This month Overwatch won game of the year for the 2016 Game Awards, and for good reason. I lost about two months of my life after first buying it, and I’m still not sick of it. I would turn on my PC prepared to try out some interesting indie pick or a classic deep cut that I keep meaning to play, and find myself on my twentieth Overwatch match four hours later.
Now there are the obvious reasons why this game is good: The balancing, interesting characters, the appeal to people of all skill levels. But I’ve found that there is another crack pipe like quality that keeps bringing me back. Overwatch is just a satisfying game. There are some moments that are so candy sweet that you spend all of your time trying to hit that high again. Here are my personal favorites.
I have been on both ends of this one, usually on the receiving end more than the giving. And let me tell you, it is incredibly frustrating.
Here you are, a Reaper, with your ultimate ready. You are about to storm the keep at Lijiang Tower, sneaking up on the opposite entrance to the point from the one that your team would normally be entering. The entire enemy team is facing the other way. Prepare to finally get that ‘Cute’ spray for reaper. Then there’s a green flash, and the last thing you see are roller skates triumphantly spinning in the air as you are hopelessly abyssed into the certain doom that is falling off a map.
But when it does happen, and you are the bumper and not the bumpee, my goodness it’s sweet. Here you are, the humble Lucio, helping people A-D spam just a little faster, and you see out of the corner of your eye a red stain on your screen. It’s a Reaper materializing. Everyone else is busy or not paying attention. And he looks hungry. You know if you get close to this shotgun pistols it is almost certain doom, but there is one chance. You rush towards the Reaper, and with a single right click you extricate this potential point capture from the map. He is sent hurtling through the air, firing his now out of effective range shotguns fruitlessly into the air. You break dance to celebrate. Man that feels good.
This right here. These dumb little red arrows and the sound of a marble being thrown at a tin can. Somehow this elicits the same response as low level barbiturates.
Now it’s true that this is a mechanic in almost all FPS games, for some reason the quality of the drug is higher in Overwatch. Maybe it’s because the hit boxes are a little bigger. Maybe it’s finally doing away with that soldier that keeps pestering your team. Who knows.
Specifically the left click from long range. It’s like trying to kill people with a stapler. Incredibly impractical but terrifying in the wrong (or right) hands. It’s a rivet gun that has the trajectory of lead bricks, but features sniper-like range and accuracy. Every time I get a headshot from halfway across the map with one of these I just know the other player is totally bamboozled. “What just hit me?” “Did someone switch to Hanzo?”
It makes me feel like I am actually talented at video games (truth: I am not) to hit something with a weapon not designed to be very useful. I once head-shotted a tracer with this. It was glorious.
This applies to Mei and Bastion. They are horrible salt factories, especially when whoever’s job it is to take care of them is allowing them to run rampant (dang it Genji!). They are the source of most rage quits. Terrible people play them, who only want to spread fear and suffering to their fellow players.
And every once and a while, I am one of those players. It’s so shameful. I feel like my grandmother would waggle her finger at me. I tell myself that it’s just to save my defending team from certain defeat. But sometimes it’s just too fun to resist being a troll.
If you look at my player statistics I’ve played as Roadhog for about 34 minutes. He is just not my character. I’m bad at judging distances in the game so it’s hard for me to hit people in the scrapgun’s effective range. I also tend to miss and four shots are just not enough for me.
But that hook, oh that hook. When there’s that terrible Tracer that is outrageously effective and slicing through your team like a hot knife through butter. When the Pharah who’s been racking up kills seems untouchable. When there’s that- well pretty much anybody but Reinhardt. The hook is here to help. Clipping through walls and ripping through DPS characters a good hook can make those hills sing.
It also helps that the hitbox for it is the size of the Queen Mary.
I’ve only covered five; there are plenty more. What are your most satisfying moments in OW?
While I wait for your response I think I’ll queue up a game of quick play. Time to try, once again, to beat my record of how many people I can punt off a map with Lucio in one game.