Overwatch Open Beta Extended, Ending Tomorrow

Hey, you! Yes, you. Did you play in the Overwatch [official site] free open beta test this weekend? If so, did you like it? If so, you might be glad to hear that Blizzard have extended the test for their upcoming multiplayer first-person shooter by one day. The open beta was due to end this evening at 6pm (that’s UK time – it’s 10am PST), but the extension will see it run until 6pm on Tuesday.

After most of the beta weekend (and a few pre-order beta days before), Blizzard said:

“Over the last week, we’ve also had the opportunity to listen to your thoughts and opinions on the game; make improvements based on your reports in these very forums; and collect invaluable data just from you playing normally.

“We couldn’t be more grateful. So, as a small way of saying “thank you” to our community and the millions of players who’ve logged in so far, we will be extending the Open Beta by 1 day on all platforms. This means the beta will now conclude on May 10 at 10:00 a.m. PDT in all regions.”

The beta is pretty much the full version of Overwatch, with all its launch maps and modes and AI bot support and all that. All beta progress will be wiped before launch, mind. If you’ve had a crack at the open beta over the weekend, do tell us: what do you make of it? If you played a lot, how did your opinion develop over time?

If you haven’t loaded it up yet, you can download and play the Overwatch beta through the Battle.net client.

Overwatch is due to properly launch on May 24th, priced at £29.99/$39.99.


  1. Keios says:

    The thing I’m finding with Overwatch that I’ve not really found with a lot of other team shooters is that it’s consistently fun. Losing is fun, winning is more fun, doing cool shit is fun, being killed by cool shit is fun. It’s just FUN.

    • Thurgret says:

      Except for being shot by Reaper, or playing as Reaper, for that matter.

      Everything else is great fun, otherwise.

      • airtekh says:

        Bastion’s the biggest pain in the arse for me.

        You walk around a corner and have roughly half a second to get back into cover before you’re torn to shreds.

        • Author X says:

          That’s one thing that I really enjoy, certain heroes require specific behavior (or other heroes) to counter. If you know where Bastion is set up, you can try to find an alternate route to get behind it, or try to pop out and snipe it then jump behind cover again, or even switch to Genji and use Deflect so it just kills itself. If it’s in an open area, Phara can usually get the jump on it from above, or if you have a little team coordination, Reinhardt, Zarya, Winston, or Dva can provide a short window of cover for someone else to attack.

          Or, if all else fails you can just keep dying until your Ultimate charges (but maybe that doesn’t work as well if you don’t default to Dva like me)

      • Razumen says:

        I found reaper a lot of fun actually, being able to teleport behind the enemy line lets you mess shit up, and his phase walk is great for getaways.

    • Sarracenae says:

      It’s the rock/paper/scissors that’s the reason. Because characters are so different, when you get killed psychologically you just blame it on the hero, not your own mistakes. Perfect for their target audience of casual players who want to play a bit of an FPS. The result is far less salt and toxicity than your average competitive multiplayer game.

      How many times have you died and said to yourself, bleep bastion, bleep hanzo, bleep any hero. You blame the hero.

      As someone who’s not played the closed beta, and not played a competitive shooter for 10 years, i still managed to get some POTG, and some bits where i thought my plays were good. That was after literally playing for 30 mins.

      You also get rewards for winning/losing as you get rewards for what you do, and everyone will get something at the end of the game, which is nice for casual players.

      • Xocrates says:

        Honestly, “blaming the hero” sounds like the best way to create a toxic environment.

        You start dying through no perceived fault, you stop having fun, and you start blaming the other team for picking bullshit heroes.

        Blaming the hero should NEVER be a player’s first response. Ideally you’re either able to recognize your mistakes or the other player superior play.

        There’s nothing about being a casual player about this. It’s about not shifting blame in a way that causes you to resent your fellow players.

        • Cooper says:

          Except, after a while, you realise that’s how the game is supposed to work.

          Each hero is capable of being ‘cheap’ in some way. But all heroes have a number of counter-pick hero.

          So Bastion kills you before you can blink as you turna corner.
          Pick Pharah, Widow, Tracer, Hanzo and pick him off and move on with things.

          When you die, it’s often no fault of your own and not clearly because the other player had more leet skillz.

          Whic, I think, makes for a poor competitive game. Fine, I want a knockabout. It provides that.

          • Xocrates says:

            But that’s not blaming the hero, is it? That’s recognizing you’re playing the wrong one.

            You’re not blaming Bastion that he killed you in half a second. You’re blaming yourself that you had the wrong pick for the situation. You’re recognizing your got outplayed.

    • Morcane says:

      It’s also really repetitive. Perhaps it’s just me, but I can’t play more than a handful of games before zoning out. I just can’t get people playing this hours and hours at a stretch.

      It grew on me though…the first few times I played it I was like ‘meh’.

