Overwatch Is A Very Blizzardy First-Person Shooter

Blizzard like to hop between genres, that much is clear. At their Gamescom conference they talked about Legacy of the Void, an RTS; Hearthstone, a collectible card game; Heroes of the Storm, a MOBA (or ‘hero brawler’, if you accept Blizzard’s nomenclature); and Overwatch [official site], a first-person shooter.

But after playing Overwatch, which visually recalls Team Fortress 2, I’m starting to think Blizzard’s games all have more in common than their surface suggests. I’m beginning to think there is as much a ‘Blizzgame’ formula as much as there is a ‘Ubigame’ formula.

Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer shooter in which both teams choose from the same selection of character classes. Those character classes are aadmirably diverse bunch of colourful, cartoon irritants. For example, at Gamescom they announced Lúcio, a dreadlocked Brazilian DJ from the streets who says things like, “Let’s drop the beat!”. He looks like he should be leaning at a jaunty angle against a hapless talking bear voiced by Matthew McConaughey and I instantly dislike him. But when given the opportunity I choose to play as him anyway, because he’s new and my commitment to journalism is unbreakable, and because he’s about fast movement and wallrunning with his rollerblades, both of which look and sound fun.

They are fun. Lúcio is a support character and his main abilities are that he’s able to buff nearby teammates by playing ‘go faster’ music or ‘heal up’ music. This makes it easy to be useful even when you’re not much good at aiming, but the speed also lets you harrass enemies with your weak laser-pulse-gun. I enjoyed diving recklessly into skirmishes with opponents, occasionally grabbing a kill, but otherwise sprinting away quicker than I could be followed if I got into trouble. This tactic is aided further by your weapon’s alternate fire, which shunts enemies back – and often off ledges on the Russian-set map I played on, which was also new.

Even when playing this way, there was little reason to be good at aiming. Although weak, the laser-pulse-gun – it probably has a name but I didn’t note it down, so let’s call it the Wubinator – fires rapidly and its projectiles are large. Get up close and you’ll hit something.

Conversely, in the next round I played as Hanzo, an archer. Bow and arrows are the best weapon in almost any first-person shooter and Hanzo’s comes with the added bonus of being able to climb high walls. This significantly changed the feel of the Russian map, as now I had access to rooftops and sniper nests that were unreachable – or at least seemed unreachable – when playing as Lúcio. Like the art style, the bow and arrow is reminiscent of Team Fortress 2’s Huntsman in terms of its speed and arc, and the consequent need to lead enemies with your shots. I scored a few kills this way and each one was satisfying. I found less success with X’s skills, which are alternate arrow types – one that bounces on impact, which didn’t seem useful in the outdoor areas of the Russian map, and another that releases a pulse which tracks enemies within its radius. If ‘skills’ seems like the wrong word for an ammo type, keep in mind that these are theoretically infinite in number but limited by a cooldown timer.

This is where I come back to what I said at the start: all Blizzard games have more in common than it first appears. Mainly, they are games which emphasise the gathering of knowledge more than of skill. Overwatch is no different. For example, at one point during the matches I played I encountered an enemy controlling the Reaper character. I hadn’t seen Reaper before but he has a mask, a hood and dual wields two heavy-barrelled guns. What I didn’t know – and had no way of knowing based on any part of his appearance – was that Reaper also has the ability to place a marker within a certain location and then teleport to that position. I discovered this when the enemy I spotted, down below the building I was standing on, suddenly vanished and then reappeared next to me on the rooftop.

I might have already known this about Reaper if I had engaged with any of Overwatch’s Blizzard-created class videos or user-created wikis, but neither option sounds very appealing. Instead I learned by dying, and considering the varied roster of other characters and that each character has multiple skills, I foresee a fair amount of learning by dying while playing the game.

I’ve had this experience in other Blizzard games – whether it’s encountering new strategies and units in StarCraft 2, new heroes in Heroes of the Storm, or new cards or builds of cards in Hearthstone. Blizzard games don’t just contain this kind of knowledge; they’re about that knowledge. Attaining and recalling it is necessary in order to win, whereas the baser skills – aiming and shooting, for example – are often downplayed. Obviously other games are similar, but compare Overwatch to a game like Counter-Strike in which the knowledge you’re gathering – of sightlines and spray patterns, say – is far less explicit and far harder to apply than remembering which character has which push-button ability.

