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Overwatch

Overwatch review

Heroic effort

120

Overwatch: Sombra abilities and strategy tips

Learn how to play Overwatch's hacker

13

Overwatch: Ana abilities and strategy tips

Learn how to play the support sniper

11

2 days ago

Feature: The definitive and objective list

The best games of the decade on PC

It's been an eventful decade for PC games, and it would be hard for you to summarise everything that's happened in the medium across the past ten years. Hard for you, but a day's work for us. Below you'll find our picks for the 50 best games released on PC across the past decade.

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2 weeks ago

Feature: Don't race ahead

Competition is wild, joyous and fulfilling – except when it isn’t

I've always been drawn to competitive videogames. It's not hard to see why. They're the best kind. Competition can be exciting, rich, varied. It gets you interacting with people, pitting your abilities against thinking, improvising, engaged and pivotally human opponents. A competitive context can be both a wonderful generator of interesting decisions, and a platform for genuine connection. I believe in and value these things…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: A wild west of spliced heroes and Mercy death squads

Overwatch’s custom games offer the exciting twists Overwatch 2 won’t

All my years of muscle memory are gone. Overwatch's custom games tab, where hero powers are traded furtively in dingy dens and game balance lies dead in the corner, has stripped them out. With the introduction of Overwatch’s workshop, players are able to make wild game-modes with the official tools, and share them with ease. I've fought an entire enemy team grafted onto Doomfist. I’ve…

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1 month ago

Feature: Two doesn't need to be

Overwatch 2 doesn’t look like a sequel, but a true sequel would be doomed to disappoint

Overwatch creative director Jeff Kaplan says he wants to "redefine what a sequel means", but I'm loath to let him get away with that. When he talks about Overwatch 2's focus on co-operative missions, essentially expanded versions of the first game's underwhelming seasonal PvE events, I just hear a man telling me I should lower my expectations. The more I think about it, though, the…

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Feature: But protesters still hope they raised awareness

It was business as usual at Blizzcon despite Hong Kong protests

It wasn't possible to ignore the protesters directly outside Blizzcon's gates this year. They were drawn by Blizzard's ongoing failure to respond appropriately to Hearthstone pro Chung "Blitzchung" Ng Wai calling for the liberation of Hong Kong in an interview. They clustered right outside, handing out shirts, placards, and information. But inside, it was easy to forget. In a sea of people wearing Blizzard merchandise,…

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Feature: A new way to tell the same story

Overwatch 2 focuses on the story, but doesn’t seem to correct any of its issues

If you’ve played one of Overwatch’s lore PvE events, you probably know what to expect from the bulk of the new stuff that’s unique in Overwatch 2. The mostly-sequel format of its release means that a cleaner UI, new heroes, and a new map type will be added to the first game at the same time that the sequel launches, leaving a new look for…

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2 months ago

Feature: Turn page

Know It OWL: End chapter

With a few minutes on the countdown until the Overwatch League grand finals, I realised I had a problem: I didn’t know who I was supporting. Neither San Francisco Shock nor Vancouver Titans are my team, but usually in any matchup there’s a narrative I like more, players I’m fond of, some quirk or another that’ll push me in one direction. But Shock and Titans…

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3 months ago

Feature: Two teams remain

Know It OWL: Dawn of the final day

I had a different opening paragraph for this article until I went looking for a header image. Now I've deleted it, and instead I'm going to talk about why I'm in love with this picture of Park "Saebyeolbe" Jongryeol. This is my 22nd and penultimate entry in this column, and choosing a lead photo is always one of my favourite parts, because there are also…

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Feature: The beginning of the 2019 season was 6 decades ago

Know It OWL: into the playoffs

The regular season of the Overwatch League is over, wrapping up with a local event in – well, in Los Angeles, where it usually is, but in a different bit of the city. Just a few weeks of playoffs to go until we crown a victor. Then we’ll get to thinking about next season, when teams will be shipped all over the globe for similar…

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4 months ago

Feature: Embrace not knowing what on earth is happening

Know It OWL: Giving in to the clownery

With just a couple of weeks left in the Overwatch League, the simulation is falling apart. Sure, things have been unpredictable throughout, but I’m currently staring at the stage four standings and it says Washington Justice are first. First! They’ve won five games in a row after just two in the whole of the rest of the season. It’s almost as though making giant structural…

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5 months ago

Feature: Oh! Yes! Hammer down!

