Now before you bite my head off, I know it’s an unpopular opinion but it’s just that, an opinion, mine.
I’m a huge shooter player, first person predominantly and I play pretty much every major shooter release on console each year. In 2016 I played The Division, Titanfall 2, Infinite Warfare, Gears of War 4, all the DLC for Star Wars: Battlefront, Doom, Battlefield 1 and of course #Overwatch!
Out of all of these games I played Call of Roblox most, er, no, Overwatch, definitely Overwatch. I’ve played Overwatch all year since it’s launch in May, though my hours have been overtaken by Battlefield 1 and Doom recently. My most played shooter will probably forever be Battlefield: Bad Company 2, yee had my heart and hundreds of my hours!
A lot of people’s immediate arguments in defence of Overwatch will be that the reason I’ve had my fill is that I’m no good at the game and I’m not going to sit here and pretend I’m a pro, but I do alright, regularly go positive, regularly play the objective and use Soldier 76 and Ana the most.
After reaching level 71 which is usually a level cap in a lot of shooters I feel like I’m done with a game I was in love with only a couple of months ago. I’m not going to say I won’t play it ever again, but it’s no longer going to be an every other day or even weekly occurrence. The map ‘Oasis’ has just come to console and I’m not even a little inclined to try it.
I’ve covered this before in a previous article but I loathe these RNG crates that give you no inclination of the odds, can be bought with real money and rarely drop the items you truly want, I have a billion voice lines! I got 1 Halloween skin in 20 boxes and 1 Christmas skin in 18. These were through regular play time, I won’t pay to gamble on a chance especially when the odds aren’t on show. I’d rather pay a tenner and get all the skins but they’d make less money when they can charge people 40 quid for them to randomly drop, or you can sink another 100 hours in… The problem with bringing this up is people always say ‘but I got all the skins no problem‘ Well I didn’t, in 71 levels and with those boxes on each level and all the weekly drops from the Arcade Mode, I still have characters I don’t have skins for, not one, it’s crazy! 2 people can pay the same amount for the game, be the same skill level and play the same amount of time and one could have everything they want and the other may not, it’s backwards. I’d prefer to earn things through in game achievements or even with each level, not to roll a dice, then again, on a dice I’d at least know the odds!
There’s a lot to be said about balance, can it every truly be achieved? I don’t think you can, the best you could have would be all players with the same loadout on a symmetrical map with perfect internet connections and even then some players are just better than others. Some people have better accuracy or faster aiming or are just better tactical thinkers. Game developers certainly have their work cut out for them but after hours and hours of play I see the mechanics of Overwatch and what once made it feel great now make it feel cheap for me.
The saying ‘easy to learn, difficult to master‘ comes to mind. I think that’s why the game has captured such a huge audience as even a novice will do well and get at least some kills.
My problems are overpowered skills that I don’t even enjoy using let alone being on the receiving end of.
Hentai nightmare D.Va is my first example, combined with sniper/healer Ana me and a friend can capture an objective just the two of us 9/10 times, which is handy considering no one plays the fucking objective! D.Va inexplicably has 2 lives, after destroying her full health mech suit she can exit it and has another full health bar. Yes, she’s smaller and weaker and it’s not like you can never kill her but it’s not even slightly fair, and not even fun to play, I’ve NEVER not went positive with her, but I never feel like I’ve earned it, one of her skills is she can block bullets temporarily, I think this is stupid in any shooter but more so here, she already has a metal suit! A character with a lot of health who can block bullets, gets 2 lives and her ultimate can clear an objective just because she pressed ‘Y’ (on Xbox One) how is that fun?!
Another is Hanzo, every team has a Pro Hanzo Archer Elite with his scatter arrow which can kill most characters with an awfully placed arrow to the knee!
Nearly all characters have these practically guaranteed kills which is why everyone loves the game as even rubbish players still get a bunch of kills. If you’re super awful, just hammer a turret as Tborjörn, or become one as Bastion. People cry ‘balance’ as all characters can be countered, like this is some veritable game of chess under the guise of a shooter but really these are just Call of Duty’s ‘specialists’ and killstreaks on crack!
Aussie bombardier Junkrat is a mixed bag between a character I like and loathe. I enjoy his grenade launcher, I like the bear trap that will temporarily hold a character in place. I don’t even mind his manually detonating mine that can kill, knock back enemies and even launch Junkrat himself across the map! But I detest his ultimate the ‘Rip-Tire’ which rolls through the map and explodes on command like the RC cars in Call of Duty, I’m annoyed when it kills me after I’ve shot it and I don’t use it when I play him as the kills feel cheap and unearned. Also I’m not sure how he gets an extra perk on top of his weapon, trap, explosive and ult in that when he dies he drops 4 grenades that will kill you if you get too close to his corpse immediately after death! Not only is this like the god awful perk ‘martydom’ in Call of Duty it’s also hardy fair.
People hated it in that series but have no qualms in this setting? Will the next character have ‘Last Stand‘?!
Why do some character gets 3 skills and others don’t? Balance!
If the game is so ‘balanced’ then why are they always nerfing characters and super charging others?
I’m done, it’s over Overwatch, you’re no better than the skill gap compression prevalent in Call of Duty but then you are published by Activision. I’m sure you’ll continue to garner popularity in a sea of other generic shooters, the first 30 levels were fun, the rest a chore. Your art style and compelling characters couldn’t mask the flaws forever.
Ta-ra Tracer, you obnoxious stereotype!