In case you were living under a rock or weren’t paying attention to video games the past few weeks, then you might not know that Blizzard’s first foray into the first-person shooter genre —
Overwatch — is now finally out.
We’ve reported a lot on
Overwatch and with good reason since what we’ve played so far left a very positive impression. And with that in mind, we countdown the top five reasons why we — and you — should be excited for Overwatch.
Is it Blizzard’s art style for the game? Maybe how it doesn’t tuck away any guns and equipment until you reach a certain level? Just hit play in the video above to see why we’re excited for Blizzard’s latest.
Are you excited for
Overwatch? Why will you be picking it up (or not)? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Stay tuned to our
Overwatch review hitting the site very, very soon.
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Overwatch Info Dump
Overwatch - Everything You Need to Know
The world needs heroes.
First unveiled at Blizzcon
two years ago, Overwatch is a first-person shooter that lives and dies by its squad-based gameplay. Touting 21 weird and wonderful characters to choose from, Blizzard’s new IP asks players to choose between Offense, Defense, Tank and Support as they duke it out across a variety of arenas, which brings us too…
Players are divided into two teams of six, as they each choose a hero replete with their own repertoire of abilities and role classes. For now,
Overwatch contains four distinct gameplay modes in Assault, Escort, Assault/Escort and Control, each offering up a different scenario for the attacking and defending teams.
Assault, for instance, forces the attacking team into action to seize control of two target points, while the defenders batten down the hatches to protect said objectives at all costs. Escort has the two teams scrapping over a payload vehicle as it inches closer to its destination, with Assault/Escort doing exactly what it says on the tin and teeing up a mix of the two. Meanwhile, Control is essentially a spin on Capture the Flag.
A Futuristic Story
Boasting a slick, futuristic aesthetic,
Overwatch whisks players into the not-so-distant future, at a time when Earth is slowly recovering from the so-called Omnic Crisis — one which put humanity in grave danger of artificial intelligence and a robot uprising.
To fend off the threat, the powers of the world formed an international task force consisting of…
Touting 21 heroes in total — for now, at least —
Overwatch divides its roster of fighters into four categories. Players are free to swap between each hero at will even during matches, and experience gained is assigned to each character depending on their time in battle, ultimately unlocking cosmetic upgrades as you progress.
Here’s a list of
Overwatch’s heroes by category:
Offense: Genji, McCree, Pharah, Reaper, Soldier: 76 and Tracer
Defense: Bastion, Hanzo, Junkrat, Mei, Torbjörn, Widowmaker
Tank: D.va, Reinhardt, Roadhog, Winston, Zarya
Support: Lúcio, Mercy, Symmetra, Zenyatta
Tracer, the quirky British Offense class, was
the center of some controversy in the lead in to launch, with a handful of critics claiming one of the character’s victory poses relegated her to just “another bland female sex symbol.” Blizzard swiftly removed the emote.
Abilities to Master
Each of these heroes come packing their own abilities, too, opening up scores of potential playstyles right across the board. Roadhog, Winston and the other Tanks feature defensive abilities, while Defense tout construction or sniping skills. Support and Offense, meanwhile, sport healing perks and movement-enhancing abilities, respectively.
Maps to Explore
Overwatch will land on Tuesday heralding 12 maps that are each tailored to the shooter’s distinct game modes. That means each arena will task players with different objectives from the get-go, with some of the highlights including Nepal, Hollywood and Route 66.
A Premium, $60 Shooter
Battleborn before it, Blizzard’s hero shooter is launching as a premium, $60 title. Doubling down on gameplay first and monteization second, the studio is gunning to create an experience that boasts a “very straightforward, easy to understand business model.”
Initially undecided about microtransactions, Blizzard has revealed that players will be able to purchase additional Loot Boxes at a fixed price.
Players will unlock one Loot Box per level by default -- gaining contain skins, sprays, portraits, voice lines, new intros, victory poses or in game currency in the process -- but those who wish to do so can buy extra stashes. Pricing details are yet to be confirmed.
Console Release Always Part of the Plan
Though it was only announced for PC at first, a console version of
Overwatch was always part of the plan, with Blizzard noting that “it was our goal from day one to have this game playable on console. Designing the game so it felt great on a console controller almost put this forced design elegance on us.”
Competent Shooter Across the Board
With PS4, Xbox One and PC releases locked, the goal for Blizzard then involved creating “
as much parity as possible” between all versions not just in terms of performance, but by aiming for simultaneous releases of patches and updates across all three platforms.
One thing that allowed Blizzard to iron out much of these technical kinks was the
record-breaking open beta. Pulling in a staggering 9.7 million players across its extended testing period. That broke past the records previously held by Star Wars Battlefront (9 million) and The Division (6.4 million).
