Interview: Overwatch Game Designer On Blizzard’s FPS

Overwatch [official site] was rather a highlight of the recent European Road to Blizzcon event for me. It’s Blizzard’s foray into first person shooters and has provoked a lot of TF2 chat and comparison from colleagues. A build of the game was playable in two demo zones so I had hands-on time with a clutch of characters. I found it to be an intriguing proposition despite having been lukewarm at best about the trailer videos. Progressing on the two maps available felt like problems to solve using heroes and their abilities as well as an exercise in shooting characters successfully.

It’s still very much a work in progress and there were elements I was less sure of so game designer Geoff Goodman stepped up to answer my resultant questions. Questions like “Is it hard to make tanks?”, “How do you even start designing matchmaking?”, “When’s the beta?” and “Can’t you just cheat in your office Overwatch tournament?”

Read on for his replies:

Pip: So when people say “What are you working on?” how do you explain Overwatch?

Geoff: The biggest thing is that it’s an FPS – that has a lot of weight by itself. As a company we just jumped into card games with Hearthstone and obviously originally even WoW was – people were like “What is Blizzard making an MMO for? Why is an RTS company making an MMO?” I think we’re in that spot now. We love FPSs so much we’ve just been were dying to make one. This was our great opportunity and it’s been so much fun.

Pip: Do you have a background in FPS?

Geoff: I played a lot of games as a gamer but originally I was working on WoW for a really long time. I did a lot of encounter design stuff and from there moved on to work on Titan for a little bit, then onto Overwatch from the beginning. I’m in charge of all the hero design stuff and how that all works.

Pip: In some team games with roles and abilities like Dota or League of Legends the cast of player characters is huge. Is that where Overwatch is headed with its roster or is it different?

Geoff: As far as number of heroes we’re not really limiting ourselves. We don’t have a plan like we’re going to get to x and then we’re done. I think as long as there’s desire to have more characters we’re totally willing to make them. It’s a ton of fun and we definitely enjoy doing it. If we keep making heroes and maybe the game doesn’t feel like it’s getting better as a result or maybe we start releasing heroes who are too close to other heroes and it’s getting muddy maybe we’ll revisit but for now the sky’s the limit and we have high hopes.

Pip: What are you working on at the moment?

Geoff: We have a couple of characters we haven’t announced but the two big ones we’ve announced are Roadhog and Junkrat from Australia. Those guys are amazing and a ton of fun – really great to work on. We have some more surprises coming.

Pip: Are tanks characters harder to make different from one another? That was the class with the fewest occupants in the build I played.

Geoff: Good question – not so far. I can see that coming though, potentially. We have some – not strict rules but rough guidelines about each of the roles. Tanks design guidelines are usually “really hard to kill” – obviously that’s their main thing – and they tend to be disruptive. So Roadhog’s ultimate is to have a big winding gun that knocks everyone everywhere so you can jump on a capture point and knock everyone away. They’re really good at – if there’s a bunch of defenders walking down a choke point they can kind of jump in there and break it up so your allies can run in. But you have a character like Zarya who’s a tank but she actually has a lot of support options. She has the projected barrier she can put on other people that will save them. In some ways a lot of the characters are a little bit hybrid and the roles we put them in are to help inform people the playstyle they are but it’s not rigid.

Pip: This build is for the show and it drops you into the action with character descriptions on the F1 key but they’re more about getting you up to speed fast than telling you the fine detail of your abilities. For instance I was wondering if a particular projectile did splash damage and I couldn’t’ tell from that. It makes it accessible but are you planning on adding the other information?

Geoff: I think there’s definitely a desire to have the more detailed information so we’re aware of that. It’s tricky. We’ve talked a lot about different places we can show that. We’re probably not going to put it directly in the game while you’re playing it because, like you said, it’s overwhelming if you hit the button and try to read all the stats. So for that F1 key information we made that really brief. It’s like “Just give me the information I need right now so I can keep playing”. Maybe we’ll have more information on a website or another area if you really want to dig in.

Pip: Fans of the game will probably work it out as well.

Geoff: Exactly – they already have actually, it’s pretty crazy! Even just from our videos. It’s pretty impressive.

