Overwatch Review

 Overwatch Review
 Overwatch is without a doubt a piece of video game artistry, from it's gorgeous and intricately designed environments to it's roster of 21 playable characters, your appreciation for the design of the game will rarely waiver.

The finest details of each environment really is a testament to the time, effort and passion that has been poured into the game. Each map, of which there are 12, is distinctively different. You can battle in your six aside team in the gorgeous traditionalist Japanese environment of Hanamura, lush with vibrant cherry blossom trees among traditional Japanese architecture. For those wanting something darker and grittier there are maps such as King's Row, a dark and gloomy London inspired environment which utilizes the beautifully contrasting elements of gloom and soft light from the buildings within it.

 Each character is masterfully designed with wholly unique personalities and aesthetics, with one of them always taking center stage at the menu screen. Couple this with a plethora of additional unlockable skins and lines of dialogue, obtainable through loot boxes earned in game along with deep and rich backstories to each and every character, and you have yourself a rosta of characters you can truly engage with.

Jumping into and playing Overwatch is superbly smooth, gameplay is fluid and fast, however choke points within certain maps help to steady that pace and discern it from the inundation of twitch shooters currently on the market. What makes this varied gameplay so effective is the use of game-type specific playable maps, which challenges the norm in first person shooters of having all game modes functional on all available maps.

There are four categorizations in which the maps are divided, consisting of: Assault, Escort, Control and Hybrids. Each map is specifically tailored to play styles best suited to the game mode attributed to them. Maps like Route 66 (Escort) have high cliffs beside the highway which causes the escort opposition to recreate scenes of old western ambushes in the canyons for example. This pairing of game mode and environment works so well to extinguish issues of spawn placements and trapping, twitch shooter gameplay and rather irritating realizations that a game type just doesn't work on a typical fps map.

One small niggling irritation I've succumb to is the rather unbalanced characters that you may come up against. Now, I've definitely given this some thought, is it unbalanced or am I just bad?  Well, I'll give you an example. Playing as Hanzo with a bow and Widow Maker and her rifle, I rarely score less than ten to twenty kills, consecutively.

This could be attributed to 'The Harvest' (a term attributed to new players learning the game and not posing so much of a challenge) however when playing as a tank class character such as Reinhardt, I've often found it very difficult to even get a single kill. What's more is I have been killed by a single arrow from Hanzo, at full health I might add, but it takes me two hits to kill that character in return. Now, I'm pretty sure having an increased health level and damage while playing as a tank class should make me more powerful than the nimbler characters. Apparently not.

I've also found duel-wielding, teleporting characters such as Tracer (who effectively teleports using dash) and Reaper, are massively over powered. Having the ability to momentarily become invulnerable, teleport behind the enemy team, and attack with high damage and fast firing weapons seems a bit excessive to attribute to one character. But these seemingly unbalanced characters only occasionally cause me to lose my cool, and don't often spoil the fun.

I met few issues diving into Overwatch, servers seemed strong and stable for the most part, though I did experience a horrific bout of server lag one evening. Since then however the servers have been buttery smooth with no issues at all to mention, load times are relatively fast and matchmaking is snappy. You can load up the game and be in a match within around sixty seconds which, in this day and age, is a blessing.

Overall, Overwatch really is a beautifully designed, carefully constructed first person shooter that remains to entertain me despite the ridiculously high play time I've sunken into it. However  for the price in relation to content, I would recommend that you hold off until a price drop or sale comes into play, if you're unsure about it now.
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