For me, this makes Overwatch a less appealing prospect, even though it’s not exactly a criticism. I understand why it is satisfying to achieve mastery of a game by collecting knowledge like a squirrel collects nuts, but that’s not why I personally play shooters. I can see space in Overwatch for the things I do enjoy – striking with Hanzo’s arrows is fun – but it’s not as satisfying as the same action is in Team Fortress 2. Overwatch is simply about something else. It’s a different kind of game. A Blizzard game.


  1. Seth_Keta says:

    Blizzard? Ja makin’ me crazy, mon!

  2. Awesomeclaw says:

    I think that specific knowledge of player classes is something that is just common to class based shooters and MOBAs, rather than just Blizzard games. TF2 kind of gets around this by having the appearance of a class kind of telegraph what it can do, e.g. medic looks like a doctor, the engineer looks like a construction worker, spy looks like a… spy.

    • bananomgd says:

      All spies wear balaclavas. It is known.

    • gwathdring says:

      It’s more clever than that , though.

      The spy disguises with a puff of smoke and your fellow spies have paper masks when they’re disguised. You can see the outline of cloaked spies on your team and there’s a shimmery sparkle that catches your eye when a spy disappears. Even before you see the other team, you see what spies DO. The revolver has a distinct slow report and animation that hint at it’s rate of fire whether or not you’ve played as the class.

      The Heavy is big and slow and carries a massive gun, sure. But the mini-gun also makes a distinctive noise as it revs up and as it’s bullets thunk against walls in your vicinity.

      The sniper, too, has a distinct silhouette … butt he sniper rifle also leaves a laser dot on the wall.

      The demoman’s ordinance makes a distinctive thoomp as it fire and a distinctive plink as it lands.

      The shotgun doesn’t change between the Engineer, Pyro and Heavy and again it’s sound design clues you into it’s fire rate with a relatively long and echoing report. People shout out that they’re on fire, that they need a medic, that they need ammo … characters will often call out in their distinctive voices whether or not you’ve sent a quick-command. Even without the GUI or the text-chat or voice-chat telling you what’s happening, you can still orient to these things to an extent that many games do not allow.

      There’s no sprint button. What you see is what you get in terms of how fast characters will approach you. Critical hits make a distinct static noise, have a notable glow and have a unique kill icon so you always know WHY you suddenly lost more health than you expected.

      Of course, a lot of this shifted with the onslaught of items. To their credit, they put a lot of effort into trying to maintain clarity even as they lost simplicity. The Wrangler has a glowing blue shield and a laser-dot where it’s aiming. The demoknight’s charge makes a loud, distinctive noise. The huntsman arrows leave a colored trail along their path. But whether or not it’s a problem (or for that matter a necessity), Team Fortress 2 has become more and more a game of knowledge and familiarity, too, and not just in the way all games are before you enter the journeyman phase or as you enter the mastery phase.

    • LexW1 says:

      Graham is rather demonstrably wrong, too, because, with the exception of Overwatch (presuming he’s right here, as I think is fair), Blizzard’s games tend to be less about knowledge than other games OF THE GENRE THEY ARE IN.

      I mean Diablo 3? By ARPG standards it’s very action-y, very little knowledge required compared even to say, Torchlight 2, and nothing required compared to Path of Exile (I mean, if Diablo 3 passed high school, PoE has multiple degrees and PhDs and is working on more!). So that’s a fairly strong strike against the “Blizzard games = knowledge games” theory.

      Then there’s WoW. Compared to most other MMOs, including those that came before it, WoW requires very very little knowledge, even WoW’s PvP is much more WISWYG than say, Rift or even SWTOR (imho). All MMOs have a heavy element of knowledge = win, of course, but WoW has far less than most. So that’s another strike.

      Let’s look at their MOBA – Heroes of the Storm. This is the clearest one of all. Heroes requires infinitely less knowledge than LoL or DotA2. To the point where it’s almost a different genre entirely. Instead of having to understand an ultra-elaborate meta of last hits, jungling, and so on, you just have to understand how to play – it helps to understand enemy characters of course, but again, less so than other games.

      I can’t really speak for SC2, but my understanding was that it was 99% ultra-micro, and know more knowledge-requiring than others in the genre.

      So it rather seems like Graham is pretty wrong here. I mean, I get that this is unusual in that it’s a shooter with a heavy knowledge requirement that isn’t just map-knowledge, but I don’t think there’s a pattern across Blizzard’s games.