Pip: When I was playing I sometimes found it difficult to gauge whether something was effective when it wasn’t direct damage [Pip note: the score you get at the end is affected by more than just kills so I wanted to get some kind of feedback when Zarya’s shielding ability had protected an ally, for example, in case that impacted the score – a later answer might make this question irrelevant for the beta though!]. Are there plans to increase that feedback?

Geoff: With Zarya, for her it’s a little tricky because we don’t have any UI feedback that tells you when a person’s getting hit other than that centre reticle. That’s deifnitely an important thing we should better… It’s more specific to her. The other one that comes up occasionally is just doing area damage – sometimes you don’t know if you’re getting a hit or not. We do have a little indicators in the reticle but we’ve gotten a lot of feedback that that’s not enough so it’s something we’re working on right now.

We play the game so much as we’re working on it so we’ve become numb to it and are so used to it. We hear it and see it all the time but [combat feedback] is a feedback thing we get pretty frequently so as of a couple of weeks ago we started what we call Strike Team. It’s a group of people who get together and work on a specific problem. They started a combat feedback strike team to try to solve a lot of these issues. We’re trying to bring in new people that haven’t played, although internally it’s harder to find people that haven’t played by now! That’s one of the things the beta is going to help us with.

Pip: Something I struggled with was I found the end-screen breakdown of scoring rather opaque – I couldn’t work out exactly what all the things I was doing were contributing to that final number.

Geoff: It’s interesting. In our latest build we really revamped that whole system. In fact the scoring been completely pulled out. You don’t even see a number anymore. The way it works internally – what we’re testing – is instead of seeing the score you see your own stats so you can see how much damage you’re doing and stuff on the corner if you want that kind of information and you can see where you stand relative to other people. So I can see if I’m first place or if I’m second place let’s say you get a little medal there [on the screen]. You can’t see who is in first place or how much they have or anything but it gives you a good understanding of how well you’re doing and streamlines the whole thing and cleans everything up.

So far we’re kind of liking it. it’s a shock at first because we’re so used to scoring and you know – I feel like I’m doing well or that guy’s better than me, I’m going to try and beat him. But scoring has some problems and we thought this was a different approach we hadn’t seen before and wanted to test. So far it’s been going really well so we’ll probably end up rolling that out, hopefully pretty soon.

Pip: Given the community contribution to other Blizzard games in terms of tutorials and tips videos and wikis how do you decide how much you’re going to produce in terms of resources or tutorials?

Geoff: We definitely plan on doing a big tutorial. We also plan on doing this training room that’s very safe and has a bunch of target dummies you can shoot and experiment with different characters which will help a lot in getting into the game. The only thing we’ve really done for [Road to Blizzcon] is increased the warmup time by a minute so it gives you a little more time to at least play around in the warmup room. It’s not the greatest bandaid but when the game actually goes out we’ll have a more robust system to help new players. As far as the community stuff, it’s interesting. On one hand we always want to support the community. We’ve seen with all the other games it’s always been a big aspect so I think we’ll probably embrace that as well but at the same time we don’t want to feel like we’re shoving all this off – like, “Ahhhh you guys deal with it!” We definitely want to support the game and ourselves as well so there’s a lot of resources we’re committing.

Pip: At this event I was tending to play straight out damage dealers because medics and other characters felt like they would need communication to play well. Will you have an in-game voice option or maybe context sensitive pings?

Geoff: We actually have both internally. We’re testing both. The ping system has gone through a lot of revisions actually just this last week it went through a major overhauil and it’s looking really good. We’re definitely commited to that and it’ll help a lot. We’re also testing a voice system that should help. The game from the beginning we knew we wanted to focus on team plays and it’s hard to do that without communication so that’s a big part of it.

Pip: Will there be controller support?

Geoff: Yes.

Pip: Cool because I was sat there going “If I had a controller I’d be killing every single one you…”

Geoff: Definitely full controller support. We’re talking about different ways to remap your controls even on the controller so we have a lot of that in the internal builds already.

Pip: Will Overwatch be on console as well?

Geoff: Right now we’re just focusing on PC. Console would be cool and maybe someday but it’s not really our focus right now.

Pip: Do you know which business model you’re going with yet?

