hothardware recommended
hotnot
  • We're raiding tombs again
  • Gorgeous, immersive 
  • Great blend of survival & exploration
  • Depth in customization w/ tons of skills to acquire
  • Plenty to do for would-be adventurers
  • Significant replayability
  • Gun battles seem overly used, add little to core appeal
  • Lukewarm, uninspiring story line
  • Very intensive on low-midrange systems

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