A piece by Loke J-Han

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If you ever thought that it was about time we had a new RPG FPS, you’re in for a real treat. The new game, Overwatch has taken the gaming world by storm. Its fast paced action-packed gameplay has captivated almost everyone who’s heard about it. Before we get into the juicy bits, we have to of course, give you the dry stuff.

The game was developed and published by Blizzard entertainment and was first unveiled at BlizzCon back in 2014. It encompasses a multitude of playable heroes and game modes, which we’ll get into later. The North American and European closed beta was launched back in October 27 2015 and had just finished the latest one that opened in April 15th 2016 to May 11th 2016. The game will be available in PC, PS4 and XBOX One as of May 24th

Now let’s get into the game a little more. The game encompasses team-based combat between 2 opposing teams with 6 players on each. Players are able to choose characters from 4 main classes: offense with greater speed and damage, defense with higher defense and more utility, support that provides buffs, debuffs and heals, and finally the tank that is designed to take most of the teams’ damage.

Players are allowed to change characters between deaths, an extremely cool feature that can and will win you games. Some of the maps are inspired by real world locations. For instance, Kings Row is inspired by the streets of London.

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The game has four primary game modes, them being: assault, escort, assault/escort and control

Assault
In this game mode, players are divided into two teams one is tasked with capturing two target points on the map while the other has to stop them.

Escort
The attacking team is tasked with escorting a payload to a point while the defending team must stop them. The payload moves on a predetermined track and will only move if there are allied players near or on it.

Assault / Escort
This game mode is a combination of the above. Attacking teams are required to capture a point before the payload is revealed and then escort the payload to the target destination. Defending teams must stop them.

Control
Here both teams are tasked to capture and control a point on the map until a counter reaches 100%. In other words, a King of the Hill match. This mode is played in a best of three format.

Now that the basics are out of the way, let’s talk about what makes the game so hard to pull away from.

Gameplay
The game is fast and extremely action packed leaving almost no room for you to breathe. Having played the latest closed beta with friends, it has proven to be one of the most entertaining games we played together this year. The quick matches, ever changing game modes and maps provided us with almost endless action for hours late into the night. Each game mode has about 3 different maps available and while it may sound like it could get repetitive, the maps are so large and intricate that it’s almost impossible not to find new paths or nooks and crannies to hide while you wait to ambush the opposing team.

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Heroes
The four different classes of heroes provide almost everyone with at least one character that would match their playstyle. If you would rather stay VERY far away from the combat and pick off your opponents quickly and painlessly, you could try Widowmaker. Her insanely high damage sniper coupled with her ultimate (provides you with sight of all enemy players for a short duration), makes her unstoppable if you’re good. But I personally prefer Tobjorn. He is able to build turrets, targeting enemies that come within 40 meters and shoot automatically. Pretty over powered (OP), really.

In essence, the heroes have a good mix of using skills, as well as shooting. It’s unlike a game that primarily involves the latter, like Counter Strike. This design makes it easy for those who have almost zero background or experience with playing FPS’ (me, basically) to pick it up almost effortlessly and in no time.

Being able to change characters between deaths is a very new and absolutely mind blowing feature. If for instance, your current team composition just isn’t working out and the opposing team keeps annihilating yours, all you have to do is switch it up a little bit and win the game. Constantly changing characters would keep the opposing team guessing what they might face next, putting them on edge and giving your team the upper hand.

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Play of the Game
Who doesn’t want to see their name on the highlights? Come on. At the end of every round, there is a short snippet where the system will choose a “Play of the Game”. This highlights one of the 12 players’ best moments for that session. It could either be a large killstreak, a game changing ultimate or even just a Tobjorn walking around while his turret takes out the entire opposing team (best highlight I ever got). While providing us with not only bragging rights, it showcases some amazing plays made by other players. It could be used as a learning platform or just to show us how good some people really are at making us feel like noobs.

Overtime
When the game counter reaches zero, it’s not over yet. If one member from your team is able to contest the objective, the game timer will be extended and will only run out if your whole team is wiped out and no one is left to contest. This mechanic has given us all the opportunity for that one last “all out” push for the win. The music gets louder and tensions run high as we all watch the overtime bar burn away while we either try to defend a point or destroy the enemy’s team.

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Rich Lore
While the game itself is remarkable, the developers have also provided us with an awesome background for all the characters and the plot of the game. The official trailers were followed by shots of characters and comics, leaving us with nothing but the hunger for more. We aren’t going to spoil anything else for you, so all you have to do is hop on to their Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClOf1XXinvZsy4wKPAkro2A) to catch it all. We know they’re leading up to something but we don’t know what and were dying to find out.

Loot
At every level up, players receive a loot box which when opened has the chance of dropping character skins, sprays, voice lines, poses, emotes and even in game currency giving broke gamers a chance to eventually own some cool in game items. Praise Blizzard.

But the game isn’t all that great…
Just kidding, it’s amazing. The only beef that many of us have is that it’s priced at USD 39.99, which comes up to almost RM 163.23.

HOW LIKE THAT?

It may scrape you a little dry, but we truly believe that it’ll be completely worth it. If you’re not convinced yet, just watch the trailer here.

Once that’s over, if you ever find me in a game (ShippuHan), just pop me a hi and we’re bound to have a ball.

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All images were retrieved from the official Overwatch website: https://playoverwatch.com/en-us/game/

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