Geoff: We haven’t really decided exactly what it’s going to be. There’s a lot of benefits to all the different business models and there’s a lot of things to weigh. Especially with our game – there’s a lot of challenges. The good news from a Blizzard standpoint is we have so many different games that are in all these different business models from Hearthstone and Heroes’s free to play model to Diablo’s box model and WoW’s subscription so we have a little of everything to look at. In some ways it’s making the problem easier to research and making us take more time to make sure we get it right. The bottom line is we want to make sure whatever you come up with is the best for the game and our players. Something like hero swapping we want to make sure is very available and there’s not any blockers for that so that’s the big thing.

Pip: has a meta emerged in your testing? Perhaps players chasing one another through a character swap cycle?

Geoff: We haven’t seen that much – there’s a small penalty for swapping right now in that you lose your ultimate gain. It’s not huge and we don’t want there to be too much friction but a little is really healthy so you’re not swapping every life and it’s chaotic. We have done a couple of internal tournaments. We’re still running one right now…

Pip: How are you doing?

Geoff: I’m still in the latest tournament! not out yet, it’s going pretty well.

Pip: Can’t you just create a hack no-one knows about?

Geoff: [laughs] But then the exposé would come out!

It’s been really interesting in fact. We intentionally did it – not because it would be fun, although obviously it’s a great experience – but we’re trying to get those questions answered. What happens if people really try? or they’re trying to win with the best comp possible? Are they swapping constantly when they’re really trying to win? Not really, actually. There’s definitely some swapping- obviously the people who are losing tend to swap to try to solve the problem. The people who are winning are like “Hah, I don’t need to swap, we’re winning!” I think when we get into beta and that many more people get in it’s going to be really telling what they come up with.

Pip: How happy are you with the maps at the moment – there were two in demo and I remember the Russian-themed one being really difficult when you try to take the last capture point and the defending team are all tanks…

Geoff: We started making loads of maps. We wanted to make sure we’re not just making a bunch of clones of the same map. Not just in story and art although we make sure the maps are from different locations and have different colour schemes and feel different. But the gameplay as well. We wanted to make sure maybe this is a point that has a lot of sightlines so snipers would really like this point, or this other point is the opposite so maybe tanks are better here. It’s a goal of ours to make sure all the maps feel different and the heroes feel different in different areas. It’s another reason switching is so nice. Maybe Symmetra is really good on this [first capture] point and you want to get a teleporter up on the spot but the second point that’s less important so you swap to Widowmaker or something. we get a lot of strategy out of that as well.

Pip: I didn’t see in the games I played – if you swap does that remove anything you put down as the original character?

Geoff: Yes it does.

Pip: So you can’t just put down a turret then swap?

Geoff: You could at one point early on. it was like, oh god we need to fix this right away [laughs]!

Pip: How about the voice lines in the game – are they relational?

Geoff: We have a lot of voice lines in right now and the number one thing about the voice lines in a lot of cases is informational so a lot of the ultimates… if you hear Hanzo launch his giant dragon you kind of want to get out of the way so you need to know it’s there. His voice line is very important for that kind of informational aspect. Then we have a lot of other voice lines that are character-driven and help the characters express themselves. We have some concepts of relationship-based talking. We don’t have anything in there right now but it’s a really cool idea and we want to do that.

Pip: Overwatch is an original IP – given the last two Blizzard games trade heavily on Blizzard lore and characters I was wondering what it was like working on a new IP?

Geoff: Yeah, It’s a brand new IP so you have a game like Heroes of the Storm and the basis of the game is all our IPs and it’s great to have all these franchises thrown together and that’s what so cool about it but Overwatch is its own thing. We do have some Easter egg type things. There’s a murloc down the side of one of the buildings and some other Easter eggy things – we can’t help ourselves but we’re not really planning on throwing Thrall in the mix any time soon.

Pip Note: I tweeted for questions and the topic of female character design came up – specifically questioning less variety in body types for the women. I raised the question but wanted to add a thought here: At the time of the interview the characters I had played seemed relatively diverse – Zarya, Tracer, Pharah and Widowmaker (beefy, sporty, armoured and femme fatale – although phrasing it like that makes them sound vaguely like Spice Girls) Looking at the remainder of the lineup after the fact there are noticeably fewer women in the cast, several are of a type figure-wise and I don’t believe any of the non-human characters are billed as “she”. I think, though, that it’s a small enough roster that I want to see how it develops and who gets added, particularly because of the answer Geoff gave in terms of diversity (I think I phrased the bit about non-humans confusingly though – it was intended as an example and came out oddly listening back, hence the slight detour into robots!)

