Thanks to the Overwatch Workshop Blizzard released into testing last week, the test server browser is now full of custom games with enticing names like “Mystery Egg”, “Thanos – No Endgame Spoilers” and “Skyrim”. I’ve already told you about the joys of spaceships and Weeping Angels. Now I’m going to tell you about the delights of Turn-based Overwatch.
Like the normal 3v3 deathmatch mode, Turn-based Overwatch is played as a best of five series with no respawns during each round. Unlike the normal 3v3 deathmatch mode, each team spends half of their time helpless and immobile. They swap every three seconds.
That’s all there is to it, but gosh, that’s all there needs to be. It’s a gloriously simple rule that generates both tension and tactics.
I said you spend half your time immobile, but that’s not quite true. Not if you’re a hamster with a grappling hook, who can time their swing so they sail infuriatingly through the air for the duration of their time-out. I’ve also seen Pharahs get up to similar tricks with their jetpacks, and Sombras that just go invisible. That last example does feel cheeky, but the point is that it makes you consider abilities you’re intimately familiar with from a whole new perspective.
Is a glitch responsible for the way your mid-air momentum doesn’t get arrested? Possibly. Does that make the game better? Absolutely.
I’ve had some super edge-of-my-seat showdowns, too. It’s agonising, watching your health bar tick down as the timer does the same – only for your opponent to freeze at the last possible second, for you to choose to take them out rather than run away… and then for the icey shoe to slip back over to the other foot as you get polished off by a Baptise you came SO CLOSE to killing.
If you want a go, it’s worth checking the server browser to see if anyone’s hosting. If not, you can host a game yourself by creating a custom game, clicking the Workshop button, then using the code “VQ5W8”. I don’t know who made it, unfortunately, because my Googling has been stymied by a completely different take on the idea that I now also want to play.
That was actually made before the Workshop came out, and (I believe) relies on people behaving themselves and just not moving when they’re not supposed to. I also don’t believe the Workshop currently lets you tamper with the rules you’d need to set up proper restrictions, but it’s not hard to imagine an update changing that. I can only hope Blizzard are aware of just how much potential the Workshop has.
Is the Workshop the best thing that’s ever happened to Overwatch? I think the Workshop might be the best thing that’s ever happened to Overwatch.