Overwatch Gameplay Trailer
Overwatch is a shooter, sure, but it also infuses elements of the arena and character-based combat that are the bread and butter of the MOBA genre. Furthermore, if there's one feature in any of its games you can say that Blizzard knows inside out at this stage, it's the online multiplayer.
Overwatch has its own lore, too, although Blizzard didn't delve too deeply into this in either the BlizzCon keynote or the Overwatch panel that followed it. Set in the distant future, Overwatch takes place 60 years after a war between humanity and a robot race called the Omnics.
At the time the Omnic Crisis prompted the global powers to create Overwatch, a team of super-powered heroes from around the world. After defeating the Omnics, Overwatch continued to operate as a global protection agency, but five years before the events of the game take place some of its members went rogue.
This is the landscape Overwatch takes place in. So far there's no word on whether the game will feature a campaign mode, but there's very definitely 6 vs 6 multiplayer and this was the demo Blizzard showed off in Anaheim.
The developers say that Overwatch has been built from the ground up to be as accessible as possible. To that end, they've made match types more team-based and victory in them hinges on every player knowing their character's role and working together.
There's no Team Deathmatch in Overwatch. Two match-types mentioned at BlizzCon were Payload, in which one team of players has to deliver an EMP bomb to a point in the map with the other team trying to stop them and Capture Point, which is your basic attack/defend match - and incidentally the one we played in the demo.
The principal draw of Overwatch is in finding the right role and the right character to suit every playing style. The classes themselves, according to Blizzard, are rough guides on how best to use each character, but every Overwatch agent in the game has a power that's unique to them and it's all a matter of using them in the most effective way while tallying up with the style of play that best suits.
If you're a seasoned run-and-gun player, you'd probably opt for the Offence class and then it's all a matter of choosing the Overwatch operative with the secondary power that appeals to you the most. For example, Tracer is a bouncy two-gun-wielding English lass who, through time manipulation, has the ability to 'Blink' (or teleport) over brief distances, making her a massive pain to draw a bead on.
Then there's Reaper, a metal mask-wearing wraith with two shotguns who can reduce himself to shadows for brief periods and make himself invulnerable.
If you're generally rubbish at shooters, however, Overwatch can still find a role for you. As has been said, battles aren't won or lost off the back of the number of players who are the best shots. Rather, the team that's the most organized is likely to be the one that comes out ahead - and this is all down to players finding a role that suits them and embracing it.
For example, in the Support class, there's TorBjorn, a bearded dwarf engineer who has the ability to deploy gun turrets. While that doesn't sound particularly spectacular at first, it can be lethal in the hands of players who bother to learn the maps and identify their chokepoints.
"IF YOU'RE GENERALLY RUBBISH AT SHOOTERS, OVERWATCH CAN STILL FIND A ROLE FOR YOU"
On top of their superpowers, every character in the game has a passive ability and an uber power, which can be deployed with devastating effect. Tracer, for example has a Pulse Bomb that can destroy any foes in its proximity, while Reaper can activate a power that allows him to briefly issue rapid fire in every direction around him.
Interestingly, while some characters have abilities that could be called similar - Reaper, for example, can teleport over long a distance while Tracer effectively does the same through short spaces - no character has a power set that's identical to any of the others.
What this means for Blizzard is that Overwatch is probably an absolute nightmare to balance. Yet, balance in gaming is one of the many things that Blizzard manages with aplomb, and since no IP it creates sees the light of day unless it's confident players will warm to it, you have to put the smart money on the developer delivering in the long run. The fact that Blizzard has more characters planned for Overwatch than just the dozen or so that were available in the demo makes the task look even more impressive.
As with many new titles, Blizzard is turning to its colossal fanbase for help with this. The beta for Overwatch is scheduled for next year and players can sign up for it over at playoverwatch.com.
Looks like quite a few games we have played made into one and generally looks pretty cool. I think a lot of us could get into this game.