Overwatch 📽 Through the Lens
Ah yes, we were bound to talk about this one. A title that defined a generation, you might say. You might not, but you would be wrong! 😂
Overwatch was Blizzard's next big IP, their latest and greatest. Except they somehow managed to make it crash and burn. 🔥
We will go over the life cycle, design, and eventual downfall of Overwatch. If I think I have enough material to do an Overwatch 2 piece, I just might. 🤷♂️ Ain't holding my breath though, since the differences are so few and far between.
Until then❗️ In this edition of Through the Lens 🎞, we'll be taking a look at Blizzard's hero-shooter that changed the world from 2016: Overwatch, Roll it! 📽
🔶 UP TOP 🔶
As we always do around here I'm gonna link the soundtrack for your listening-while-reading pleasure. 🤯 And honestly, overwatch's soundtrack is great. One of the better soundtracks I've linked recently. 🔊
I played Overwatch back when it was in closed beta. I played it for several free beta weekends afterward, but I never bought the game when it came out. 😅
I have gone back to it here and there when I can, but I am by no means an expert on the finer details of the game. I still know more than enough to write this article. 💪 And I know enough about the shifting metals to make an accurate argument on what went wrong. But don't expect me to link my Widowmaker no-scopes here. 😁
🔶 HERO SHOOTER 🔶
Overwatch spawned the Hero-Shooter genre. 😲
"Hero-Shooters are a sub-genre of first/third person shooters that accent abilities over shooting skill."
Internet Sage, 2023
Now, there might be other instances of hero-shooters before Overwatch, but Overwatch made them POP! Similar to how Wolfenstein was the first FPS, but everyone called the DOOM-clones in the beginning, even though DOOM was the second FPS. Who cares. Point is, this genre exists because of Overwatch. 💯
What the genre basically is is sort of like taking the MOBA formula of having heroes with abilities and applying them to shooter games. Each 'hero' has not only active abilities, but their weapons are drastically different from one another. 🔫
What made Overwatch stand out was its amazing presentation.
🔶 PRESENTATION 🔶
Blizzard went ham 🍔 when designing Overwatch, It was actually first meant to be a shooter MMO - Project Titan - that they then scrapped and made an entirely new game out of. This is not an uncommon practice in the industry.
So they already had the world and characters figured out at an early stage. And as Blizzard is wont to do, their cinematics was the bomb! 💣
They continued building the world by releasing dope cinematic after dope cinematic. The old-school Blizzard fans were not down for this new change of direction in the company. Remember, overwatch was released when blizzard still had some cred with the fans (unlike now when that cred has completely vanished) So a lot of people felt upset about the Dinseyfication of Blizzard.
Little did they know, they'd have more serious grievances with the company down the line. 😂
🔶 GAMEPLAY 🔶
So, the game looked great, and it had lots of character, what else?
Well for one thing, we failed to mention that Overwatch is a rather egregious copy of a very well-established proto-hero-shooter by the name of Team Fortress 2. 😱
I guess Blizzard felt like " hey Valce, since you stole DOTA from us, we're stealing TF2!" 😄
And that's a joke ladies and gentlemen, there is no stealing in video game mechanics.
Overwatch was (the servers for Overwatch 1 have been deactivated since the release of Overwatch 2) a 6v6 match-based game. Matches/game modes were divided into payload, capture the zone and hybrid maps.
The main game mode was the payload, which saw you and your team pushing it while the other team tried to stop you at any cost.
Each team was comprised of Tanks, DPS, and Supports. What these classes did is pretty self-explanatory.
Each hero had powerful ultimate abilities that needed to be charged up to unleash devastating team-fight shifts. And team fights in his game was everything. So much so that games were won and lost based on the result of one team fight. So careful placement of abilities was imperative to success.
Well, that and hero matchups. Which in the end proved to be the game's downfall.
🔶 THE METAGAME 🔶
Regardless of how balanced the game became, most METAs turned out to be pretty boring. 😴 The GOAT meta, which saw a number of Tanks and Supports (no damage dealers) was the most boring thing to watch/played in any competitive video game ever.
This was the catalyst for Blizzard to go ahead and migrate the core of the game onto Overwatch 2. Where team play was less important and expression of skill could still be... well, expressed.
At the end, the complexity of the game's systems proved to nuanced to balance - needing a complete overhaul. This alienated the people that already liked how things were, while not really introducing the game to a new audience since most people heard ' its the same as Overwatch 1' while that is true in most aspects, IMO it is a sufficiently different game.
As for the dreaded loot box controversies, we'll cover that in the Legacy section. 😅
🔶 LEGACY 🔶
Now let me not keep you waiting. 😎 The chaos that was raging in the gaming world because of the Overwatch loot box system was massive. People are saying that Overwatch 2's battlepass system is worse, but I'm not quite sure about that.
The loot boxes made it so that in order to buy the skin you wanted, you had to spend an ungodly amount of currency (we talking 🤑). You had to wait for it to drop in a loot box to actually get the skin you wanted if you were a true free-to-play player.
Why put this info here? Well, after Blizzard caused such havoc with their loot boxes, all loot boxes afterward had to display the % for getting each item. So, Blizzard changed the industry in this regard, and without Overwatch, we would still have mystery values in our in-game casinos. 😁
As for the game itself, Overwatch will be remembered forever I think. It is solely responsible for a massive shift in the gaming industry. Hero-shooters would not be where they are now if it wasn't for Overwatch. It's a shame that it seems like its light is now dimming...
Thank you for reading, you rock! (and maybe roll) 👏👏👏
Shout-out to the 🍕PIZZA🍕 gang, 🤙 gang. 🤙
I think I covered enough stuff here honestly. I could've talked more but what's the point? Doubt I will make an Overwatch 2 article. 😉
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Hope you have an amazing day! 🙌