Pip: In terms of female character design I felt it was quite diverse but still… I don’t think any non-human were female. I was wondering if that [diversity] was stuff you guys are keeping an eye on?

Geoff: There’s a lot of factors that go into characters – where they’re from, accents, regional stuff as well as gender and everything. All of that’s taken into account and we’re trying to build this giant roster of heroes and we keep planning on making more so it’s definitely not like we’re not trying to say this one character represents this one group and we’re done with that. The diversity’s going to keep growing. A character like Zarya’s obviously a lot different-looking than a character like Widowmaker. Widowmaker’s the femme fatale trope, right? She’s an assassin that uses her guile to kill people. In the future we’re definitely going to make more robots because they’re a big part of our lore so I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t have female or female-like robots.

Pip: In terms of player behaviour – particularly positive reinforcement and building non-toxic communities – are you working on anything interesting on that front?

Geoff: We feel like it’s not going to be as much of an issue. We lucked out in a way that the genre’s much faster paced and there’s not as much down time for the finger pointing – “I died and I’m sitting on this screen for thirty seconds and I’m just going to start yelling at people”. There was some talk originally about limiting some of the chat features but we found that, like I said before, we’re really focused on the team play. We want to make sure there’s enough communication available. I’m Zarya and I want to ult and I want to tell people to get ready and be able to follow me in. That’s more important to us [than limiting options] so we’re keeping an eye on it and we take it seriously but for now I think the communication aspect is trumping anything else.

Pip: Maybe in the closed beta you can see how people are.

Geoff: That’s why we’re really trying to get the beta out because there’s a lot of things we expect to come out of it from all aspects.

Pip: The beta is the end of this year?

Geoff: We haven’t set a date. It’s set for “Fall” I think is the official… I hate to say [soon]- we always say it’s coming soon.

Pip: Coming Soon™

Geoff: Yeah, exactly! But it’s true though – we’re working overtime right now to try and get it out. it’s super important for us to get it out there as soon as possible. We’re trying to get all this data and we just want to get more people playing it and get more reactions so we’re hoping to have it… soon.

Pip: Tell me about how matchmaking is set up – is it skill-based?

Geoff: Skill-based is a large part of it and that’s important as we’ve found as we’ve started adding more people. Initially we didn’t have many people playing – our team and a couple of other people and matchmaking was the worst part because the skill is just everywhere.

Pip: And if people are swapping characters and roles how do you even measure skill?

Geoff: Right, so skill is a large part but we also have a large part of matchmaking that’s social-based so if you’re playing with people you have a good time with, [Overwatch] recognises that these people are kind of your friends even if they’re not officially on your friends list. So a lot of times you’ll end up being matched with similar people which is really cool. So, people are talking to each other and there’s a social element there that’s helpful for matchmaking.

As a baseline we’re trying to make sure that of course skill is roughly equivalent. We found working on a lot of matchmaking stuff – for example, we tried to say okay well if we have a really good player on both teams and a not as good player it averages out. But we found that’s not working well for us either because the people who aren’t as good aren’t having as much of a good time.

We’re very much iterating on it right now and that’s going to be a huge win in beta to get more people on there because it’s really hard to iterate on the matchmaker when we just don’t have a big enough player pool. But it’s a major focus because that’s one of the pieces of feedback we get all the time from players: if the teams are really bad it’s hard to have a good experience.

Pip: Will you curate it yourselves or is there scope for community maps and so on?

Geoff: We always love that stuff but we definitely don’t have any plans to allow for that right now. We want everything – especially initially – to be hand-managed. But obviously Warcraft 3 – going back that far – the community has been a major part of the content contribution…

Pip: And how!

Geoff: Spawned quite a few others!

Pip: That one completely snowballed didn’t it…

Geoff: Yeah – really. So it’s definitely possible, we just don’t have any plans for it right now. We’re not against it per se.

Pip: What’s the coolest thing you wanted to do but haven’t been able to make work?

Geoff: That’s an interesting question. Oh man, I try to make everything work the people in the office know I really push! You know what’s actually been hard? Strictly melee characters. We have Reinhart in the game with the big hammer and he worked out really well. There was a lot of iteration on him but it didn’t feel insurmountable, then we started trying to make other melee characters and prototypes and it becomes really hard when you’re trying to make a character who is not as much a tank, maybe more of a lethal character. You’re playing an FPS, you’re intentionally at range standing off and when people are really close to you it can be really awkward with that camera view. So that one’s been really challenging. We’ve tried a few prototypes and we’re still trying different things. Melee is not a major pillar of the game, it’s not super important but it’s a nice alternative.

