Saturday, 4 June 2016

Behind-The-Team: Overwatch Experiences

I was going to do a first impressions of firstly the Overwatch open beta and then Overwatch itself, however, time was not on my side and I feel I have played too much of the game now for a 'first impressions'. So instead I've gotten the rest of the team who have played Overwatch to give their thoughts on the game and the characters inside. Enjoy:

Favourite Hero - personally, I've got one favourite for each set of 4 (offence, defence, tank and support). For Offense: it's got to be Pharah (although a close 2nd for Genji) as her rockets and ultimate (if I ever use it effectively) can really turn the tide of battle and hitting a sniper with a concussion mine just as they're lining up the perfect shot is endlessly satisfying. For Defense: I'd have to go Bastion for firstly his ease of use and secondly because he can easily set up combos with his tank and sentry mode and provide covering fire. Although him being on the other team is just annoying. For Tank: D'va - love her abilities and second life mode (get more kills with that) and when playing, hearing her shout 'Nerf This!' or 'AFK' is just awesome. For Support: Zenyatta - from being a monk mech to being able to take down Roadhog easily and heal up the team members with Transendence, this is one good character.

Worst Hero - as will surely become a pattern throughout this post, I can say I don't really have a 'worst hero' in terms of dislike towards their mechanics. Sure, Mei's hard to use what with her limited range/accuracy and Bastion can seem like a bit of an easy solution but due to the variety of characters on offer, they can all benefit each other and make the game interesting. So my worst hero will instead go to a character which I can't really beat with most of my favourites, or in a straight out firefight, always seems to be able to walk away. I am of course talking about Reaper (*Sia song starts playing*) and his damn shotgun pistols. His Origin skin also makes him look like Soldier 76, which just gets confusing.

Favourite Ultimate - this is difficult as the ultimates are only as good as their characters - instead of making them stand out. the ultimate's add flavour to the characters already detailed blend. However, if I have to go for one that is just plain fun to play, I'd have to go with Bastion's Configuration: Tank. Besides dealing an incredible amount of damage and giving Bastion much needed mobility, it's just fun to play, controlling well, easy to use and the mechanical sound he plays just before he uses it is just great.

Least Favourite Ultimate - I use this character a lot and can never seem to get her ultimate off successfully and this is the reason it's my least favourite. I am talking about Pharah's Barrage, an ability which if used correctly can successfully remove all enemies surrounding a payload or area from play. 'If used correctly' are the keywords here and I can't seem to do that, either using it too early and hitting no-one or dying as soon as I use it.

Best Play - not highlighted by the game's play of the game system sadly due to a Bastion being in play, but personally I believe that my Zenyatta play was great. Opening seconds of a defense match and me, as a support, managed to keep them at bay with discord orbs while simultaneously keeping most of my people alive. I then went on to get 18 eliminations, 9 deaths, by flanking enemy snipers and the occasional Reaper.

Favorite Hero - for playing as I would go for Lucio or Genji, they are fun and Genji is very hard to play well while Lucio is fun for blasting people off cliffs for easy kills. For personality I like all the characters, they have so much cool dialogue between each other, like when ask Lucio for his autograph and he says he also wants her's or when Soldier 76 tells Reaper someone will finish him and Reaper tells them to go ahead and try. Another good one is Reaper and Winston, Reaper says: 'Poor Winston. Has to hide away so he doesn't scare the children and Winston responds with: I don't think even children are afraid of you. I know it is a cop out but I really like them all, if I was forced at gun point I'd say McCree because "It's always High Noon somewhere in the world..."

Worst Hero - Symmetra, I don't dislike her, I just can never effectively use her teleporter or mini sentries, I do, however, dislike the fact the teleporter only has 6 uses before it is 'consumed' and you have to charge up your ultimate again to place another. Another reason is a skilled Symmetra is also very hard to deal with as few heroes can safely be a target of the mini sentries while destroying them before being completely melted down by them.

