Whatever Blizzard Entertainment invariably touch turns to gold. With players of World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, StarCraft and Diablo under his belt, the California-based company can not only boast a string of hits, but can also claim to have more or less created the e-sports scene thriving – StarCraft without deductible, there would be no League of Legends and DOTA 2. therefore, it is no surprise that his latest effort, Overwatch generates large amounts of excitement.
I recently sat down with both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of Overwatch Blizzard headquarters and first impressions suggest that the hype might be justified.
Overwatch is a departure for Blizzard, who never published a first person shooter before, and whose only last console game was Diablo. The game will also respond to the traditional e-sports fraternity via a PC version, which marked differences from those of the console to maximize the unique properties of playing with a keyboard and mouse.
Overwatch is a first-person shooter six against six based squad, and it is online only – there is no single player. In theory, it is similar to the likes of Rainbow Six: Siege, Star Wars: Battlefront and even some Call of Duty modes. But in practice, it is more reminiscent of e-sports pillars such as Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike Global Offensive.
Game Director Jeffrey Kaplan took the trouble to describe it as “targeted”, and it certainly is that, keeping things much simpler than its rivals.
Kaplan went on to say that “the heart, the heart and soul of Overwatch is his hero,” of which there are 23 from which to choose. The principle offering such a range of characters is to support the diversity of gameplay: if you like snipe, build turrets, focus on helping teammates, or zip around faster than everyone dealing melee damage, it there is at least a hero for you. And Blizzard promises that after the launch, new heroes will be published regularly.