Pip: And who’s your favourite character?

Geoff: Actually it changes all the time. I tend to play the newest characters because I’m always looking for bugs and balance issues so characters like Tracer and Pharah I haven’t played in a while as much as the others. My favourite right now is Junkrat. He’s not in this build unfortunately but he’s just insanely fun to play. He plays exactly as crazy as he looks and sounds. You jump in – you knock yourself back with his bomb – and then you get in close to people and they’re like GET THIS GUY OFF ME! Even if they kill you you drop all these bombs on the ground. Sometimes you get people near where you are and throw a trap down and catch them with the trap and they kill you and all the bombs fall and they’re caught in your trap and can’t run away. It’s so fun.

Pip: If you’re making Techies I’m leaving this game!

Geoff: [laughs] Man, there’s so much Techies hate!

Pip: Thank you for your time!

The Overwatch closed beta will be Coming Soon™

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45 Comments

  1. Tasloi says:

    Good interview. Hope they plan to keep things fairly locked down cosmetically rather than going all crazy TF2-style.

    • LexW1 says:

      Roadhog and Junkrat already show a fairly major deviance from the existing art style, arcing back towards a more WoW-like grungy cartoon style and away from the cleaner, more precise look almost all the earlier characters all share.

      So, yeah, I really wouldn’t count on that.

      Otherwise this generally seems to be showing the classic Blizzard trademarks, for good or ill:

      1) Stylish and stylized cartoon-y graphics with slightly weak animation (compared to the design quality).

      2) Strong, simple gameplay with a clear appeal and strong ability to balance it (so lacking a certain degree of complexity, but meh, probably for the best).

      3) Don’t give a shit about toxic behaviour, have no clear ideas or plans to limit or prevent it.

      That they seem to agree with Pip that the open beta will show it up I think displays some extreme optimism. In every game’s open beta I’ve ever played, people were vastly nicer than in the actual game, because they knew it didn’t matter.

      4) Distinctly limited imagination on display – nothing is really out-there, surprising or shocking, let alone transgressive, even by the low bar of computer games.

      Though the BAMF belt on the cowboy is kind of hilarious. I don’t know if the designers quite get why it’s so hilarious, but I hope they do.

      Still, it may well be good. Blizzard games usually are.

  2. Renegade says:

    Here is to hoping Overwatch succeeds where Super monday night combat failed link to store.steampowered.com

    • dontnormally says:

      I loved the original Monday Night Combat for xbox360. It was much better than the f2p PC sequel/update/thing.

      • Spider Jerusalem says:

        MNC was on PC as well. And it was indeed miles better than the Sequel That Shall Not Be Named.

  3. dontnormally says:

    (psst… what is “Techies”?)

    • Horg says:

      Imagine a typical weekday. You wake up and don’t feel groggy at all, shower is the ideal temperature, radio alarm only played songs you actually like. You head downstairs to make breakfast, bacon cooked to perfection, coffee brewed just right. Post arrives, no junk mail, dog didn’t eat the newspaper. You head out to your car and no birds have shit on it for once. On your way to work you beat the morning traffic and have a stress free cruise. Arriving at work, the best parking space near the entrance is free. As you get out of your car you spot a £20 note on the ground. As you move over to pick it up, you stand on a stack of land mines.

      That’s Techies : |

    • Premium User Badge

      Ben Barrett says:

      Horg is completely correct, but more accurately it’s a character in Dota who places large numbers of invisible mines that can effectively one-shot characters. He also has an ability that causes him to commit suicide and do massive damage to people near him. He’s … pretty fucking annoying.

      • Fenix says:

        Aloha Snackbar!!

      • Kitsunin says:

        He also has the longest attack range in the game so he can poke (albeit very weakly) like crazy, and he can kill himself at the touch of a button so you never get any farm out of him. And because all of this is instead of being good at the game “normally” he pretty much leaves one of his team’s lanes forced to cope with being sans a player.

        So he’s basically every irritating thing possible rolled up into one character.

      • LexW1 says:

        Oh god.