Favorite Ultimate -'s Self Destruct.'s out of mech emote is her forming a heart with her hands and flicking her hands out to the side, this time correctly with her self destruct ultimate looks epic if you can time it right and even get play of the game,

Least Favorite Ultimate - Symmetra's Teleporter and Soldier: 76's Tactical Visor. The teleporter is very useful however it certain doesn't have the same feel to it like's or Lucio's due to the fact it is very underwhelming - you made a teleporter. That's it, end of. No super strong move, no resurrect of teammates, just a 6 use teleporter. I also don't really like Soldier 76's because it helps you aim, however I don't need it to aim my shots and as it can't get headshots the only advantage for me to use it is the shorter reload time and if on console where aim is less accurate.

Best Play - times when I have had play of the game with Mercy are very satisfying as they often contain a 4 player revive as well as a kill or two. However best play would have to be in the open beta when I was playing Lucio on Watchpoint: Gibraltar and I knocked two players to their deaths, killed two more and assist on a fifth, this was amazing as it was the first time I'd seen a support get play of the game and it wasn't just for reviving 3 people and everyone was laughing at how ridiculous it was.

Favourite Hero:
Much like Satamer, I've got many favourite heroes and enjoy playing as, and against, all of them. However, as I've still got to add to this post, I'll try my hardest to make some decisions.

Tracer or Pharah - yes, yes, I know I said I'd try to be decisive but well... these two characters are just brilliant. Pharah's relatively easy to play as (although after watching a pro game I'm not sure if I even know how to play as Pharah any more!) and using a rocket launcher always offers instant gratification, no matter if it's a direct hit or just some area damage. Flying around offers the mobility that I've been craving ever since picking up the Just Cause series and, as has been mentioned previously, knocking people away and disrupting their attacks/pushing them off of the map is great fun. My one annoyance with her is the fact that a rocket launcher to the face doesn't really do as much damage as I would have expected/hoped. As for Tracer, I think her character's great, her time abilities are pretty innovative and, as someone who doesn't really have the patience to stay in cover all of the time, her Rewind ability offers some much needed surviveability. Once again, this character has great mobility, this time in the form of her Blink ability, and being able to flank snipers and tanks alike is very rewarding. Or you can just zip around everywhere and annoy the hell out of everybody. My main annoyance with Tracer, however, is that her Pulse Bomb Ultimate Ability can't kill a Roadhog when it's stuck to him, making it feel, well, not very 'ultimate'.

Bastion - now, I know many people hate it, and I'd have to agree... but only when you're playing against it. Bastion's triple configurations offer some nice variability, its Sentry Mode is an absolute team killer and when you hear the distinctive tune of its Ultimate, you know it's time to get very far away, very quickly. In addition, due to its strength, killing it feels like a great achievement and, I personally feel, one of the best contributions to your team that you can do, especially on Payload mode, as it can completely turn the tide of battle. And next time you find yourself cursing Bastion and swearing by the Iris that it should be nerfed, just remember that it could have had a 1000 hit-point shield when in Sentry Mode as well...

D.Va - there is something very enjoyable about playing as a professional video gamer in a video game. Oh, and piloting a huge MEKA is pretty good too. D.Va's Fusion Cannons are infinite shotgun-range cannons which, combined with her high armour, allows her to walk straight up to enemies, using her Defense Matrix to absorb all incoming damage, defeat them, then boost away using her Boosters (yet again, this offers the mobility that is becoming my bane in choosing games to play). Her Ultimate Ability (Self-Destruct) is great fun to use, allowing you to kill the entire enemy team in one fell swoop (just mind out that you don't get caught in the blast), and her out-of-MEKA Light Gun isn't without its merits either. The fact that D.Va can also then get back into her MEKA (her secondary, out-of-MEKA, Ultimate) gives her even more surviveability and the opportunity to get back into the fight much quicker than most other characters, even after 'dying'.

