Overwatch Not Just For FPS Pros

Overwatch looks brisk and exciting but some worry that they’ll need to be FPS pros to play well. Wrong.

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We’re a few weeks deep into the shiny new beta for Overwatch, Blizzard’s first foray into arena shooters a-la-Team Fortress 2, and it’s made an impression already.

However, one issue I hear brought up time and time again is, “But David, I’m not really an FPS guy/gal and I don’t want to get stomped.” First, I would like to thank my friend for addressing me in such a cordial manner. Secondly I would say NEVER FEAR. Blizzard is really making strides to make sure this is a game for all play styles.

Spray and Pray

First, the elephant in the room.

No, Overwatch is not like Counter Strike: GO or Call of Duty, games that demand a near psychic link between your eyes and your on-screen reticle to do well. Blizzard has de-emphasized aiming a bit by having no aiming down sights, eliminating recoil patterns, and reducing penalties for firing while moving. This means your free to point and shoot without finagling with some of the finer mechanics featured in other shooters. There’s also some pretty generous auto-aim.

Point is, this isn’t a twitch shooter.

A Time to Kill

When I play Call of Duty it feels like I’m playing laser-tag with trained Navy Seals. Every corner I turn I am near instantly killed by something I didn’t even see. Overwatch features a dramatically longer time-to-kill (i.e. the time between two players engaging in a firefight and one of them dying) and more mobility options. Most firefights are about working together and putting the right damage on the right targets.

Which leads us to the fact that Overwatch is more than just a Team Fortress clone. It’s got a major MOBA hybrid thing going on, which is actually what attracted me. Each Hero you have features their own suite of skills and abilities, and a well balanced team with synergy has a HUGE leg up on just 5 randoms picking 5 ninjas and jumping around like monkeys.

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One team can have multiple players with the same hero; that means no more arguing at hero select. I’ll miss that to be honest.

Aim Isn’t Everything

Speaking of heroes, the game will launch with 21 drastically different characters, with many of the most powerful not needing any aim at all! Symmetra sets turrets and helps her team with strategically placed teleporters. Reinhart is a giant silver knight that has all melee attacks. Mercy is a floating medic with a heal ray. The list goes on, and while characters like MCree the cowboy or Widowmaker the sniper lean into more traditional aim-to-kill playstyles, there are plenty of options to fight that don’t.

Just Say No To KDA

As of right now the game doesn’t even feature any classic deathmatch mode nor does it show you your kill death average, which makes sense because of the aforementioned heroes that don’t even attack. It rates you a score based on an accumulation of different factors, how much you contributed to the objective, or how much healing you did. Overwatch is a game about teamwork and not about whose shoots first.

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You can even vote for the MVP after the match regardless of team. No hard feelings right? WRONG. Always hard feelings.

So to all my friends still apprehensive about Overwatch, I say: Overwatch is not just a normal FPS. So dive in, IF you can get into this beta.