      • Swaz says:

        To each there own. This is the only kind of game I can play for hours on end. No bots, now scripted events, just pure player vs player gaming. I get bored in single player games.

    • Maxheadroom says:

      I really enjoyed the beta but not sure how much longevity it’ll have given that there’s no progression. Leveling is meaningless, just mile markers to the next loot crate.

      I now that makes me sound like some CoD twitch kiddie but im actually old enough to remember vanilla Team Frotress 1.5, I think I just got spoiled by all the weapon crafting in TF2

      • crazyd says:

        Progression ruined TF2 in my mind. I miss the old days before there was a grind to the next unlock, back when it was really well balanced and you could easily predict what other players could do just by looking at them. Progression systems are the worst, they just kill all sense of balance.

        • Maxheadroom says:

          That’s a fair point. Still I think its missing ‘something’.

          Maybe if you didn’t have access to all 21 classes right out of the gate, and had to do challenges to unlock the others?

          As it stands, as much as I enjoyed the beta, I feel ive seen everything it has to offer after just a couple of hours.

          • bad_cluster says:

            That is a matter of preference it seems. To me Overwatch is perfect exactly because there is no unlocking of any kind of game elements, just cosmetics. I can hop in and play when I want, what I want, and as long as I want. No grind required to try something new.
            To me a good game is a game that does not rely on artificial grind to prolong its life, and we all know why MMOs and most F2P games do it.

        • simulant says:

          “Progression systems are the worst, they just kill all sense of balance.”

          My problem with them is they replace the actual object of the game with collecting experience points. Too many people playing for xp instead of objectives.

        • Maxheadroom says:

          Guess I’m in the minority then. Fair do’s

          Look at us disagreeing on the internet and not resorting to slander regarding each other’s mothers. We should take this discussion over to ign forums and see how long that lasts :)

      • Spider Jerusalem says:

        You actually want the Skinner Box?

        How strange.

        • Epicedion says:

          The Skinner box has some advantages in this format. Overwatch is going to rely on a constant playerbase, and a great way to keep players engaged is by enticing them with progress. If you suck at Counter-Strike, there’s nothing to keep you playing other than some notion of getting better. If you suck at Battlefield, you can at least cling to the idea that you’ll eventually unlock an ability, piece of gear, or gun that will work for you. What’s the appeal if all you do is bounce from round to round getting the crap kicked out of you with nothing to show for it?

    • JakeOfRavenclaw says:

      “Losing is fun, winning is more fun, doing cool shit is fun, being killed by cool shit is fun. It’s just FUN.”

      This is the key, really. Blizzard has obviously put a TON of effort into making the game as friendly and inviting to players of all skill levels as possible. It’s in the hero design (my main man Lucio grants healing and speed buffs to players just by standing hear them, making his roll more about positioning than reflexes; and the same is true of Reinhart and others as well). It’s in the after-match stuff (no traditional scoreboard, so you can’t see how much worse you are than anyone else; and the commendation system lets you acknowledge the good work of other players–I’m been please to see that, in my experience at least, healers pretty much always get at least a couple of votes). It’s in the dialogue (the respawn callouts are always cheerful and optimistic, and the pre-match chatter between characters is a lot of fun).

      Add to that the fantastic animation and art design, the sheer variety offered by all the different characters, the drama of last-second pushes in overtime…it’s all so good. I haven’t been into a multiplayer game since the co-op in Mass Effect 3, but I’m totally in love with Overwatch.

      • JakeOfRavenclaw says:

        RPS pls get an edit button so I can fix all these embarrassing typos :-(

    • Krull says:

      Well I really think that Overwatch is a decent game but aren’t you overreacting a bit ? :) What is funny about loosing ? What amazing fun things are happening there, I guess I missed some :D So you are genuinely happy when being killed ? That’s an attitude, I wish I had one like that !

  2. Parrilla says:

    Thought it was OK but soon found myself playing BF4 and CSGO again. Probably the same reason I never got into TF2, just not my kind of shooter.

  3. Aluschaaf says:

    As someone who highly values his free time, I was impressed with how consistently it is great and varied in ten minute matches. I don’t think I ever saw so many turnarounds in so little time in TF2.

    • anHorse says:

      Yeah the match time is a big factor

      I remember getting really fed up a lot at tf2 matches that dragged out forever but the ten minutes or so length makes it more bearable even when losing hard

    • Xocrates says:

      I think the 6 player teams are a big reason for this, for better and for worse. Because even a couple dead or disorganized players can make a huge difference, matches tend to snowball very quickly.

      • Razumen says:

        6v6 seems like a good number, not too much that fights become giant clusterf&$^s, and not too little that the maps starts feeling lonely.

  4. airtekh says:

    I’ve been having a blast with the beta, my first time playing it.