None really - now, that is not to say that I don't like the support characters, nor is it to say that I don't play as any of them (although it is my least played class, I'd have to admit), its more just that I can't pick a favourite (and there's that famous decisive-ness again!). I mean Lucio's great as you are continuously helping your team just by being there but I just don't feel that I am contributing very much when I play as him. Mercy, as well, is one of the better characters in terms of aiding your team but I haven't really played enough as her to pass a true judgement (also her Guardian Angel ability seems a bit short range to me - I'd have liked it to function more like a teleport but, alas, that could be a touch OP). Symmetra is another interesting character, but is also a little difficult to use correctly - although if you do place her turrets correctly, they can massacre some of the lower HP characters. Zenyatta is fairly good as well (apparently very good, if you're Satamer) but I couldn't get it right when playing as him. And, yes, I know the answer to all my misgivings towards Support characters - play them for longer and get used to them!

Worst Hero:
Torbjörn - now then, I don't dislike his character (in fact his Molten Core Ultimate that turns him into a living forge is one of my highlights of the entire game) I just dislike his auto-aiming, as tough as diamond turrets. And, again, while I say that, it's not like they're impossible to kill and so should be nerfed, no, they're just very annoying as there is no way that you can dodge them (other than praying that they target someone else). This is okay most of the time, when there is only one of them in play, but once three get built then they can get very irritating, very quickly. Combine that with a Bastion and it takes a very strong team to defeat them.

Favourite Ultimate:
Hanzo - 'Ryuu Ga Waga Teki Wo Kurau!' (or 'the dragon consumes my enemies!'). This, this is the only reason I needed for Dragonstrike to be my favourite Ultimate. I don't really play as Hanzo (snipers aren't really my thing) but it is always a spectacle when a Dragonstrike is played, with a giant, preferably blue I will admit, dragon being shot across the map and through walls to strike all with a savage vengeance. And if that wasn't enough then the Pokémon reference certainly makes it even better - 'I choose you, Spirit Dragon!'

Worst Ultimate:
Soldier: 76 - his Ultimate is literally auto-aim, enough said. But, in all seriousness, the amount of times I've died from this and the auto-aiming turrets makes me regret not investing more time in developing my patience enough so that I would be more inclined to take cover. Well, I suppose there's always Tracer...

Best Play:
Really, I have to choose one? But there's been so many!... Well, I suppose other people would disagree. Nevertheless, I really can't pick one, not because of my obvious skill, but rather because the game offers itself so well to great plays. Be it flanking the enemy team and Pulse Bombing them to oblivion or raining justice from above, to pushing people off of the map to absorbing incoming damage and returning the fire all the stronger for it or just being a total pain and disrupting shots, dodging missiles and exploding traps and turrets! However, I suppose my best play would probably have been against the AI when I was helping my Dad and sister learn the ropes (and definitely not just because this is the most recent play I've achieved and the only one I can really remember). The enemy, being Easy Mode AI, ran in a very compact group towards the Capture Point, in such a way that a Zarya, Roadhog and someone else could be knocked over by my team's Reinhardt's Earthshatter Ultimate. I then Blinked in as Tracer and Pulse Bombed the Pudge, sorry, Roadhog. Now, while Roadhog didn't die from a Pulse Bomb to his face (as I complained about earlier), the other two did. I did get a fairly good Pharah run earlier that day but I can't remember what happened. Anyway, my favourite play that wasn't my own was actually by an AI and thankfully too, otherwise I think we'd have had some very upset enemies. The reason for this is that the play involved D.Va being sent towards the enemy's spawn, using her Boosters, and then being Self-Destructed at their spawn. Now how's that for a spawn kill!?

And some other impressions:
Favourite Hero -  Tracer
Least Favourite Hero - Bastion
Favourite Ultimate - Tracer's Pulse Bomb
Least Favourite ultimate -  Reaper's '?/&/* play of the game maker
Best Play - I got play of the game by Blinking out of the way of a Pharah who fell off the map and then Blinked out of the way of a Reinhardt who fell off of the map

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