The Overwatch Problem

The Overwatch Problem

So yesterday I downloaded the Overwatch Beta on the PS4 and played it for a few hours. And while I had fun with it and I’m sure I’ll continue to have fun with it until the beta is up, I’m not planning on actually buying the game and I’m here to tell you why.

First, for those that don’t know, Overwatch is a first-person shooter game by Blizzard (the company behind World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo and, most recently, Hearthstone). Of course, calling it a first-person shooter might make people think it’s another Call of Duty or something, but it has more strategy involved in it than CoD (which has no strategy involved) and it’s more fast-paced and fun as well.

So what kind of problem do I have with the game? Well, the biggest problem I have with it is that it’s a full priced game but only has half the content that a full priced game should have. And I know that there is a cheaper version of the game, but not on the PS4 and even at the $40 USD (or $50 it would be here in Canada), it’s not worth the price tag. When I say full priced, I’m talking $60 USD which is $80 in Canada. Blizzard thinks that their game has enough content that I would fork over $80, no questions asked (and yes, I know that the full priced version is the Origins Edition which comes with 5 bonus character skins, but that doesn’t make it worth it).

Here’s the kicker though. I’ve played the game for a few hours and I’ve already seen everything the game has to offer. There’s no single player campaign/story mode, there’s no local multiplayer, there’s no character driven narrative to get you hooked into the backstory of each of their diverse 21 heroes, all they have is online multiplayer. Which, you know, is fine, a lot of games are taking this trend, but the problem with Overwatch (and the majority of these online-only games) is that they’re removing half of the content you would expect from a full priced game and not replacing it with anything.

There are only 3 game modes: capture the objective, escort a payload or a hybrid of both where you have to capture an objective and then escort a payload (or the reverse where you want to prevent the payload from making it to the end). That’s it. That’s the whole game. Sure you can change which character you play as between rounds (and even during the same round after you die), but that can only do so much. Once you figure out which character(s) you’re good at, you won’t want to use the majority of the remaining characters.

(Edit: There are actually four game modes. The fourth mode is similar to capture the objective, but both teams are fighting for control over the same objective instead of having one team defend the objective and the other team try to capture it. It’s basically just another variation like the hybrid instead of being a completely new game mode and therefore doesn’t really add much to the overall longevity of the game.)

You can’t even do much customization. Each character has their own weapons and abilities and you can’t change any of these to fit your preference. If you like one character’s abilities, but another character’s weapons, well tough shit. The only thing you can change about the characters is their skin (which basically means their outfit), but only after you unlock different skins and that could take tens of hours to do as you only get loot boxes when you level up and every loot box is random, so some don’t even contain skins.

What this game is really lacking is a diverse set of game modes to match the diverse set of characters. Having only three makes it really boring after only a couple hours of playtime. I know they don’t really want to have team deathmatch or anything like that, but…I feel like they should. As well as a free-for-all mode and a capture the flag mode. Not to mention the ability to choose which mode we want to play.

Not having a story or single-player campaign means that they have more resources to focus on just the online multiplayer, which clearly they wanted to focus on, but the problem is that they only focused on having a lot of different characters rather than a lot of different modes. I’m sure I’ll continue to have fun during the beta, but there’s no way in hell I’ll be giving them $80 for a game that’s worth, at most, $25. CS:GO gives me more content and that was only $15.

But hey, that’s just my opinion and maybe you think that there’s more than enough content to justify the asking price and that you’ll get hundreds of hours out of it, and if so, that’s great. I really hope you do. But it’s clearly not for me.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think of the beta and the game in general in the comments below. Also, feel free to like this post and share it with your friends. Maybe I’ll start posting things more frequently again as I haven’t posted anything since January and, if that happens to be the case, you can also subscribe to the blog to make sure you never miss a post.

Also, what’s the deal with those short, tenish second highlight videos after the matches that I can’t do anything with? I want to show off that I used Hanzo’s dragon bow attack and got four kills with it, but there’s nothing I can do with it. What a letdown.

Also, here’s a YouTube video of me playing the game:

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