      • Leprikhan says:

        Yeah, I’m not really on his page here either, excepting SC2 alone. I would absolutely agree there is an imperceptible “blizzardness” to all of their games, but this isn’t it. Requiring “knowledge” is a common factor across competitive games in general, with very few exceptions (read: none I can think of).

        • LexW1 says:

          Indeed, that’s what surprised me very much about this article – Blizzard’s games are very Blizzard, but just not in that way. I mean, apart from the obvious art-style similarities some things that come to my mind are:

          1) Abilities are very “chunky”. That is to say, significant, discrete, and powerful, but also usually without much nuance or complexity (for better or worse and often it is better).

          When an ability does do something unexpected or has a complex interaction that wouldn’t be fairly obvious from thinking about, they tend to change – and where they put complex abilities in, you can guarantee that they will be simplified as time goes on.

          You almost never see abilities that have little visual feedback or the like, too, even when it would make sense for it to be limited.

          2) Abilities are relatively few in number by the standards of the genre – this isn’t always true, but when it isn’t, Blizzard will turn around and “fix” it, as they did in WoW.

          3) Character growth in Blizzard games tends to involve a strong linear element of “now I’m just more powerful” with tightly limited picking of tested, usable, level-appropriate abilities as you go along (which might be a bit more horizontal),

          I think the truth is probably something more unifying than this even but yes, there is Blizzardness, and no, it isn’t “requiring knowledge”.

  3. Xzi says:

    “Heroes of the Storm, a MOBA (or ‘hero brawler’, if you accept Blizzard’s nomenclature); and Overwatch [official site], a first-person shooter.*”

    *A first-person MOBA shooter. With terrible readability in the action.

    • dontnormally says:

      > a first person MOBA

      …Are there mobs?

      • Xzi says:

        MOBs aren’t really a factor in Heroes of the Storm. They’re there, sure, but not something you need to worry or care about. That being the case, MOBs aren’t necessary as an inherent part of designing a MOBA.

        • Xzi says:

          I’d also note that Gigantic is trying to do the same thing. AKA steer people away from calling it a MOBA, even despite the fact that it does have MOBs. I’d say that neither Blizzard nor Motiga needs to act like MOBA is a bad word just because of a lot developers have been making them lately. Especially because they’re clearly doing a lot of things different from other MOBAs, taking a shooter approach. It’s simply a matter of separating themselves from the pack in terms of mechanics and polish. If they do that, they don’t need to worry about what labels people place on their games.

    • SaintAn says:

      That’s like saying Destiny, Halo, CoD, Hearthstone and Phantasy Star Online are MMO’s.

  4. stblr says:

    You can’t die from a single ability that you were (understandably) ignorant of and extrapolate out that all Blizzard games are about knowledge over execution.

    That’s like jumping into TF2 for the first time, dying to a cluster of curious spiked balls, then saying that all Valve games are about the element of surprise over tactics.

    • gwathdring says:

      Except we can analyze the games further and see that it’s clearly not just a first impressions issue with a lot of Blizzard games.

      I agree insofar as I’m not sure I see the same pattern in the company as a whole, yet. Starcraft is certainly execution over knowledge. WoW is knowledge over execution as are Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, but both of those are titles aimed squarely at joining into genres where that is already typically the case (deckbuilding and MOBA). Overwatch and Gigantic are interesting in that it’s stepping into a space where skill, teamwork and map knowledge typically trump everything else and inserting a LOT of MOBA-like knowledge play into the proceedings.

      But I would hardly call this something characteristic of Blizzard. They have a very specific visual aesthetic and an emphasis on multiplayer and characterization. THAT’s what I think of when I think of a Blizzard game. Not a specific preference for compendium knowledge as a prerequisite to good play.

      • gwathdring says:

        To be clear, I agree with you about Blizzard overall as a company, but think your comparison is disingenuous because Overwatch would be a good example of that pattern if the pattern in fact existed and I think it’s in bad faith to say the author just didn’t think very hard about the implications of dying suddenly from something previously unknown. They discussed and backed up the idea quite a bit.

  5. coldvvvave says:

    What is this? An EDM-flavored character? Absolutely desgusting.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Ben Barrett says:

    I agree whole-heartedly with the idea of a Blizzgame, and actually think they have even more in common with each other. They all take after previous games and break them down to their core, make that fun – and often simpler/easier, at least to get into, and with a skill ceiling that’s either lower or harder to comprehend. vanilla WoW is Everquest Blizzified, StarCraft II is Brood War Blizzified, Hearthstone is the WoWTCG, HotS is Dota, etc.

