A Noob’s First Impression Of Overwatch

Bandwagons aren’t my thing. I hate hot trends, or what’s cool, or anything that’s popular simply because other people are doing it. In all honesty I loved the look of confusion on my colleague’s faces when I admitted not only to ever watching Breaking Bad, but confessing that I had absolutely no desire to tune in whatsoever. This made me feel cool. I felt hipster.  

My initial desire of not being a sheep turned into an obsession of doing nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, that was “hip”, or “cool”. Things I have never bothered with include the Jurassic Park films, any Starbucks product, fidget spinners, Flappy Bird, eating five a day, the last two Harry Potter movies, Amazon Prime, iPads, finding myself spiritually in Thailand, Fifty Shades of Grey and, up until a few weeks ago, Overwatch.

I am, of course, very fond of playing games – I grew up on them and I generally made an exception to my ‘nothing cool’ rule just to get my hands on the latest titles. Age of Empires was a solid favourite of mine. I spent countless days locked in my room playing Call of Duty, sniping my life away on Strike. Ripping Locust up with my chainsaw machine gun (probably my favourite weapon of all time) was a solid hobby of mine. But Overwatch was one of those games that, even with my ‘games are okay to be cool’ rule, was far too popular and had a fanbase far too excitable to sway me.

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To me, Overwatch just looked like a bunch of Pixar animators got together one night and thought, “shall we make a family-friendly shooter that resembles Up, but also incorporates cheesy anime one-liners?”. D.Va’s ‘Nerf this’ should go down in history as the single worst self-destruct messages ever written. Furthermore, I absolutely cannot stick Tracer at all. I want to kick her in the head whenever she zooms on to my screen. In fact, the whole ensemble of characters and their obnoxious personalities causes me so much pain inside. But aside from all that, I have started to enjoy the game somewhat. But it certainly has its issues.

A Noob’s First Impression Of Overwatch

Frankly, this is everything that’s wrong with Overwatch.

Firstly, my goodness, I might be playing Overwatch, and we might well be in a team, but that’s not an invitation to wave at me every two minutes or add me on PSN. Really, I love the comradery, it’s nice, but if I wanted to make friends with teenagers I’d go and play laser tag. Gone are the days where communicating with your fellow player in-game is special.

No longer do I want to ‘meet people online’. I have enough friends.  Also, while it may well be that the average age of an Overwatch player is younger than that of a Battlefield player, it’s still annoying to have some 12-year old scream down the mic to the point where I have to plug in my own so my neighbours don’t think I’m killing a child. Sure, it happens in plenty of other titles, but I find it happening a lot more when playing Overwatch.

a noob perspective: mercy cosplaying

Mercy, I need healing!

And what is everybody’s obsession with not being a healer? I mean, sure, it’s great going around and killing people — in fact, I personally advocate it in some parts of Manchester — but Overwatch is a team game. People need their health replenishing. Sure, you can get away with your selfish blood-lust in Call of Duty, where one kick-ass player can trounce everyone with little to no effort — alas, sadly, this isn’t one of those games (although, after writing this, I admit to never, ever selecting a healer). This is why I prefer Escort to say, Assault or Control. You’re forced to literally haul (or defend) the payload, forcing team work.

Moreover, I’ve experienced so many games of Control where half the team are off on a jolly, attempting to camp with Bastion or surprise attack with Reaper, rather than grouping up and attacking the objective. I’d honestly love to jump on mic and scream commands, but I’m too anxious to talk to teenagers.

Camp with Bastion? You're something else that begins with B.

Camp with Bastion? You’re something else that begins with B.

I also instantly hate anybody who plays as Hanzo. He is concurrently the most boring person to play as and the most frustrating person to kill. There’s a reason man ditched the bow and switched to the gun — because it sucks. If he’s not jolting about everywhere while firing arrows willy-nilly, he’s sending a massive dragon towards you which, at the moment, seems to be when I’m playing as Orisa, who has the dexterity of a Boeing 747.

By the way, can anybody explain why Genji always seems to have his deflect ability available when I’m firing at him with Bastion? Seriously, it seems like the game has a personal vendetta against me. Or why death always, always seems to rain from above on me… I truly hate Pharah.

But what I hate about Overwatch is also what I truly love about this gem of a game. Every character seems so well balanced. Playing as Orisa is honestly one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had. That cumbersome hunk of yellow metal with a faint-Jamaican accent (am I wrong?) has brought me so much joy as I block attack after attack with her constant stream of shields, only to have little to no chance of survival once they break my stronghold as I’m limited to waddling away like an overly pregnant woman.

I genuinely love Orisa like a mother -- maybe I have abandonment issues?

I genuinely love Orisa like a mother — maybe I have abandonment issues?

The maps are great I find. Blizzard have done a great job of designing arenas that don’t compliment one character more than others. I do find an Orisa, Bastion and Trobjorn combo works amazingly well on Escort maps, but that’s more to do with the game type than the actual map. They just look good. I think that’s the best opinion I can give after only a few weeks of playing. I’m sure others will disagree — especially if this is shared on Reddit.

Edit: I suggested Hanzo had a ‘deflect’ ability. I, of course, meant Genji. Apologies.