30 Million Heroes and Growing…
Blizzard has hit a gold mine with the release of it’s team based shooter, Overwatch. Launching on all three major platforms, offering all kind of free content, and with a character to fit every game style, it’s easy to see why so many people are willing to give Overwatch a try, but looking past the surface, what keeps players coming back? With only a couple of game modes, and a handful of maps, what is it that makes up not get bored? Let’s take a look.
Overwatch is an FPS that caters to everyone.
A lot of shooters on the market are caterer towards the guys. Fast paced games like Call of Duty, Tactical shooters like Rainbow Six Siege, and even more realistic shooters like Battlefield all share the same target audience, young men ages 15 to 25. These games encourage aggressive play style and behavior, and so definitely aren’t welcoming to everyone. Also worth noting is that women don’t generally has much representation in these games as far as female playable characters. Overwatch does not have these problem in the slightest, its bright environment is enjoyable for players of all ages, and represents the LGBT community with atleast one of it’s characters. Every match of Overwatch requires team work, a game can’t be won by one player being extremely aggressive and killing everyone, the balance of the game just doesn’t allow it. Offensive characters and flankers such as Tracer or Genji can play very aggressively, but if they don’t coordinate their attacks with their teams tank, then chances are that they won’t make it to far. This gameplay style slows the game down just enough that any newbie can pick up a controller and give it a try, without looking at a score board and seeing that their team mates have 40+ kills, while they only have 3 or 4. This keeps new players interested and doesn’t make them feel inferior just because they haven’t learned the game yet, which is huge in keeping new players interested, and is also why the occasional “free play” weekends are so effective for sales.
Female Gamers can enjoy this game as well.
As mentioned above, most FPS games aren’t catered to women, and very rarely do they have a plethora of female characters to choose from. Overwatch has 11 female characters as of now to play as, and whats even better is that they are so widely varied. Players can play as the rocket slinging Pharah, the giant Russian tank Zarya, be a sniping Femme Fatale and play as Widowmaker, or any of the other equally dangerous ladies. Traditionally video games tend to shunt female characters to the support roles, making them medics or back line fighters. This bias does not exist when it comes to the heroes of Overwatch.
The Heroes and Villains of Overwatch are all interesting.
Blizzard doesn’t seem to take its self to seriously when we look at the heroes of Overwatch. The world in cartoonish and colorful, and the characters are completely over the top in the most fun ways possible. Each character is uniquely designed and has an interesting gimmick which makes them special. Think about it we get a DJ who’s music heals people? A cyborg ninja with a tragic backstory, a hero who stepped right out of an old west shoot out, a war robot who grew a conscience thanks to him friendship with a bird, or a gorilla who is a genius engineer, and thats just the tip of the iceberg. Every character has something that people can relate too, something that makes us feel connected to the heroes that we play as, which brings me to my next point.
The Overwatch Community is one of the most passionate gaming communities out there.
The gaming community surrounding Overwatch is incredible. Fans have taken these characters and built on them through Cosplay, fan art, Youtube videos, memes, concepts for new heroes, and even a fan made Playboy parody magazine. Blizzard has really developed something wonderful here, and they continue to engage the community in a very creative way. Blizzard has never been straight forward when it comes to the story behind Overwatch, instead choosing to give us glimpses into the world through “leaked documents”, news flashes, and special events like Uprising. The genius of this however, is in how the community responds. Every time we get a small bit of information, the community comes together to theorize and discuss what could possibly be coming next, and these online brainstorms always spawn new ideas that the Overwatch team is happy to take into consideration.
We have now had access to the world of Overwatch for a whole year, and the game is still going strong. New players arrive every day, and there is always hints about new characters which could be coming (Give us Doomfist!). Blizzard has really brought something wonderful to the gaming community, but they aren’t alone in making it great. The fans are here, and our continued feedback is a big part of what makes this fictional world so amazing, so here’s to more amazing adventures in the future. Are you with us?