    The further from both initial impressions and the first version of the game you get, the less obvious (and often true) that becomes. To make an example, WoW now is vanilla WoW Blizzified, with everything they’ve learned during their development. There’s less choices, they’re more significant, less abilities, they’re more fun to use, there’s less levelling content (mostly due to the scale of an expansion being less than that of a game) but oh god it’s so much better. Meanwhile bosses, dungeons and raids are infinitely more complex and interesting than the 16 different varieties of tank ‘n’ spank you got back then.

    Overwatch seems to be battling the downsides of ‘Blizzification’ you’ve mentioned with the breadth of characters, so I wonder if you might more enjoy (off the top of my head) Widowmaker/Soldier 76, since base FPS skills(z) seem to be more their focus.

    To sound less like a member of the Blizzard PR team, I expect possibly not – as you noted (and I agree with), the nature of the games that Blizzard makes is knowledge through play or reading. Playing a more shooty class won’t stop you not realising why the entire enemy team just came back to life (Mercy’s ult), can see through walls (Widowmaker’s ult) or a Tank just bunnyhopped round the corner firing high explosive shells (lovely Bastion).

    Those two paragraphs feel like they’re maybe just a retyped version of the article. Am I that guy?

  7. MisterFurious says:

    Blizzard’s formula: take someone else’s game, water it down and cartoonify it to appeal to the masses, reap the profits.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      So you’re saying they cartoonified TF2? o.O

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        To be fair, the original was less cartoony than the modern version. Hats and all that other craziness came later. The last time I played TF2, it looked like this:

        link to wiki.teamfortress.com

        • TheAngriestHobo says:

          Further research reveals that might be TFC. For some reason I remembered it being called TF2, but I could very well be mistaken. It’s been years.

          So, yeah, ignore me entirely.

  8. airtekh says:

    It’s interesting to me that Graham’s reason for disliking the game “learning by dying” is the same reason I cannot wait to get stuck into the beta, whenever it arrives.

    I just love the idea of finding out which classes are powerful in which situations, and who can counter who. That learning process, that metagame is part of what appeals to me in something like this. (Also robots and giant apes). It’s one of the reasons I’ve played Team Fortress 2 as long as I have.

    Another thing to point out perhaps, is that I am unfamiliar with most Blizzard games, as I’ve barely played any of them; so maybe this “Blizzard game” criticism is something that doesn’t apply to me.

  9. zxcasdqwecat says:

    What mr smith said.

  10. elden says:

    Useful articles take an objective approach. Just tell us what the game is, no one cares about your personal preferences. Telling us that you’d rather not learn things and making a strained point about Blizzard games requiring “knowledge” to be “good” (it’s called “depth of gameplay” or sometimes “strategy” – hundreds of games have this element) is not really meaningful or useful, it’s just bloviating.

    • Awesomeclaw says:

      Useful articles take an objective approach. Just tell us what the game is, no one cares about your personal preferences

      This might not be the website for you.

      • JB says:

        Exactly what I was about to type.

        It’s almost like elden missed the bit at the top of the page where it says “Rock, Paper, Shotgun – PC Game Reviews, Previews, Subjectivity”

        Tut tut.

    • zxcasdqwecat says:

      Nope if you really are going to debate terms ‘knowledge’ is related to ‘experience’ which is not skill. I believe the guy goes “imho” out of humbleness while speaking truth;)

    • anHorse says:

      There’s no such thing as an objective approach

      Closest thing to that in any form of journalism is just pathetic fence sitting where the journalist ends up weighing their opinion against some hypothetical direct opposite. This leads to the view WHICH NOBODY ACTUALLY HAS being given far too much attention.

      To demand objectivity is just fucking stupid

    • Gaminggumper says:

      You do understand the point of editorial writing, don’t you? This wasn’t a review/preview of the content at hand. It was a statement about how the writer feels Blizzard designs their content. He also included the thought that this wasn’t for him. Not that it was terrible, and no one should like it.
      I’m not a fan of watermelon that doesn’t mean I think it shouldn’t exsit or that anyone who likes it is objectively wrong.

