I spent most of my weekend playing the Overwatch Beta, and one question keeps coming to mind when I think about it: did I have any fun playing it? That’s not a sarcastic rhetorical meant to imply that it sucked, I legitimately don’t know. I enjoyed parts of the experience but as a whole I really don’t know what to think. Let’s get the big issue out of the way first: server issues. At lest a third of my games turned into lag riddled slideshows that ended up booting me back to the main menu. I thought at first this might have been an issue with my connectivity (I was also having issues connecting with people for co-op in Dark Souls 3) but after a quick check I found that wasn’t the case. That alone made it hard to root for the game, but then there are a plethora of other odd design choices that I can’t help but feel conflicted about.
I began to feel conflicted about the game around the time I really got to know each of the game maps. While each of the arenas are well made, the objectives (which are often moving or switching places) you have to attack or defend are set so far away from the starting position and most of the characters move so slowly that there tends to be a good chuck of downtime between respawning and reentering the fight. More than a few characters have an ability to speed up, but these don’t help nearly enough to make the waiting time feel reasonable.
However, once I found characters I felt comparable with and got into action properly, the game wasn’t so bad. Each of the characters have their own abilities that make playing with a diverse team of characters a priority. Not only does this encourage teamwork, but it also forces you to change up your attack pattern when facing opponent: do you attack the high health and shield wielding tank, the fast and high damage dealing attacker or the health giving and debuffing support player? When you add too this to the fact that everyone can switch players upon respawning, you can never get too comfortable with any specific tactics.
With the games gorgeous presentation and fun combat I think there is a good game somewhere inside here, but I’m really not sure how I felt about most of the experience. If they either upped the movement speed or decreased the size of the arena they could easily fix my issues with the game play, but a game in beta shouldn’t have these many issues with connectivity. At the very least by now they should have made it to where players aren’t forced to quite the game due to lag. But there is still time for Bilzzard to fixes these issues, and I’m hoping they do.
(More videos on the Way)