        That play-style goes back way before MOBAs, I note. I was totally “That guy, THAT FUCKING GUY!” back in the Half-Life and Action Half-Life days, always with the carefully placed trip-wires and the bombs and the tricks. I barely ever died in AHL without having pulled the pin on a hand-grenade, leading to post-death hilarity when people came to take my stuff.

        Certainly it induced a great deal of rage in my friends…

  4. fuggles says:

    Have I unfairly dismissed this as ‘tf2 makes money so we copied it?’. The wholegame I mean, rather than the article – mentioning attack/defence makes me think back on unreal, which was cool.

    • SirBryghtside says:

      It’s a little similar to TF2 in the art style and being an objective-based FPS, but it’s a completely different game :)

      • Stevostin says:

        It’s similar to TF2 the way Pearl Jam was similar to nirvana. AKA only for people not really in that stuff. For others, it’s just about going back on a lot of design & art choices from TF2 and changing it mostly for the worst, hoping somehow it would be for the best. There goes punchless weapons, childish designs, not an ounce of charm but hopefully also good stuff such as matchmaking, good replay system etc.

        • LexW1 says:

          TF2 already ditched most of what was initially great about it, so it’s hardly as bad as you say. All the simplicity and elegance of the gameplay was buried under an avalanche of weird modified weapons obtained in odd ways, and new map designs and the like which just weren’t as fun or effective. The visual elegance was buried an avalanche of hats. The lore which was initially fascinating got too far up it’s own arse and vanished into some sort of bum-singularity.

          Plus it really looks a bit weird and sexist these days to have such a cartoon-y game, but with only dudes. Double weird sexism point when Valve themselves say their primary art influence for the characters was Norman Rockwell, who did art like this:

          link to en.wikipedia.org

          (She’s got a giant rivet gun and is eating a sandwich for god’s sake!)

          Yet we just got a bunch of mostly middle-aged white guys and one random black dude with a Scottish accent.

    • guygodbois00 says:

      ‘tf2 makes money so we copied it?’. True essence.

  5. Raoul Duke says:

    I find the art style profoundly uninspiring. It is sort of in an ugly no man’s land between dudebro action games and childish, cutesy WoW/Wildstar stuff.

    I am also yet to see any reason why they are doing anything different or better to Dirty Bomb (which I really enjoy, and which has a much nicer look to it IMHO). Yet the gaming media including RPS is hyping this up bigtime, while Dirty Bomb is largely ignored and will no doubt die a slow death.

    • Stevostin says:

      (except that dirty bomb is doing prrrretty ok for this kind of games)

      • Premium User Badge

        Jackablade says:

        Despite lacking a lot of the design nuance and polish that made TF2 great. Not that that stops me from sinking silly amounts of time into it though.

      • Raoul Duke says:

        Unfortunately I think you’ll find the player base has dropped significantly in recent months.

        They might want to consider adding some new maps at some point…

    • TehKory says:

      link to rockpapershotgun.com
      Six posts in 2015.
      link to rockpapershotgun.com
      Eight posts in 2015.

      I wouldn’t say Dirty Bomb’s getting ignored, especially considered it’s Blizzard against Splash Damage. Not to downplay Splash Damage’s work, here, but it’s freaking Blizzard. They’re going to get media coverage without blinking. All things considered, RPS is way fairer than I’d expect from most other outlets.

      I like Dirty Bomb a whole lot, too. I just think it’s got the slowest progression of any free-to-play I’m willing to play. There’ve been free-to-plays that I quit playing from slow progression, and (for me and me only, perhaps), Dirty Bomb toes that line.

    • LexW1 says:

      Dirty Bomb’s major issue, is, I suspect, that all the videos of it make it look about as much fun as getting punched in the face repeatedly. Especially the official ones. Even the CGI which shows off the characters doesn’t actually make it look “fun to be that guy”.

      Reading about it doesn’t make it sound much fun either.

      It’s all kind of sad, because I like the conceit and visual style, and people do SAY it’s fun (without ever making it entirely clear how), but I just can’t see myself getting into it. Whereas TF2 looked fun, and was, and this looks like a lot of fun, whether it actually is or not.

    • Xzi says:

      Dirty Bomb is just a poor man’s [insert any popular FPS with better design and gameplay mechanics here].

      And Nexon sucks. Everything they develop sucks. That’s why nobody in gaming journalism or anywhere else cares.