    • banananas says:

      Whoop Whoop! I’ve spotted the word “objective”! Drop on your knees and put your hands behind your head, you’re surrounded!
      It’s a bad word, didn’t you get the ? ;)

    • ButteringSundays says:

      Sounds like you’re after a Wikipedia entry. Reviews cannot be objective, nor would any sane human want them to be.

      Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  11. SquirrelKnight says:

    It is interesting to me that Blizzard is criticized for the “learn by dying” method of play, while the Dark Souls series is praised for it. Dark Souls is very much knowledge-based play, as I would argue most shooters are. See that guy with the rocket launcher? Move around quickly. See that guy with the sniper rifle? Get out of site and engage at close range.

    Now that I think about it, most games are knowledge-based, including Zelda games, Mario games, etc…

    • SquirrelKnight says:

      Sight, not site… whoops!

    • zxcasdqwecat says:

      It’s a matter of feedback, you don’t know someone skill until you use it or die by it while dark souls is a lot of trial and error methinks

      • zxcasdqwecat says:


      • SquirrelKnight says:

        Those are still two very similar things. For example, how is a new monster really different than a new hero that you face? When I first fought a rat in Dark Souls, I didn’t know it could poison me. When I first faced Stitches in HotS, I didn’t know he could eat me and drag me into the range of a couple of towers. Either way, I died. I then learned to not let rats or Stitches get close to me and shame on me if I did (which still happened).

        • zxcasdqwecat says:

          Trial and error means dying and keep trying while feedback regards cause and effect relationship (and the positive or negative loops applied to the game).
          You didn’t know rats were poisoning because of poor feedback,’cause the rat design didn’t give it away and partly because DS likes players to be paranoid for small vague clues as teaching.
          In overwatch you will never tell arrows and bow make for a couple of giant twisting dragons until you experience in some way. You will never tell a floating cyber monk will shoot purple balls from its fist. Shooters give away the gun functions from the gun design itself so if it has a long and thin barrel you know it’s a sniper rifle etc, the game and player communication work faster because of this. Overwatch on the other hand has characters, not classes, hence I’ll probably hear “I got some hanzo shooting a dragon twister” and I’ll have no idea wtf is that and what should I do about it. Tldr, I don’t think mr smith looks at ‘learning from dying’ as much as experience and the way the game communicates players the characters functions and powers, in that way knowledge matters even if I can tell who is what from the size at first sight. It’s this moba part of the game that doesn’t add to the fps one because the character powers are bonkers and not about shooting.

    • gunny1993 says:

      Not sure about most FPS in that regard, I mean if you’re a total noob to the entire universe yes, but if people see a sniper I think most people are going know that getting close to it is a logical thing to do. Its less knowledge and more unhinted knowledge, for instance if you have two doors and you walk though one of them and die, that’s unhinted knowledge that requires the failure to understand, but if that door has “Walk through here and ya’ll get killed” written above it in another language then it is hinted (albeit badly)

      But tbh, I don’t see it as much of a bad thing, finding out what stuff does through faliure can be great fun, as in Dark Souls.

    • gwathdring says:

      Everything requires skill, knowledge, and luck to some extent. For the purposes of discussion, some clearly require these in such starkly different quantities that it’s worth distinguishing between them and on the other hand it’s so obvious that all games require all of them that we can reasonably assume the shorthand “this game is about knowledge, that game is about skill” isn’t simply a misunderstanding of fundamental principles, especially when that statement is given quite a lot of context.

      In Zelda, I don’t need knowledge in the sense that I don’t have to rely heavily on collected data about what does and doesn’t work. The logic of Zelda is straightforward–do I have a thing specifically designed for this? No? Keep exploring. It’s a game of memory, certainly, and we can call memory a sort of knowledge but that’s not really the point of the earlier usage of ‘knowledge’ and is not so much pedantry as not-paying-attention-to-context. Zelda is not so much a game of compendium knowledge as of memory knowledge.

      In Mario, I don’t need to compile that sort of database either. Even with memory, while I literally have to remember how not to die like I did last time as I replay a level, I’m not being asked to keep a catalog of places I’ve been and what sort of obstacle prevented me from advancing there. I’m simply being asked to develop muscle memory to get past obstacles and/or the general skill with the mechanical system high enough to allow me to sight-read obstacles without specifically sequencing a memory of them. Mario, then, is much better understood as a game about physical skill than a game of memory knowledge or of compendium knowledge.