    I’ve been looking forward to Overwatch ever since it was first announced and it plays exactly how I imagined it would. I love it already. Going to be extra sad when the beta ends and have to wait another two weeks to play it again.

    I have a feeling it might just well replace Rocket League as my go-to multiplayer game/timesink.

  5. intutama says:

    Overwatch is 50% fun, and 50% loading map/picking character/prepare your defense/vote/play of the game. Games are quick and there’s almost one map change per round, so after a few games it doesn’t feel like any round is particularly important. It’s the main reason why I don’t think I’ll buy the game, it feels like a waste of time when all you do is start shooting things and as soon as you start to “know” your teammates and enemies, you’re back to vote/POTD/prepare your defense.

    • Razumen says:

      There’s no way it’s 50/50, Most of the time you are actually PLAYING the game (unless your computers slow at loading). I don’t know what you mean by knowing your enemies-you see a Bastion/Genji/Reaper/etc. you act accordingly, you don’t need to construct some grand strategy.

    • Premium User Badge

      Don Reba says:

      What I do is have Overwatch on one monitor and something to read on the other. This way, it’s consistently fun.

  6. nojjynb says:

    Overwatch is due to properly launch on May 24th, priced at £29.99/$39.99.

    Where can I find this for < $60?? Even with my Amazon Prime discount, it is still $47.99.

    • Xocrates says:

      link to us.battle.net

      The 40$ version is the “base” version which is only available on PC. I would not be surprised if the retail version was the 60$ Origins Edition

      • Author X says:

        Yes, as far as I can tell the base version is only available as a direct download from battle.net. Retailers only have the Origins and Collector’s editions (which means no Amazon Prime or Best Buy GCU on the cheapest version)

      • nojjynb says:

        Thanks! A simple search only ever gets Origins, so I assumed it was either Origins or Collectors.

        Amazon doesn’t seem to have non-Origins either… disappointing.

        The difference between the base game and Origins appears to just be virtual items, and nothing that seems worth the $20 markup.

  7. lagiacrux says:

    played quite a lot of it through the open beta and im more and more convinced that im going to buy it.
    its never going to be my main game, but i think it scratches to shooty-itches better for me than CSGO or cod/bf.

  8. magogjack says:

    My main “shooter” is Mechwarrior online so I find that Overwatch is a perfect foil to that. Where I have to be careful and restrained in MWO I can go buck wild and just have fun in OW.

    I just have to decide which to buy this month, Stellaris or Overwatch…..

    • Jane Doe says:

      People actually play MWO? I thought that’s just a big item shop these days. Last time I tried it arround xmas I had to wait 5 minutes for a match.

      • magogjack says:

        I have never waited 5 minutes for a match….did you have all three server boxes ticked? Also if you hover over quick play it will tell you what the most needed mech type is and I usually don’t play heavies (the surest way to actually have to wait).
        As for the item shop comment, not sure what you mean by that? There is an item shop, ’cause you know, F2P. Have to get that mug of beer in your mech cockpit somehow.

        • Jane Doe says:

          I just remember tons of (no pun intended) Mechs for sale. Everything has a $-tag on it. Freaking disgusting. I pre-ordered the founders edition with the Atlas, but that cashcow milking was too much for me.

          • magogjack says:

            Ahh I see. o7 to a fellow founder.
            Now, while it is true that new mechs are released for money, after about three months, at the most, they become available for in game cash.
            The only case of pre-ordered mechs being OP was (fittingly) when the first clan wave hit. That has since not been the case.
            The only mechs that never become available for in game cash are the “Hero” mechs and they are almost all not very good, and even the few that are good are nothing special.

          • Jane Doe says:

            Well, I’m glad you enjoy it. I might look into it while I wait for Overwatch to come out. Still got my 20.000 C-bills laying arround, I think.

  9. Jane Doe says:

    I’m so glad there is finally a big shooter that’s not pretending to be a military simulator. Overwatch has the potential to blow the shooter market wide open with its 21 heros and limitless strategy options.

    The first time I got pushed off the edge of the map by a rocket only to “recall” my Tracer back up to blast the guy, I was sold.

  10. Jakkar says:

    Bah. E-Sport-oriented, gamey weirdness… What happened to just killing people and stealing their flag/courtyard/soul?

    It’s not that the game isn’t fun (albeit stunningly derivative, classic Blizzard), it’s just that it feels like it’s *trying* not to be… As you play each character, you can feel the design process behind it, and it’s negative rather than positive. You can feel how each character began as an empowered, stylish, silly, deadly little avatar, and was then progressively nerfed, to use the parlance.

    Each weapon, you can feel how its visual model doesn’t quite match the way it behaves – wider spread, shorter range, rapid damage fall-off.

    Powerful booming sound effect, minimal damage to opponents.

