The highly anticipated video game Overwatch has finally launched and the first few weeks of gameplay (including open beta) have been a blast! I’ve been playing a lot, watching as many YouTube videos as I can, and reading all the articles and comments I can because I just CANNOT get enough. Every single hero is engaging and full of character. It may be the Blizzard fanboy in me, but they really need to make more games in different genres than just World of Warcraft.
One thing that I am noticing, both in people’s comments and in actual gameplay experience, is this sentiment that two characters – Bastion and Torbjörn – are very much overpowered. A bit of detail for those not in the know. Bastion is a humanoid, transforming robot whose main ability is to switch between two different forms: a “sentry” mode that allows him to move around and fire his automatic rifle and a stationary turret mode granting him access to a high-powered gatling gun. Torbjörn is a character, clearly inspired by World of Warcraft faire, who can build and upgrade his own turret that targets and destroys opponents all on its own. Set yourself up – or you turret – aimed at a choke point and let the bullets fly. When the bad guys come, you will get results.
It’s no surprise, considering both those characters are listed as “Defense” heroes, that this is a highly effective tactic.You can’t just force your way through the point with numbers to counter it as both Bastion and Torbjörn’s turret are more than capable of mowing down multiple targets – even Reinhardt’s shield can be taken down in mere seconds. Certain stages, namely Temple of Anubis, feature a single-path choke point with an easy to set up staging ground, making them especially appropriate candidates for multiple Bastion and Torbjörn heroes. This can be incredibly frustrating to face. It would be very simple at this point to throw your hands in the air, cry foul, and brand the characters with the increasingly common “OP” tag.
I submit that perhaps there is a solution to the problem, a solution that is contained within the very essence of the game: there is a soft-counter to every character in Overwatch. Heavy hitting back-line characters like Widowmaker or Junkrat giving you grief? Send in a disruptor like Winston or D.Va into the mix and take them out. To our example of Bastion and Torbjörn above, I’ve seen a great tactic used against me quite a few times and it is very simple. Get Tracer behind the line – a particular strength of the character – and get rid of them. Don’t like Tracer? Teleport in with Reaper. Don’t like Reaper? Sneak your way behind with Genji.
I think that it might be hard for some people to remove themselves from the run-and-gun gameplay of shooters like Call of Duty, where kills are the de facto measuring stick of greatness. Overwatch is something more where objectives are king and playing hero’s strengths against other’s weaknesses is your ticket to a checkmate.
I encourage all of you Overwatch players, whether you are playing with a well coordinated group of friends, joining a random game with mic volume up, or just doing your own thing in public matches, play those match ups. Don’t ever think that you can only play Genji or McCree because you are “leet”. Counter the weaknesses of your foes and you will win more matches than you would otherwise.
Agree? Disagree? State your case in the comments!