      Counterstrike does literally require you to understand the weapons and their advantages and such. But for the most part, you aren’t going to be surprised by unprepared knowledge databases. There are two asymmetrical teams that form the basic setup of the game, and while there’s a pick-and-mix of guns and equipment, you’re hardly going to be shocked when you get killed by a bullet. You need to understand grenades but beyond that … well, what wins games isn’t knowing which gun does what or understanding the intricacies of body armor. Games are won by twitch-skill, team-work and knowledge of the maps. You’re not going to defeat a superior shooter by virtue of knowing the numbers better. Having better map-tactics, certainly. But this is, again, an experiential memory. A locative memory. It’s not the same sort of compendium-style knowledge that helps you with a game like Dark Souls or a MOBA.

      In a MOBA, the map is usually fixed. NPC behavior is usually fixed. It does take physical skill and stamina to compete at the highest level, but in a more relative sense physical skill in the game is highly limited. What the games reward most is compendium knowledge. This skill has this effect in these situations. Opponents are playing these characters which can do these things which we need to watch out for. If you use this skill and I followup with this we can do this specific amount of extra damage. These items combine to have this specific effect.

      It’s not that these kinds of compendium-knowledge skills are absent from games like TF2 or Mario or Zelda or whatever. It’s the extremity of the focus on them in these contexts. Even in Dark Souls, that compendium knowledge–more present than in most games I’ve played–feeds back specifically into a physical skill set. Into muscle memory. The core challenge isn’t tactics, the core challenge is action. Learn-by-dying might be it’s ethos as a design, but as a system of mechanics most of what you are supposed to learn is physical skill. Again, Dark Souls has a LOT more compendium-knowledge challenges than most games I’ve played. It wants you to find special items and think carefully about how maps are setup and how to approach different enemies. It wants you to watch and learn and, well, die. And it has specific narrative and thematic reasons for this on top of the sheer mechanical design of it all. But compared to a game like DOTA or WoW? Even Dark Souls doesn’t seem like that much of a compendium-knowledge game.

      • gwathdring says:

        There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. I just disagree with you that it’s a poor distinction to make. I think the article is on-target in making the distinction.

      • ahherewego says:

        I had to make an account because all the comments were too much for me.

        I don’t understand why there is such an issue. Let’s take a look at the game for a second. Each character has, what, four abilities and one special ability? Additionally, none of these will ever change, so every time you encounter that character it will be the same strategy. And there are currently 18 announced characters, and I can’t imagine the cast being LoL-sized, so let’s estimate 30 characters total. It’s going to take maybe a weekend of play to really get a handle on each character’s limited, static moveset. Then you will have all of your “compendium knowledge” that you need to effectively handle any encounter. I feel like playing other FPSs require much more knowledge and is more “random” due to people being able to switch between loadouts but keep the same appearance.

        Maybe everyone just needs to realize you can’t just hop into any game and expect to immediately know how to play it fully. That’s the point of playing games, to learn and experience.

        • zxcasdqwecat says:

          Feedback is one thiing but the moba part as a whole limits overwatch as a shooter. Not only player communication doesn’t help newbies taking part of a plan slowing down the game but powers are not something you can deal with (maybe you can take cover if far enough but it’s not like dodging a rocket or something). The powers won’t let the most skilled players to come out and will ruin their plans putting a lower limit to the skill ceiling.
          It’s not required to be that good and what’s left is the specialization of things and guns. I wouldn’t spend 10 minutes learning the characters sheets and stuff though.

    • Kitsunin says:

      Dark Souls is a game which actually goes quite far out of its way to try to help you understand its dangers before you face them. It doesn’t tell you that rats poison, but if you look at your stats, you know poison exists, and when you look at rats, you see that they look very diseased. Expecting them to poison is natural, but even if you don’t they won’t poison you instantly, rather the first hit will half-fill a really big obvious bar that says poison! It might be a game in which you learn by dying because of how harsh it is, but if you pay attention you should realize that it really goes out of its way to give you a shot at avoiding every danger it contains, even the first time. You can guess what almost every enemy will do by looking at them from a distance. If you can’t, the unexpected stuff will happen in a relatively safe place.

      It certainly doesn’t have a guy with a bow who can wallhack you or summon giant instakilling dragons.

  12. longlivelee says:

    Blizzards attempt at a Bard.

  13. Beanbee says:

    Two things to make this amazing.

