When talking about genres of games, each gamer has their favorite and their least favorite. Some prefer First Person Shooters (FPS), while others prefer Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG). Personally, I have always steered away from shooter games as they were never my strong point. As I had no real talent for aiming down the sights or predicting where a target would be, shooter type games were not on my list of favorite games. It wasn’t until a friend bought me Overwatch and convinced me to play that I realized not all games are what they seem. In Overwatch, there are multiple roles and characters known as heroes that can appeal to a variety of players with different playstyles. There are heroes that specialize in sniping, aiming, shielding, sneaking, healing and even skirmishers that dive into the thick of battle and attempt to eliminate a key target, before making a speedy retreat to escape retribution. There are multiple different game modes ranging from casual quickplay to hardcore competitive. I will be addressing the various game modes and Overwatch Heroes over a series of articles. So what is Overwatch? Let’s find out.
What is Overwatch?
Overwatch is a first person shooter (FPS) that was developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment in 2016. Overwatch is set sixty years in the future of a fictional Earth after what became known as the Omnic crisis. After an age of prosperity and fortune, mankind developed a new form of robotics with a self-sustaining artificial intelligence called Omnics. The Omnics rebelled against mankind resulting in a long and devastating war between the two.
Overwatch, commanded by Gabriel Reyes and Jack Morrison, was developed to maintain order and quell any threat the Omnics posed. The two successfully commanded the team and helped stop multiple threats to humanity. Under their command, many talented heroes were brought to the forefront but unfortunately, a rift began to form which resulted in them choosing separate paths. Morrison continued to maintain Overwatch while Reyes went on to lead Blackwatch, a more undercover section of the program.
The Overwatch generation began to crumble after several allegations of failure and wrongdoing were levied against the Overwatch Program. With public outcries against Overwatch and an explosion at the main headquarters that allegedly killed both Reyes and Morrison, the UN came to pass the Petras Act which dismantled the program and forbade any Overwatch type activities. The heroes of Overwatch were no more, or so they thought. The whole of Overwatch’s history can be found here and all cinematic videos as well as promotional trailers here.
In the game, you can choose to play any of the available heroes on teams of six that face off against each other to escort, capture or defend objectives. The available heroes are a mix of members from the original Overwatch team, members that joined Blackwatch, and even some outstanding Omnic heroes. These games can be played throughout a variety of game modes and there are additional game modes during different holidays and special occasions such as Lunar New Year, Summer Games, Halloween Terror, Winter Wonderland and Overwatch Archives, which will allow you to play through a moment in Overwatch’s history.
Overwatch has various game modes and each appeals to players differently. These game modes include: Quickplay, Arcade, Competitive, Workshop, Custom Arena and Training Arena. Each game mode can be played by all players with some being more laid back and others being more intense, such as competitive. In this series, I will go through each of these game modes and talk about some additional game types that are available during different events that are held in game. This article will detail the training options Overwatch has to offer as well as information about Quickplay.
When you first start playing Overwatch, you will have to go through a tutorial segment where it will teach you the basics of how to play a hero. It will start you off as playing Soldier:76 to teach you the basics of skills and which buttons are used for skills. After completing the tutorial, you will unlock the ability to play other game modes as well as opening the training section. The training section will then include the options for Tutorial, Practice Range and Practice vs. A.I. If you choose to replay the tutorial, it will repeat the same mission with Soldier:76.
The Practice Range allows you to choose and get acquainted with any of the heroes that would be available in a normal game mode. The range is populated with A.I. that are moving around, standing in various locations or shooting at friendly A.I.s. While on the practice range, you can practice skills and various ways a hero can be useful while also helping you get familiar with the heroes.
Practice vs. A.I. is like a normal game mode except the enemy team is populated with A.I. of various skill levels, depending on the difficulty you chose at the start. Your team will consist of other players, allowing you to practice different game modes and heroes with other players to get a feeling for how a game works. With each difficulty level increase, the A.I. will adapt and use more of a heroes skills to the best potential in the hopes of training you for how to respond to different situations.
Quickplay is a game mode where there are no level or skill requirements for joining a match and is typically more casual than other game modes such as competitive. While in quickplay, you are free to choose whichever role or hero you prefer to practice on or you can simply play the hero you enjoy the most. A new feature, Role Que (or queue), was added to this game mode on September 1st of 2019 which requires you to choose either tank, support or damage roles and your choice of heroes is limited to those roles throughout the match.
This was my preferred game mode when I first started playing as it helped me understand the objectives and browse the different heroes to find which one suited me best. When you first start playing and join a Quickplay match, it will attempt to match you with similar level players to try and even out the match as best as possible. Experience is gained per match played and this marks not only your time in game but also your approximate proficiency with heroes. Upon reaching level 100, you will be moved into a larger pool of players to be matched with and against. This can also be changed if you are playing with friends who are higher level than you, resulting in matches with really high level players when you are just starting.
I was shocked when Overwatch turned out to be more than just a point and shoot type of game but was in fact captivated by the heroes stories and learning all their unique abilities. There are many heroes to explore as well as several more game modes to talk about. If Quickplay did not seem too interesting, the arcade sections as well as custom games created by other players will be discussed in the next article and might be more appealing if you are looking for more fun and quirky games. And let’s not forget about the competitive aspect either as it is both interesting and unique in terms of Esports. Overwatch has much to offer to a variety of players and as Tracer said in the Overwatch trailer, “The world could always use more heroes.”
Special thanks to editors Draxynnic and Belph for helping bring this all together.