Blizzard Launch Overwatch’s Open Beta Test

Lawks, I’ve just realised that Overwatch [official site] will be the first new-new game released by Blizzard since StarCraft in 1998. The class-based FPS rose from the remains of Blizzard’s Titan project, the MMO they scrapped in 2014 after years in development, and… I am a bit curious to see how it’s turned out. For the next few days, you, me, and every Tom, Dick, Harry, Bob, Carol, and Ted can have a bash in a brief open beta test ahead of Overwatch’s launch later this month.

Overwatch’s open beta test launched in the wee small hours of the morning, and will run until Monday, May 9th at 7pm CEST (that’s 6pm in the UK). To get in, you’ll need to download the client.

The open beta is basically the full game, with its 21 heroes, 12 maps, 4 game modes, and 6v6 action. I just wanted to put all the numbers together there, okay. Along with yer regular multiplayer, it’s also got AI bots to play against and custom games. All beta progress, including stats and unlocked skins, will be wiped before the game launches, mind.

System requirements are listed here too, by the way.

Overwatch is due to properly launch on May 24th, priced at £29.99/$39.99 for the regular edition or more for its fancier versions with more Overwatch skins and cosmetic bits for other Blizzard games and even a twelve-inch statue I guess.


  1. Gnoupi says:

    Perfect timing. Something to keep myself busy until exactly the moment when Stellaris releases.

    • barelyhomosapien says:

      That’s exactly what me and a friend are also so chuffed about!

  2. Senethro says:

    Its kind of expensive for what you get. Blizzard might get away with it because of who they are but there have been a lot of supposed “AAA*” MP FPSs with dead player bases after 2 months in the past couple of years.

    *:Whatever AAA even means anymore

    • barelyhomosapien says:

      I had a friend who pre-ordered so I’ve played the early access a bit before the beta opened and any initial skepticism has been wiped away. It really is very good, and you only have to look at the support for Diablo 3 over the years to know the amount of content they are likely to patch in (like new heroes, maps, game modes etc) outside of DLC.

      I am genuinely surprised because under the heading “Things that I enjoy” I generally rate multiplayer shooters in the same place as accidentally sitting on my own genitals.

    • magogjack says:

      Isn’t it only $40 dollars? That is a little high but not insanly so.

  3. Xocrates says:

    Gave it a go last night, seems fun. Very TF2-ish, more than I expected.

    I had expressed concerns previously about it appearing to be an unreadable mess, but from my experience so far that does not appear to be the case. Interestingly, Battleborn – which seemed much cleaner – ended up being the messy one.

    I no longer have any questions that it will be successful, though I suspect it would follow my recent Blizzard experience of me playing it intensely for a week before the cumulative grind of a set of minor grievances puts me of it indefinitely.

  4. anHorse says:

    It’s very good and fun but I don’t get what some games writers were raving about.

    I was expecting some big improvements/changes to the fps formula, instead it’s very very much like tf2 with a few gimmicks lifted from mobas (the abilities and how they function)

  5. barelyhomosapien says:

    For people interested I have some advice:

    Play the objectives. The game is not about getting about the most kills and having amazing K/D ratios. If you don’t push for objectives you’ll lose, if you get greedy, die and have the long walk back to the point you’re defending it could get snatched while you’re trying to get back. I’ve played a few games where people don’t push as attack and defense, and it’s less fun for everyone involved.

    Learn your characters niche. As an example; one of the characters, Winston, does pathetic damage. However that’s not the point, his role is to jump into the back line and ruin a healers/snipers/squishies day and disrupt and distract the rest of the team. His ultimate ability is good on maps with bottomless pits as he can run in and punch everyone over the edges to their deaths (endless fun)

    Don’t be afraid to switch up characters when you keep dying, some are just better on certain maps and even particular capture points and adapting to the enemy team will pay dividends and be far less frustrating for you.

    Sometimes when a game is waiting for one or two players you’ll get some free time to explore the map and attack any enemy players wandering about as well. This is a good time to learn maps and practice characters you feel less confident with.

    Good picks when defending if no-one else has chosen them and you’re a bit unsure what to go for: Torbjorn, Symmetra, Bastion, Hanzo or Widowmaker (one or the other, two snipers can lead to, to much squishiness on the point), Reinhardt, Junkrat, Roadhog, Mei

    Good picks when attacking if no-one else has chosen them and you’re a bit unsure what to go for: Tracer, Reaper, Pharra, Zarya (can be tricky), Genji, Reinhardt, D-Va, Lucio, Mei (her ult is can break a stubborn defense)

    I hope this helps any curious souls that may read it! :)

    • caff says:

      Cheers, sounds like some good advice from someone who knows.

      And the fact there is more reward to not aiming for K/D ratio implies the game is pretty good and has some longevity.

      Sadly I’m not sure I’ll have enough time to play the open beta, but I have pre-ordered (not sure why) and look forward to the final thing.

      • trollharder says:

        Nah, the only thing it implies is that you can be a FPS god and barely be able to carry your team, if at all.
        That can only good for casual filth.

  6. zind says:

    When I’m playing with the right friends or good pubs, this is some of the best video gaming I’ve had in over a year. When I’m playing with people who don’t work together, I can’t remember what about the game I ever thought was good.

    Overall though I find it to be a rock solid experience, and even if it doesn’t end up being my GOTY, it’ll most likely be where most of my gaming hours go this year.

  7. aircool says:

    Lots of coverage of Overwatch, but no so much on Battleborn which has been out for a few days now.

    I know they’re not too similar to each other, but they do seem to be competing for people’s attention. Just wondering why Battleborn seems to have been ignored.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      We have a Wot I Think of Battleborn in the works.

      • aircool says:

        Cool. I tried it but it was too much of a visual overload for me and I had to get a refund as it game me a migraine. It did look fun though.

    • zind says:

      I tried one of the beta events for Battleborn and it just felt unfocused and messy, especially when compared to Overwatch. I didn’t really have any idea what I was doing, a bunch of stuff happened, and then one of the teams won. Repeat for a handful of rounds before shutting it off and uninstalling it. To be fair, I think that was a VERY early beta, so that’s probably a very unfair assessment of the game in its current state.

      But, while they aren’t entirely similar games, I think they do appeal to similar audiences, and knowing a dozen or so people who are buying Overwatch and 0 planning to hop into Battleborn was also a factor.

    • Ragnar says:

      RPS wrote about the Battleborn beta, which is how I learned about it and thus got to try it. I think that beta curbed most people’s enthusiasm.

      I’ve yet to play a match of Overwatch, just tooled around with different characters in the practice arena so far, but I’ve already had more fun with Overwatch than I did with Battleborn.

      I feel like Battleborn went too far down the MOBA/ARPG route, and forgot that it’s supposed to be an FPS first, and fun above all.

      Overwatch still feels like a shooter, the characters seem to have more personality and more distinctive feel to them, it’s way more polished, and it just feels fun to run around and shoot.

  8. Banks says:

    It’s really fun. Apart from being a bit too messy and a bit too spammy I’m liking it a lot.

    Will buy.

  9. trollharder says:

    The height of the skill ceiling of this game is about 3% of TF2’s.

  10. Kaeoschassis says:

    My brother and I gave it a look today and it made converts of us both. A lovely game. Honestly makes me wonder where bliz were hiding all this FUN they’ve suddenly come into possession of.