So Overwatch is having its open beta right now and I gave it a try this weekend. I enjoyed it a lot. It was a bit frustrating at first, getting constantly massacred by better players, especially since I’m used to doing pretty well at Team Fortress 2, but then again, its 8 hours of experience vs 800 hours, which makes a bit of a difference. But after a while, I really started to enjoy myself.
I started out as Mercy, the Medic character, since that was my original main in Team Fortress 2. She’s…okay. I wish she were faster. She has a nice ability that lets her fly to other characters, but if there’s no allies around and the enemy is, you’re basically guaranteed dead. In general, I found it very hard to disengage from battle with anyone besides Pharah, whereas retreating felt much more viable in TF2. Could be a skill thing, but basically, once I was in battle, either I was going to die or the enemy was. It was very difficult to get away and back to safety.
I tried a few other characters after her without much luck, so I eventually started trying to find the closest equivalents to who I liked in TF2. Widowmaker is the closest to the Sniper, and Bastion is heavy enough and turrety enough that I did pretty well as it, too. Surprisingly, my main ended up being Pharah, who would probably be closest to the Soldier, who I suck at in TF2. Her mobility helps a lot, though. Her Left Shift lets you rocket away from danger, and I used it as a retreat button a lot. Generally, I find I like characters with a good combination of power and mobility.
Her primary weapon is a rocket launcher, which can be a bit hard to get direct hits with, especially since, so far as I can tell, other weapons don’t have a spread like they do in TF2. Bastion had no problem bull’s eyeing me from a kilometer away with a minigun, anyway. Playing her was very fun, though. Rocketing up above the fray and raining down rockets and justice upon the enemy team. Her ultimate attack, barrage, lets you unleash a storm of minirockets. Unfortunately, it’s also a “Please Shoot Me” sign, since you’re usually someplace visible, in order to maximize the enemies you can target, immobile, and you initiate it by yelling “Justice rains from above,” letting everyone know what you’re doing. I very frequently got killed in the middle of it. It was satisfying to rocket an enemy Pharah in the face in the middle of hers, though. I even got play of the match for doing it!
I still think I enjoyed TF2 more, though, gameplaywise. I had no idea how play of the match was chosen. There’s no system of points, so far as I can tell, and I have no idea whether I came in 2nd or 12th. It also makes playing Mercy more difficult, since I have no idea who’s good on my team. With only six players on a side, it should be easy to keep track of what everyone’s doing, but I found that I rarely had an inkling of who was kicking ass. Maybe I’m a poor team player, but I usually felt I was on my own. With TF2, I’d usually have two or three other players around me, but then again, those were twelve person teams, too.
Overall, it’s a really fun game, and definitely worth its price. I’m just not sure I have the time to play it much right now, though, so I’ll probably put it down after the open beta and just enjoy the artwork.