I stopped playing FPS multiplayer a while ago, right around the time that levelling became a thing and you had to play a hundred hours to unlock the super shiny sniper rifle of mjolnir (or whatever). I was already bad enough in a level playing field (damn you middle aged reflexes) but when the really good people get better weapons, that just tipped the scales for me.

For those reasons I had very little interest in Overwatch. I chalked it up as a more colourful pew pew simulator. Sure the characters looked interesting, and the abilities seemed fun, but I just figured they would all be locked behind progression gates. Why wouldn’t the devs want you to play 100 hours just to unlock the sassy British chick with a controversial bottom?

I downloaded the beta on a whim and was surprised to find that all the characters were unlocked from the start. I played a few matches and had my baptism of fire from an army of Bastions. I even googled ‘Bastion OP’ and nodded along at everyone else’s shared rage, but then i started reading about counters and strategies to outwit the shiny POTG thief. The first time I charged a Bastion as Genji and deflected the barrage back at him I was hooked. I’d been trying to play the game as CoD, but it’s actually chess on steroids!

The brilliance of Overwatch is that it isn’t trying to be balanced, at least not in the conventional sense. In any given one-on-one situation there’s going to be someone at an advantage. The fun lies in working with your team to complement each other’s strengths and mitigate each other’s weaknesses. This creates a constantly evolving strategy where it isn’t just about who has the level 74 shin guards.

I maybe get one or two hours of gaming a week usually, but this week I’ve logged 15+ hours and put off pretty much everything else to maximize my Overwatch play time. I tried logging on tonight and then remembered the Beta is over. Needless to say the next 2 weeks can’t go fast enough!

Thanks Blizzard for making me love FPS games again. Only you guys could take the remnants of a failed project and turn them into the first game I have pre-ordered, ever!