Another 30 Minutes Of Overwatch Gameplay Videos

Last time there were Overwatch [official site] videos aplenty, Jem lavished you all with them. He works at LoL folks Riot now (COINCIDENCE?!) so I’m here to do the same, not only because they’re pretty rad but I have some thoughts on latest announced character Soldier: 76. Oh yes, some thoughts indeed. Press on for those and the latest footage of Bastion (robot tank) and Zarya (russian gravity woman).

We’ll start with Bastion, because it’s adorable:

The tank mode has a jump, capturing my heart forever. Less important modes include turning into a sentry gun and back, giving Bastion vulnerable periods while it’s switching. The trade off for this is being able to make entire fields of fire no-go zones for the enemy team. Self-repair lets this continue indefinitely while the tank mode acts as a combination of the heavy firepower of the sentry gun and the manoeuvrability of the ‘recon’ mode. Bastion: I want to play.

Here’s Zarya, who’s less adorable, more in control of the forces of nature:

Zarya’s tanklike in a whole other way, absorbing damage, moving slowly and carrying a large, uh, particle cannon. I like the synergy of her abilities for keeping herself and team-mates alive and dishing out damage, but the ultimate is what I’m really excited for here. It’s obscenely powerful to a degree that most in the game aren’t. Usually they’ll be good for taking out 3-4 enemies in quick succession, but a well placed Graviton Surge (I love you, people who name wizard spells in video games) will block off whole areas of the map or catch entire teams in easily AoEable piles. Zarya: I really want to play.

And then there’s Soldier: 76, the newest announcement:

Soldier: 76 I do not understand. I don’t reject the base appeal of a more standard shooter, but S76 isn’t even CoD-Man. CoD-Man would be summoning helicoptors, have some sort of kill streak mechanic perhaps, or a wide selection of weapons, grenades, throwing knives and so on. S76 has a machine gun with an underslung rocket launcher, and the ability to run fast. Every other character in the game just seems to have far more imagination in their design, either by weapon, movement or both. Pharah can fly and has rockets implanted in her chest. Tracer can teleport. Even Sniper-trope Widowmaker has a grappling hook to move around the level.

S76 just seems boring, and he’s the first of Overwatch’s characters to make me feel that way. Perhaps things will change once I and everyone else get a chance to play in the upcoming beta, which should launch some time in the next couple of months. Expect further news at Gamescom, which Blizzard have often used as a European version of Blizzcon, as far as announcements go.

30 Comments

  1. zxcasdqwecat says:

    I think I can have fun with it for a bit if f2p but I don’t see what it brings to online shooters. It would be cool to see a new weapon, a new mode, a new legendary map in my lifetime.
    It makes rocket league shine even more than deserved and obscures indie dev’s efforts.

  2. Kollega says:

    This is just a guess, but maybe Soldier 76 and his abiliites are so boring because he’s supposed to be “the protagonist”, what with his status as ex-leader of Overwatch, and bad writers think that the protagonist should be the most bland and unimaginative of all characters?

    But yeah, if it was up to me, S76 would get, in addition to an assault rifle and rocket launcher, a wall-run ability like in Titanfall, and a grenade spam button that lets him saturate an area with a dozen quick-fuse explosives in rapid succession.

    • zxcasdqwecat says:

      My guess is the assault rifle is good with everything and tops nothing while the rocket launcher is your pick to cut paths to enemies. Like in arenas. Because he’s, like, the “old school” guy.

    • ersetzen says:

      I think he is supposed to be the easy-to-get-into guy and to bring people in from games like CoD. Easy to use, hard to kill, healing field, if you die you can sprint right back.

      Interestingly enough my first idea to make him more interesting was wall jumping as well. A character purely based around jumping circles around opponents like a bouncing ball while slowly widling them down sounds super fun.

    • Ben Barrett says:

      Yeah, a wall run’d be dope, but you’ve gotta design maps around it.

  3. bit.bat says:

    I can see how S76 would be a good character to ease new people into the game, there is no harm in that if that is what they are aiming for.

  4. OpT1mUs says:

    This game looks more boring with every video I watch. Guns feel like they re shooting fucking rice, no oomph of any sort, nothing. So bland…

    • Petethegoat says:

      It really does look awful. They even manage to make the chaingun on the tank look boring.

      • Stevostin says:

        The character design miss the spot by and large for what is the target audience of pc gaming nowadays. While TF2 looks nasty, violent, adult cartoony the older you have to be enjoy Overwatch is probably a young teenager. Either it’s a huge mistake or Blizzard actually has a target in mind different from “current pc gamer” aka “futur pc gamer”. I guess there’s quite a lot of thinking at Blizz about “we’re on top of this, so now how do we stay there”. In that line of thought I guess the answer is “get the new gamers”. MMO for young ones, checked. MOBA for youg ones, checked. Magic for young ones, checked. FPS for young ones ? Incoming. (didn’t care to mention lesser genre such as RTS and ARPG but they’re well covered too, obviously).

        I’ve been a long time fan of blizzard but everything they do nowadays lacks any kind of grit. They do a lot of things way better than before, especially game as a service, balancing, match making, gameplay even. But the universe are super not even in the slightiest interesting.

        One of Valve’s defining choice in TF2 is to have the gibber, kill made in a rain of blood and limbs. Looks like a detail but appears essential on the long run.

        • ersetzen says:

          Interestingly enough the German version of Tf2 (and I think a couple others) have the gibs replaces by things like rubber ducks. I wouldn’t have realized that it wasn’t a stylistic choice without talking to someone with another version. It really doesn’t take anything away from the game.

