Monday, June 27, 2016

Over Overwatch

I am not actually playing Overwatch. I mean, any more. I did play it for about an hour and a half. Then I got bored. Let me try to explain.

Mechanically, Overwarch is exceptional. I would expect nothing less from Blizzard. They would not enter a genre if they were not fully prepared to dominate it. Even from my scant play time I can confirm that it controls about as well as a shooter can on a controller, looks good, runs smoothly, that the characters animate well and that the levels are (usually) laid out in a logical manner. I could do without most of the characters' repetitive quips but that is a minor annoyance.

So why did I stop playing?

It felt pointless. There was nothing behind the sweet, sugary facade. It was like having a dinner of cotton candy and wondering why you are hungry later. Oh, and that cotton candy may taste like ass if the wrong person made it for you, regardless of how hard you tried to enjoy it or how much you paid for it.

The lack of progression kills the game for me, along with the total reliance on others to have a good time. Yes, I am aware that there are innumerable bits of fluff to unlock, none of which have any impact on the game itself, so I give zero fucks about them. Let me earn something that matters. Weapons, armor, skills, something beyond a spray or another winning quote that I will get tired of immediately.  And yes, I am fully aware that this lack of in game progression applies just as much to fighting games, but the next point does not.

Overwatch absolutely requires team play. Team play on the internet. Let us not forgot that the internet is full of assholes. Assholes who pay no attention to the matches actual objective or who disconnect mid match or who spend the first half of a game spray painting the spawn point. Assholes that might as well not be playing the same game.

I tested the game out with Soldier 76 because I wanted to shoot people. He shoots people. He shoots people quite well and his rockets and healing abilities round out his skills making him, in my eyes, very useful. On several occasions while defending a point I found myself being the only person anywhere near said objective. Everyone else was off fucking around elsewhere on the map. There was also a match in which I accumulated a 21 kill streak, objective kills mind you, and still lost because no one else did anything.

This is fun? No thanks. In a fighting game when I do well I win. When I have a bad game I lose. No one else to blame or take credit.

There is also a the matter of the game having no single player portion and therefore no ending. A significant part of a game for me, almost any game, is finishing that game. There is no end to Overwatch. Just match after match with randoms in a grind for that last outfit that does nothing.

For those keeping score, yes, I am hating on the game for being exactly what it intends to be. It's success makes it nigh-unplayable for me.

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