Overwatch Beta Impressions

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)

2 thoughts on “Overwatch Beta Impressions

  1. I played the beta this past weekend and only had lag issues once or twice. I think you nailed it with the statement that you couldn’t tell if you had fun or not. My experience with the game averaged out into the middle as well. Doing amazing and going on a big killstreak didn’t feel that special because your team could still lose. Getting a multi-kill and wiping the other team out was good but then they would just respawn before you could get the objective. Those are just examples but most of the time it felt like you would do okay your team would do okay and you would win or lose based on some random chance. The problem with the fun moments were you pulled off a cool play was that they were so overshadowed by the times you played against a team that just utterly destroyed you. When it feels like all you are doing is dying and running out just to die again. The bad canceled out the good and left me feeling pretty like I couldn’t tell if I had fun or not.

    Liked by 1 person

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