          Arguing that the addition of gibs makes or breaks the whole game, transforming it from a great master piece for grown ups to a shit fest for teens that lacks grit seems… Weird?

          • kevinspell says:

            IMO TF2 works becouse every class is extremly easy to understand but damn hard to master, art style makes the game easy to follow (most of the time) and finaly Source engine might be old but it still has hands down the best weapon handling and movment in FPS games.

        • Dances to Podcasts says:

          Because dark and gritty and bloody and gorey means cool and mature.

        • DeVadder says:

          Ha, i almost thought you said that gore was in any way responsible for the success of TF2. ^^ What a silly thought, especially as it has no blood whatsoever in most of its bigger markets!
          I can tell you, i am pretty old and i am one of those people who spend money in F2P games and i do enjoy TF2 and the gore in MKX turns me off the game and i am really looking forward to Overwatch. Your gore=maturity line of thinking really makes you sound like a disconnected huge-gaming-company exec to me. ^^

    • Engonge says:

      The game had a subtitle “a fistful of rice” before but they removed it for some reason.

    • LionsPhil says:

      The lack of feel of hits connecting is pretty terrible. I watched the first five minutes of Zarya thinking they’ve been consistently missing, only for a killstreak notification to then pop up.

      Also I can’t help but compare that bit where she takes out a turret by peeking around a corner to TF2, where it would have shredded her after the first peek, and a demoman would have gone for bouncing his grenades off the opposite wall instead. I don’t know why Tjorborn doesn’t just rig them with “kick me” signs.

  5. Livebythesword says:

    Could be satisfying to take down all them fancy gadget wieldin’ circus freaks with nothin’ but a good ol’ assault rifle.

  6. Owl Mark says:

    After I played Planetside 2, other FPS games like this feel claustrophobic and tiny. Unplayable. This is Planetside 2 curse with its 200 people fights, tanks, aircraft warfare on open ended huge landmass.

    • melancholicthug says:

      I feel exactly the same. I can’t stand BF4, CS or any other tiny map shooter. It feels claustrophobic.

    • kevinspell says:

      Yeah, but size is not the answer to everything. Planetside is a game about logistics where numbers is what counts. And it can be a great feeling to be a part of a well oiled war machine. But if you want a newbee friendly drop in drop out experience where you shout couple of pople in the face and go to sleep you play BF. If you are looking for a competative skill based experience you play CS.

      Also the grind in PS2 is just…

  7. MrUnimport says:

    Guess you’ve never fought in a biolab, huh.

  8. brotherthree says:

    I was excited for this, but Ive toned down my expectations to a microscopic size after watching actual gameplay.

    It looks like Blizzard told its marketing department to look at the FPS genre and find some way of “MAKING IT MORE ACCESSIBLE ™”
    (in other words, how can we dumb this down enough that everyone from 10 year-old’s to geriatrics will be satisfied, and therefor give us their money)

    The mechanics and feedback looks basic and bland, it’s like they went with the ‘safest bet’ for these options rather than trying to do something special.

    Level design is claustrophobic, akin to walking down a series of hallways and small courtyards… Which makes me wonder if they purposely tried to go for this close-in combat feel to make aiming less relevant (and difficult) to winning. Its hard for anyone to miss a target three feet in front of them, perfect for kids and those dads with only 15 minutes of free time each evening between putting the kids to bed and sitcoms with the wife, who can’t afford to “spend so much time getting into a game”.

    Looks like a cross between that casual Wii FPS Splatoon, and TF2.

    RIP Blizzard 1991 – 2008.

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      I’m confused. You delivered what sounded like a critical review, and then ended it with “Looks like a cross between Splatoon and TF2,” which would obviously be awesome.

      But then the previous sentence seems to say “It looks like this might be fun to play without 50+ hours of practice, HOW DISGUSTING,” so I worry that your awesomeometer may be seriously miscalibrated. Or maybe it’s Opposite Day in your part of the world.

    • DeVadder says:

      I would give a lot for Splatoon on PC! It looks so awesome! You probably also do not think Smash Brothers is a valid Beat’em’up because of its looks, right?

  9. Premium User Badge

    Phasma Felis says:

    So what is the actual plot/motivation here supposed to be? I’ve dug around on the official site a bit, and it appears to be “Once upon a time, heroes came together and bestrode the Earth under the name of OVERWATCH! …And then they all disbanded and went home. Now these guys are fighting for some reason.”

    It feels like there’s a Step 2 missing there.

  10. PoulWrist says:

    I played a bit of Dirty Bomb yesterday, for the first time, which seems to be the closest analogy to what Blizzard are doing. Except at what seems to be a much higher pace and less focus on stuff like big guys with a shield blocking incoming damage. Seemed like it could be a great fun game, but suffers under the same thing that CS and TF2 do, in that you really need some kind of organised team to do well in it. If you’re just you on your lonesome, pretty soon things feel a little unorganised and frustrating. I reckon Overwatch will be the same, people will play it lots but there’s not going to be all that much to be had for those who don’t just play 1 hour a week, but don’t have the time to spend getting in to an organised group.

    • DeVadder says:

      I gotta admit, i never before heard the argument that a game is bad because it does not cater to the crowd of people who want to play a team-based shooter not-casual but also not as much as to actually find a team. I am curious, if TF2 and CS are bad games for that reason, what games are good? Or suffer all team-based shooters from this? In that case, it might just not be your genre?

  11. Enkinan says:

    This looks fun, I wish they would get the beta open.