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What’s in Your Box: Waifu Overload

/ May 28th, 2016 No Comments

Overwatch

Each week, we here at Gaming Illustrated are always playing a number of different video games. However, we may not be talking about them in reviews or editorials. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth talking about, but for any number of reasons an avenue to speak on them doesn’t come up. To remedy the issue, we’re going to ask our staff (and you, honestly) what’s in your box?

What’s in Greg’s Box

Overwatch is finally here, and like a strange Freudian fever dream it has fully consumed our lives. I’ve put in quite a lot of time to this game between the beta and its release making all of the issues clear, but it still remains an incredibly solid experience.

Let’s start with the negative, which is essentially the community, as it is with any exclusively multiplayer title. Where the biggest gripe lies is the debate over how to most effectively defend and attack. Most can agree that constantly keeping bodies on the capture point, or cart, is the best strategy overall. Where the conflict arises is in which team-builds are most savory.
 

Overwatch

Pairing up Bastion with a good healer can make a deadly combo.


Many feel that characters like Widowmaker and Bastion are best left to defense only, but they do have their qualities for attack. Widowmaker with her ultimate ability can reveal all enemy locations for a short period of time, while Bastion can help hold a forward position by entering his turret mode. The squabbling also extends to how many defensive characters a team should have or whether snipers are viable on all maps. This bickering leads to a lot of internet-level name-calling and generally perturbed players.

That all out of the way, let’s get to the good, which is literally the entire game. The community cannot be put on the game’s creators, as it cannot be put on any game’s creator, but the heat from players is good as it shows a love and commitment to the product. Overwatch has done its job of being an incredibly well put together experience on all fronts. Great lore, unique characters and smooth/simple controls have made this hands-down one of the most addictive and well-done FPS games in recent memory. Blizzard put forth a lot of love into this title and it shows with the short films, comics and other marketing media designed to get players immersed.
 

Overwatch

You haven’t lived until you’ve been in an all Mei game.


To top it all off, the three different game modes: quick matches, versus AI and weekly, all offer breaks from each other ensuring that gameplay doesn’t become static. Is the competitive aspect of quick matches becoming too much to bear? Switch over to the weekly brawl where it’s more about chaotic fun than it is about the actual win. One of my personal favorites in this weekly brawl, arcade, was using a team composed entirely of Mei as the mode offers reduced cooldowns giving Mei the ability to shield herself every couple seconds as opposed to every several. This combined with her ice wall ability made for a disjointed and hectic match like no other.

While I await Yooka-Laylee and my inevitable self-removal from polite society, Overwatch is going to occupy quite a bit of my time and love.

What’s in Kalvin’s Box

Let’s get down to it: this week has been all about Overwatch for me. While an exclusively multiplayer, team based first-person shooter is not normally my jam, the positive response to the beta and glowing endorsement from all my buddies made it hard for me to ignore. When you add in the beautifully lush visuals, stylized cartoony art style, and a massive and diverse cast of characters, I had to get it day one.

Unlike Greg I haven’t spent much time with the game prior to release despite being a part of the closed beta and missing the open beta completely. However, the time I’ve spent with it this week has converted me to a fan. The gameplay is super smooth with a good flow to matches, great map layouts, and a solid balance (with a few issues).
 

Overwatch

Tinkering around with what character fits your play style is very important.


Greg critique of the community is accurate, there are complaints and issues with how certain matches and team makeups make the game a bit broken like stacking Bastions in turret mode with healers on a defense map making it difficult to impossible to make head way. While the community outside of the game is vocal on these balancing issues, the community in-game seems pretty chill and not grossly aggro like most FPS. As a person who is usually awful at FPS and brand new to the game itself, I found it pretty accessible with plenty of opportunity to learn what characters you’re good with and get a feel for maps/match types without feeling too discourage for not being amazing out the gate. That’s pretty impressive, but it is still week one. The true test is to see how things shake out months into the game’s life.

Then again there is community at large and your own community. Overwatch is best played with friends, especially since success is highly dependent on team work. It was fortunate I had time to play with a friend I hadn’t talked to in a long time for a few hours, which gave me the confidence I needed to stick with the game. Her being a much higher level than me got me into games with other level 20 players. It was intimidating at first, but it was easier to get into the game with people who knew what they were doing. There is a stark contrast between level 4 scrub games and level 20+ games. Not only is the competition stiff, but your team has a better idea of what hero combinations work and how to focus on objectives rather than going for straight kills. It definitely shows off what makes the game so much fun and victory much sweeter when you work together.
 

Overwatch

D.VA is number 1 in my heart.


It is important to tinker around with different characters both in matches and in practice to get a solid idea of what type of character works with your play style. I tried out Junk Rat and couldn’t do a thing with him; he just didn’t work for me. Same with Genji/Hanzo, my level of precision in FPS just makes me garbage with two precise characters. As a more scattershot player, digging into D.Va and Soldier 76/Reaper made more sense. Playing around with characters to figure out what makes them work and how they work for you will serve you extremely well and more importantly, your team.

I may never be a top tier Overwatch player, but I’m not sweating it. Overwatch is a ton of fun, and it’ll give me a fast-paced way to play with friends and catch up over voice chat.
 

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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