    First, your beat is a constant presence in the world. Both to yourself and others (team mates or otherwise).

    Second, allow players to mod that beat. Have functional rules based on pitch & tempo but allow riffing on the theme within.

    Given both, I would love an fps with a musical element.

    • gwathdring says:

      The problem with this sort of thing becomes netcode, I think.

      Local or single player, though …. yeah, that sounds pretty awesome.

    • artrexdenthur says:

      Sounds like you might want to join with me in crossing fingers that this game eventually comes out and is good: Chroma, by Harmonix

  14. thedosbox says:

    (Not) learning by dying pretty much describes all of my game time.

    Kinda wish they could repurpose Saints Row’s dubstep gun for the DJ character.

  15. Petuko says:

    Game does look neat, still miffed that 4/6 girl characters are in catsuits tho :/

    • trn says:

      Come on, man, Gaming 101: Girlz don’t need power armour cos bullets bounce off their boobs.

      *Sarcasm (in case it isn’t obvious)*

  16. gwathdring says:

    I wish the interface wasn’t so oppressive.

    I don’t want so much stuff popping up on my screen when the game is already frenetic and wildly colored. Put kill notices off to the side, for example. Good grief.

  17. shagen454 says:

    I’ve always thought that Blizzard are the greatest at making “games”. They aren’t necessarily tough to master but with practice and knowledge (like anything else) the well of mechanics continue to unravel. They really think about their games on so many levels.

    And I have LEARNED this about Blizzard games. Most of their games when they first come out – I’m basically bored by. But, over time – months and months – I will have a eureka moment where I see the game as a literal masterpiece. This has happened to me in WoW, Starcraft 2, HOTS. Hearthstone to some extent but Hearthstone I had a taking to right away, I just couldn’t stop playing.

    I’ve been playing their games since the original Warcraft (when I was in 4th grade) – I sort of hate to admit and I know Blizz love PopCap, so I’d love to see what they can come up with creating a real casual game. That’s how awesome they are.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      “And I have LEARNED this about Blizzard games. Most of their games when they first come out – I’m basically bored by. But, over time – months and months – I will have a eureka moment where I see the game as a literal masterpiece.”

      That’s called Stockholm syndrome.

      • shagen454 says:

        I completely disagree – I have a life, I have never let any of their games take hold of me like many of their obsessed fans. I would say, at an initial glance their games are fun – but if one chooses to stick with one of their game overtime the layers of complexity in the mechanics of their games are revealed. On a level that no one else really touches and it really is that “Blizzard polish”. Obviously, sometimes programmed this way as a timesink like WoW. But, still – utterly masterful planning & design in the end in context of creating “game” games, “Blizzgames”…. Sorry to sound so much like a fanboi but I truly love their games.

      • zxcasdqwecat says:


  18. Al Bobo says:

    Some like ‘pixel hunting’ -games while others like ‘rock, paper,sho..erm, scissors’ -games. This is apparently the latter and that’s ok. TF2 is more like the latter kind of game, too, and I love it. Perhaps Overwatch will keep me interested longer than Dirt Bomb did. THAT shouldn’t be hard…

  19. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    I like that the fact Lúcio is from Rio isn’t reflected in his design in any way whatsoever.

  20. Stevostin says:

    Yeah, sure, whatever. Will no one come and state the obvious and say that the graphic style is aimed at kids at best ? It may look like TF2 the way Limp Bizkit sounds like Nirvana if you’re coming from a jazz background but TF2 is admirable, bold and interesting whereas Overwatch is conventional, compromised and boring. One is appealing to me, while the other is repulsive.

    I probably have to say things against gameplay in Overwatch but that’s pointless as it looks so much like a game that doesn’t want me I get the message. Maybe it will find an audience, but I hope not.

    • zxcasdqwecat says:

      All online things go for colorful stuff to appeal most different ages though

    • ButteringSundays says:

      You hope it doesn’t find an audience because they’re not targeting it at you? Wow, ego much?

  21. zxcasdqwecat says:

    I’m still waiting for the looks of the italian dude/girl

  22. TightenUp says:

    RTFM…? Surprising to see RPS complain about having to learn mechanics.

  23. Mr. International says:

    “I’m beginning to think there is as much a ‘Blizzgame’ formula as much as there is a ‘Ubigame’ formula.”

    title should be: “RPS writer finally emerges from under rock.”

  24. Time4Pizza says:

    Uh, but was the game any good?