    Then the occasional opposite, with things that feel like they were meant to be puny doing radically more damage/having a greater effect than ‘suits’ the visual design, animation and audio.

    The game is an awkward marriage of an attempted Pixar/Dreamworks CG style and a light e-sport/FPS-MOBA gameplay concept, and the art has not bent to follow the balancing of the gameplay, nor is the gameplay willing to bend for the style they’ve cemented.

    Still. Not bad.


    … when can I have games in which we simply get on with killing each other with powerful, satisfying weapons and abilities again?

    Positive design; arms race increasingly powerful counters a bit more, instead of simply weakening everything until the players cease to cry so loudly.

    • Razumen says:

      I think you’re playing it wrong, or expecting the wrong thing. Most if not all the character’s abilities are quite strong when used correctly, that’s kind of the point of a class-based team shooter. The game was never advertised to be like Quake for instance.

    • Undecillion says:

      Interesting, I found it completely the opposite. I seemed to insta-gib and be insta-gib constantly, followed by a plethora of ultimate abilities that had the ability to get easy multi-kills.

      Were you only playing support?

      My criticism of the game would be that most characters were overpowered in some way or another, and I suppose that was their design choice, rock-paper-scissors.

      I played that game, I enjoyed it in many ways, but there was something grating/annoying about it. I think the annoying part was it’s reliance on hero switching, rather than balanced characters.

      Is balanced based on situationally over powered heros really balance? I don’t know. I suspect the meta will develop with certain heros for certain maps and even certain parts of those maps. That doesn’t appeal to me.

  11. Epicedion says:

    Overwatch is a conundrum for me. The gameplay is exciting enough, and the experience is very tight; however, there’s not a lot of payoff or reason to keep playing once you get past the game’s novelty. There’s not a lot of variety in game modes — capture a thing, capture two things, or stand next to a thing like that game mode where you try to get the battering ram to the castle wall in 2007’s Age of Chivalry mod for Half-Life 2. Not exactly innovative.

    “Mastery” could be your goal, but there’s a lot of competition amongst FPSs, and I don’t know that Overwatch is going to break into this arena and stick around. For some reason I keep thinking about Brink.

    • Jane Doe says:

      Its Blizzard, so it will break and enter and stay. Remember Diablo 3, the “failed” Diablo. Its still alive and kicking with player numbers and support which the competition couldn’t even dream about.

      Not to mention that it is an amazing game with a fresh approach to the wannabe-military swamp.

  12. Krull says:

    I must say that playing Overwatch does not have that wow effect as I was expecting.. I am bit worried about longevity of the game. I have a feeling that I’ve seen and tried everything in one Beta weekend. There absolutely no discovery in the long run, I just need to pick some character and play with him 2 or 3 rounds so I can memorize his abilities.. And that’s all ! Don’t get me wrong, the skill gap can be very high and kind of motivating but I am afraid that is just not enough for me.

    I will definitely buy the game but I will try to play it simultaneously with Battleborn which game-play mechanics and just approach to everything by far tops Overwatch for me. And originally I thought it will be a complete opposite.

    • Razumen says:

      I’m glad there’s no progression system locked to gameplay changing items, Blizzard needs to focus on the game itself being fun, without distracting players with things like XP or unlocks, and judging from the beta, they seem to be on the correct path so far.

      As for new things, Blizzard has said they’ll support the game with free new characters and maps, so there’s that as well.

  13. Carra says:

    I expected their servers to be overloaded or at the very least queues. Instead it worked flawlessly, got into each game in less than two minutes. Impressive!

    I hope they can do the same for the next WoW/Diablo expansion.

  14. Ghostmeat says:

    I found Overwatch to be a good pace, but I can see the potential for burnout if I stick to just pick-up games.

  15. AlexStoic says:

    Overwatch is the first game in a long time that I’ve dropped into and loved immediately. It’s incredibly polished, it runs flawlessly, matchmaking happens immediately despite the free weekend, and the game is extraordinarily designed.

    I think a lot of players will poo-poo just how hard it is to balance a game like this like it’s no big deal, but you can see how they made characters for every type of player and even made some abilities to account for console players vs PC gamers (Soldier’s ultimate, for example), and on top of all that, teams with diversity will destroy a team of all offense and the kiddies who insist on being Hanzo and Genji.

    I’ve never seen so many reversals, you can always pull off a last-minute win.

    It’s beautiful, can’t wait for release.

  16. Loser says:

    Moments after playing my first match, my thought was “this is basically tf2, with 21 classes”.

    A few days later, my thought is “this is tf2 with 21 classes” but I remembered how much fun I had with tf2. I’m sold, frankly. Good demo beta.

    That said, there is a bit of a dissonance between the characters and setting (mostly bright and shiny with catch phrases etc) and then brutal murdering. Like Mei “We can learn so much here” or something like that, followed by ice shards into brains.