Game of the Year Review: Overwatch

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The annual Game Awards are held every year to honor achievements in the gaming industry. Multiple awards are handed out for every aspect in video games such as sound, art, and many more. The top spot to earn is game of the year, and for 2016, Blizzard’s Overwatch took home the trophy. Overwatch won awards for best multiplayer game and best eSports game as well. Blizzard also earned an award for best game direction for Overwatch. (Click here to see the full list of awards).

What makes Overwatch so good? Perhaps it’s the simplistic gameplay and graphics. You choose between a diverse cast of balanced characters (otherwise known as heroes), and play at real world locations. Some heroes take a lot of skill, but can be beneficial. Other heroes are easy to use and mainly appeal to those who are new to the game. Each hero has their own set of abilities (passive, active, and ultimate). Each one also has their weapon of choice. Not all weapons are guns; there is a bow-wielding archer, a rocket-launching Egyptian, and even a gorilla that shoots lightning from his tesla cannon. When one hero is too powerful, there is always another to counteract them.

Almost every character is part of a different ethnicity. Of course, there are some unidentifiable ones such as Reaper, a mysterious, cloaked figure obsessed with death. There is also Bastion, a robot specifically designed for war, whose origins are unknown. These heroes are just two out of many examples of a huge backstory to how the heroes of Overwatch came to be.

Overwatch was once a small group of heroes that fought in a war known as the Omnic Crisis. The Omnics were robots designed with military strategy and weaponry to fight against mankind. This led to the creation of Overwatch, a task force that won in favor of mankind.

Stepping aside from the lore, there is no such campaign in which you fight in the Omnic Crisis. Instead, the game is focused entirely on multiplayer.

The multiplayer is very strategic. Two teams of six face off; one team is offense, and one team is defense. The heroes are categorized into four groups. The first group is offense heroes; they are mobile and weak. Their purpose is to be the main firepower, and to get their team in a push. Defense heroes are the same deal as offense, except they are meant to keep the other team from pushing. The third group is tanks; they are huge characters meant to absorb damage and protect their team. Finally, support heroes heal, and allow you to have utilities such as speed, extra health, or damage boost.

There are three types of maps: payload, capture points, and king of the hill. Unfortunately, it makes for some repetition. A map like Hanamura, which is a capture point map will never be anything else. It will always be point A and point B.

Luckily, Blizzard added a huge update since. It provided a lot of new, creative modes that are part of its own category called “arcade.”

Aside from that minor detail, Overwatch is a game you must experience at least once. Whether you like shooters or not, Overwatch isn’t necessarily a shooter. It’s more like a strategy-based offense and defense action game filled with lasers, bombs, and ultimate abilities to change the turnout of the game.

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