Taking the shooter
out for a test drive, our own Paulmichael Contreras was one of the many PSLS staffers that hopped into Overwatch’s beta test, writing that, “it looks like Blizzard has the makings of another winner in Overwatch. Featuring almost two dozen unique characters, the usual appeal of loot to collect, a hyper-stylish look and feel, tight, traversable levels, and an overall polished package, it’s not hard to predict success with Overwatch.”
Emerging from an overly successful pre-release campaign, thanks in no part to that record-breaking beta test,
Overwatch is now locked for a release across PS4, Xbox One and PC on Tuesday, May 24. Here’s the official logline:
“Clash on the battlefields of tomorrow and choose your hero from a diverse cast of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities. Bend time, defy physics, and unleash an array of extraordinary powers and weapons. Engage your enemies in iconic locations from around the globe in the ultimate team-based shooter. Take your place in Overwatch. The world needs heroes.”
Tough on Cheaters
In an effort to uphold order — not unlike
Overwatch itself — Blizzard has issued a stern warning to cheaters on the eve of the shooter’s launch, noting it plans to hand out “permanent bans” to anyone found to be breaking the rules.
In a bid to nurture a thriving online community, one that will remain on board with
Overwatch long after release, Blizzard has opted to release all additional characters and DLC for free.
Those who do pre-order
Overwatch will be entitled to the Noire Widowmaker skin.
Available both digitally and at retail, the
Overwatch Origins Edition bundles together a host of exclusive content, including:
5 Origin skins: Overgrown Bastion Blackwatch Reyes Slipstream Tracer Strike-Commander Morrison Security Chief Pharah
Digital cosmetic items for Blizzard Games: HotS: Tracer hero WoW: Baby Winston pet HS: Overwatch card back D3: Mercy wings SC2: Player portraits.
Featuring all of the content from the Origins Edition, the Collector's Edition also includes:
Soldier: 76 statue
Overwatch Visual Sourcebook
Overwatch’s four-part animated series is set to culminate on May 22 with the release of Hero. Following Soldier: 76, the mini-feature sends the masked vigilante “on a personal mission to Dorado where he's set to investigate the illegal activities of the Los Muertos gang—but an unexpected complication threatens to compromise his objective.”
Debuting early last month, Overwatch's series of digital comics help flesh out the world created by Blizzard, and act as a supplementary piece to the shooter's animated series.
Here's the gist:
"In addition to the animated shorts, we'll be releasing a series of free digital comics leading up to the launch of the game. Created in collaboration with a variety of writers and artists, our first six-issue series of "comic shorts" will focus on different heroes, such as the deranged criminal duo of Roadhog and Junkrat, as well as Overwatch's knight from a bygone era, Reinhardt."
Overwatch has 60 trophies in total.
Platinum - 1
Gold - 1
Silver - 5
Bronze - 53
Blizzard has also posted a handy breakdown outlining a step-by-step process of how to install the shooter, both physically and digitally.
PlayStation 4 – Digital Step 1: Turn on your PlayStation 4 and log in to your preferred local user. Step 2a: If Auto Download is enabled, Overwatch should begin downloading as soon as it’s available. Step 2b: If Auto Download is disabled, go to the PlayStation Store and select “Search” from the top menu. Step 3: In the search field, type in “ Overwatch.” Step 4: Select “ Overwatch: Origins Edition” from the search results and then click “Download” Step 5: Once installed, select the Overwatch icon and press “X” to begin.
PlayStation 4 – Physical Step 1: Turn on your PlayStation 4 and log in to your preferred local user. Step 2: Remove the Overwatch disc from its packaging and insert it into the console. Step 3: Follow the on-screen instructions to begin the installation process. Step 4: Once installed, select the Overwatch icon and press “X” to begin.
For those who opt for the digital version,
Overwatch weighs in at 20GB on PlayStation 4, 10.09GB on Xbox One and, finally, 30GB on PC.
Theatrical and Animated Trailers
To ramp up excitement, there's also a pair of stunning trailers for
Overwatch to prep you for the game's imminent launch.
animated trailer and even a theatrical trailer.
Launching at Retail One Day Early
Blizzard also confirmed recently that
Overwatch will be available at retail a little earlier on May 23, though early adopters will still have to wait until the servers go live across each respective region.
Despite hitting retail a day early,
Overwatch server times will go live on May 24. Get the region-by-region breakdown in the image.
00:00 BST on May 24
01:00 CEST on May 24 02:00 MSK on May 24
The Americas and Australian regions:
4:00 p.m. PDT on May 23
5:00 p.m. MDT on May 23 6:00 p.m. CDT on May 23 7:00 p.m. EDT on May 23 8:00 p.m. ADT on May 23 8:00 p.m. BRT on May 23 8:30 p.m. NDT on May 23 7:00 a.m. SGT on May 24 9:00 a.m. AEST on May 24 1:00 a.m. NZST on May 24
7:00 a.m. CST
8:00 a.m. KST 8:00 a.m. JST