A Hot Pick for the Summer!

Jose Ortiz, Reporter

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Welcome back, folks, it’s finally time to end the year with one final game. This is a game that has kept gamers on their toes, scanning their eyeballs with such intensive desire to play. This game is known as Overwatch! To start things off, this game has been in development by Blizzard Entertainment, and was in beta for a while. It started with a closed beta period for the Playstation 4, Xbox One and our favorite– well, my favorite, PC. The game was on beta October 27th, 2015, and was extended until December, however, it was again brought back in February 2016. In March, they released announcements of the game’s release date and added another beta for registered Battle.net.client members from May 5th to May 9th. They even added an extra day as a thanks to having over 9.7 million players participating… Yes, this game did live up to its hype, and the hype is never-ending. The game officially released on May 24th, 2016. Players who bought the Origins Edition received the game during the afternoon of May 23rd, and got extra skins with the game, too. Some got figurines and posters, as well. Now, little “gamer,” will you finally start keeping up with games, and stop playing tiny little games like Clash of Clans?

What encouraged the release of this game? Well, according to Jeff Kaplan, a member of Blizzard Entertainment, he has stated that, “some of the ideas in the current FPS they wanted to emulate was the trend of near-future realism exhibited by games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the use of in-game maneuvers like rocket jumping and grappling hooks that helped players move with fluidity across maps, and team-based shooters such as Team Fortress Classic and Team Fortress 2.” Apparently, the developers wanted to create a FPS that attracts a wider audience, since everyone has a lot of preferences these days, especially in the shooter genre, as stated by Morhaime, who claims Overwatchs intention as to “create an awesome [first-person shooter] experience that’s more accessible to a much wider audience while delivering the action and depth that shooter fans love.” Much like stated above, they also wanted a game that also takes place in the future, but with things that have a possibility of happening. Now, the game is solely multiplayer, but it does indeed have a backstory. The game is set in near-future Earth, years after what is believed to be the “Omnic Crisis”, a series of effects from world wars involving AI and other robotic-like programs. Is technology truly advancing too much? Overwatch believes so. The international task force known as the “Overwatch” was thus created by the United Nations, to fight off these issues. After a time of peace and prosperity, there was corruption and sedition in the task force, thus causing the heroes to be looked down upon. The headquarters were destroyed one day, taking the lives of the leader, Jack Morrison and second-in-command, Gabriel Reyes.

I hope that the informative part of this review did not bore you, but let’s try to remember that it is good to know what you’re about to read about, since some of us are not very smart with research and cannot keep up with trends these days, -cough, cough-. And so, the game is solely multiplayer and it is a squad-based game, with teams of 6v6, allowing players to choose a hero from the wide character list, such as Tracer, a female whom specializes in speed and time control, and Genji, a man that specializes in deadly shuriken and precise katana-deflecting skills. Each character has their own unique abilities and roles. There are Offense characters, whom specialize in high speed and attack, but low defense. There are Defense characters that are meant to form choke points for enemies. Next, we have Support characters that provide buffs/debuffs for their allies and enemies (like healing or low speed). Lastly, we have Tank characters, which have a lot of armor and hitpoints, so that they may withstand attacks, to draw fire away from their teammates. Players can always switch characters during matches, and often will receive notices if their teams are unbalanced, which is good for strategy. Every hero has a primary attack and a secondary attack, as well as a primary weapon and secondary weapon. The secondary attack is usually a powerful attack that has to be charged. Players are also given two abilities that may take time to charge after being used, like the healing circle called the Biotic Field, which is one of Soldier‘s abilities that heals anyone in the forcefield. There is also a one-time use of an Ultimate Skill that players build up during their play through. Achievements are always given to players for how well they did in their matches, allowing them to earn loot crates, containing items for other heroes. Some of the game’s maps, like King’s Row, Hanamura and Temple of Anubis, are actually based off areas from London, Japan and Ancient Egypt.

Is that it? No, sorry, there’s one more part! Game modes. In the game, there are many kinds of matches, starting with Assault, which means the attacking team has to capture two target points in sequence, while the defendants try to stop them. Secondly, there’s the Escort mode, which places the attacking team with escorting a payload to a delivery point randomly selected before their time runs out. The payload moves only with whoever is near it, but will stop when two opposing teams come near each other. The payloads have checkpoints, too, which do not allow them to turn back. There is also Assault/Escort, which is pretty much the same thing from above, except the attacking team has to deliver it personally while attacking the defending team. Lastly, we’ve got the Control mode, which gives each team the goal of capturing and maintaining a specific destination, like in Halo: Reach‘s King of the Hill. This has to be maintained until they reach 100%, and it is also played in a best-of-three format. Overtime is given to teams who are taking a long while with their goals, too. Fun Fact: at launch, the game also included a special Weekly Brawl Mode inspired by Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft‘s Tavern Brawls, forcing players to play specific heroes or heroes with specific classes, etc, etc. It changes every week. Anyway, that is all there is to know about Overwatch, folks! Go out and get the game today. This game was developed by Blizzard Entertainment for Microsoft Windows, the Xbox One and the Playstation 4, was released May 23-24 and costs $40 ($60 for the Origins Edition), so make sure to save some money for this hot and sweet game. Have a very great summer, everyone! It was a fun year, and I hope you all enjoyed the monthly gaming editions.

 

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