    • kjnighthawk says:

      I personally really like the art style of Overwatch. It has a Dreamworks or Pixar feel to it. i also think the gameplay looks like a lot of fun and the characters look fairly unique. Now Dirty Bomb, well, I really don’t like that game. It has a pretty bad free to play model (as in it takes incredibly long to actually buy anything as a free player) and some of the maps are just heavily biased to one side. While the game does have some great maps, it also has some terrible ones, and also it is literally the easiest game I have ever played to spawn camp in. Nothing about the game feels special or even unique to me, it was fun for the first few hours but after that it just felt like any other free to play shooter I’ve ever played.

  6. Serpok says:

    Does not compute.

    Am I still on RPS?

    I thought overwatch is a FPS game.

  7. Noavailablenames says:

    I’m still really annoyed by how much screen space is dominated by some of these weapons and the hands holding them.

  8. OmNomNom says:

    Hopefully this will be a little less mindless zergy than Dirty Bomb and have a little more and variety.
    After all thats what makes a specific memorable over the last 100 you just played

  9. LionsPhil says:

    I’m starting to think the best thing about cartoony graphical styles is it drives away the people who describe it as “childish” and stops you having to deal with them in multiplayer.

    • Bremze says:

      The “fixed” screenshots that just have a sharpen filter applied are great too!

    • LexW1 says:

      That wipes out a certain insecure whiny teenage demographic, for sure, but it practically invites in the shrieking man-child demographic, with 25 to 55-year old dudes who won’t play anything that could remotely be taken seriously (so you’d think they’d have a sense of humour), but who will the flip the hell out and tell you exactly how they feel about your mother should you fail to defend the capture point or build your character exactly the way they want.

    • Raoul Duke says:

      I’d go the other way and assume that anyone who finds these graphics appealing also has a sad little collection of vinyl Nintendo figurines, a furry suit and a pass to an upcoming My Little Pony convention. Which is all fine, but not the kind of people I enjoy interacting with online.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        And you’re exactly the kind of person the rest of us don’t want to play with. The system works!

        • LionsPhil says:

          I honestly couldn’t have asked for a more illustrative reply.

          • kjnighthawk says:

            Could not agree more. I hate how some people want ALL of their games to look like real life. Don’t get me wrong, I love real life and the outdoors and hiking and sports and all that, but when I play a videogame I don’t want to see the same place I just hiked through. I want to see far away worlds and stuff I don’t see every day, I want something that stirs my imagination. CoD doesn’t stir my imagination, Battlefield doesn’t stir my imagination, this does. You understand me?

  10. Mutak says:

    I distrust the opinion of anyone who prefers a Controller to Keyboard and Mouse for an FPS.

    • tattertech says:

      Right?

      I got really confused at Cool because I was sat there going “If I had a controller I’d be killing every single one you…” because, no, no you wouldn’t.

      • Philippa Warr says:

        I simply prefer controllers – the remark itself was made in real life with a laugh. It was a jokey remark. But when it comes to shooting things or playing games that feel like this I enjoy a controller and although it might not be your choice or it might end up being suboptimal if it’s the input I’m more comfy with that’s just a personal choice.

        • Raoul Duke says:

          Unfortunately your personal choice is wrong.

          (Jokes… although I find it hard to see how it could be enjoyable to play this way against people using a mouse)

      • Phasma Felis says:

        Everyone always says this with absolute, ironclad confidence, but I know an old-school Halo fan who plays modern PC FPSes with a gamepad and consistently gets MVP in multiplayer.

        So, yes, there are people who can pwn your ass with a controller. Maybe not at the top competitive tier, but who gives a fuck about that?

  11. Premium User Badge

    TehK says:

    we’re working overtime right now

    For crying out loud… he says that as if it was something positive. It isn’t. Please don’t do that.

    Also… do I get this right? There’ll be people on PC with m+k against people with controllers? Should be fun :)

    Seriously though… really looking forward to the game.

    • LexW1 says:

      Most accounts of Blizzard’s working practices seem to suggest that about 75-80% of the development period of a game has them “working overtime”, in the sense that they are literally demanding people work 12+ hour days, and people who don’t work 16 hour days or have the gall to take any holiday are considered “not serious”. A lot of people just won’t work for them as a result (even by “industry standards” they’re lunatics).