The Joy Of Reinhardt singing karaoke in Overwatch

While some people might be into neon-lime Dragonblades and only the edgiest of Reaper skins, my favourite part of Overwatch is its spawn rooms. It’s fun to enter the fray guns blazing from time to time, it is supposed to be an FPS after all. But there’s something about the spawn rooms in Overwatch that adds an extra layer to how you connect with the…

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Feature: There's not much more of a Breakthrough than this

Know It OWL: Dragons at the peak

I’ve said two things here multiple times. Firstly, this season of the Overwatch League is one of upsets and unpredictability. Secondly, I love and cherish Shanghai Dragons. But I still wasn’t ready for the Dragons to face a playoff gauntlet of the big three teams, New York Excelsior, Vancouver Titans, and San Francisco Shock, and beat them one after one to become stage champions. In…

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Feature: I don't know what peach thing is about and at this point I'm too afraid to ask

Know It OWL: Atlanta adventures

The Overwatch League’s season three has hurtled towards its playoffs, locking in all of the places for next week. Although Shanghai Dragons didn’t have to make it quite so close, did they? My poor heart could barely take it. And now they’ll be facing New York Excelsior in the quarterfinals, a team that heard people (me) say that they were squarely in third place behind…

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6 months ago

Feature: This is a complicated way of saying I have no idea what's going on

Know It OWL: The only thing more fake than the meta is the power rankings

Stage three of the Overwatch League didn’t seem like it would be especially exciting. The Goats meta remained untouched by major balance patches in the break. Teams had mostly established themselves at the top and bottom of the rankings, though there was plenty of jostling in the middle. Even in the first couple of weeks, things seemed to be progressing as expected, but for a…

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Feature: Second half, second chances

Know It OWL: Overwatch League kicks off stage 3 in style

Happy Overwatch League stage three, and happy Pride. Both were celebrated in fine form at the arena this week, and while Blizzard could stand to improve how they handle both in many ways, aw, it was nice to see all the excited fan signs and rainbows everywhere. Alongside the festivities, teams were clearly looking ahead as we're now into the final half of the League.…

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Feature: Over and over

Has Overwatch been improved by its updates?

“I came in like a wrecking ball,” sang Miley Cyrus. “Yeah, I just closed my eyes and swung.” She was, of course, talking about Overwatch’s playable hamster, Hammond, referred to as “Wrecking Ball” in Blizzard’s multiplayer shooter thanks to his control of a spherical, grappling-hook-equipped mech.

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Feature: The times, they are a changin'

Know It OWL: Mid-season musings

The Overwatch League is on a break at the moment. A lull in the action, though, is often the best time to look back at what's changed, and forward at what might. This is especially true considering the departure of League Commissioner Nate Nanzer to Epic Games, raising questions about what that could mean for both Overwatch and Fortnite. When I interviewed Nanzer last year,…

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7 months ago

Feature:

Overwatch’s new replay system is a powerful tool for photography, bragging

Overwatch added its long-awaited replay feature this week, allowing players to go back through their last ten games in order to see what went right, what went wrong, and how they might improve. Alternatively, it's a nice way to get a look at the hard work of the environment and asset artists that usually gets overlooked in the whirlwind of battle. And it's a very…

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Feature: You could say their dominance came as a... Shock

Know It OWL: San Francisco Shock Special Edition

The thing about writing a column about the Overwatch League is that you have to be selective. There are 20 teams playing 16 games per week, so you necessarily have to pick out certain stories to follow and let others fall by the wayside. Unfortunately, that means that I have barely mentioned the team who just became our stage two champions, San Francisco Shock. Oops.…

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