Blizzard is well known for “appropriating” ideas from other games. World of Warcraft’s Legion expansion has zones which scale with your character level, which is a feature from Guild Wars 2. Hearthstone is an enjoyable alternative to Magic: The Gathering for people who do not like Magic’s complexity. For example, Hearthstone’s mana system is much easier for a new player to understand compared to Magic’s land cards. And finally, the popularity of League of Legends and DOTA is definitely what prompted Blizzard to create Heroes of the Storm.
At first glance, Overwatch can look like a simple Team Fortress 2 knock-off. However, as with all Blizzard games, Overwatch has unique touches which make it a little more special than its competition. One of the key components which gives Overwatch the upper hand is undoubtedly the requirement for teamwork, which many prior games never really utilized. People who are used to “lone wolf deathmatch gameplay” will quickly find their entire team demolished. On the other hand, a team working together will create astonishing synergy with proper communication and the right character choices.
Another important element for Overwatch has been its loveable characters. There are a number of videos available that provide background information for a handful of characters. These videos provide information about personality traits and reasons why some of these characters are even fighting in the first place. In fact, these videos provided Overwatch fans with content that caused them to become heavily invested in character development before the game was even officially released. As a result, people who had never even played a first-person shooter before were suddenly turning their interest to the game.
This brings us to the next important point: there is an enjoyable character for just about everybody. If you have never played a first-person shooter and primarily play support characters in MMOs, you are a great match for Mercy. Mercy is best played by following allies to heal and buff them while the allies perform the damage-dealing. While Mercy is equipped with a blaster that is able to deal damage, she is better suited for helping a friendly player rack up the kills. If sniping is more your style, Widowmaker is an excellent choice. This cold-blooded assassin uses a grappling hook to reach vantage points in order to aim for a perfect head shot. Charging head-on more your thing? A character such as Reinhardt makes for a perfect tank. You can charge in, hit a few enemies with your Rocket Hammer, and then put up a Barrier Field so allies can be provided with cover as they follow you into the fray. Love a good Engineer? Give the dwarf Torbjörn a try! Are you a twitchy shooter? Tracer is available and ready to give your enemies quite a headache. Or perhaps your enemies are moving too quickly for you and need to slow down a bit? Mei has a toolkit to literally freeze them in place.
Overall, Overwatch is a well-polished game with something for everyone to enjoy. I have never been a huge first-person shooter fan and I usually prefer RPG games. However, Overwatch has provided me with characters I enjoy, such as Mercy, which allow me to be a useful contributor to my team even though my aim is more than slightly off. It is also a game which has encouraged me to practice my aim and improve as a player thanks to the numerous enticing characters. When I want to be able to play a sexy villain like Widowmaker, an elegant hero like Symmetra, or a badass veteran like Ana without dragging my team down, I am very much inspired to practice, practice, practice!