Community Review: Overwatch Beta

Me and Alex played Overwatch on consoles a couple of weeks ago. I was seriously impressed.

Now that the public beta has been in the wild for a weekend or so, what are some of your thoughts?

Personally, I just can't see how this game fails. It's slick, seamless, accessible, super super fun. The character designs are incredible and there's endless potential for this game to get highly competitive.

There are a few issues to iron out I suppose — choke points on maps, balancing issues with different characters. But this game has so much potential it's crazy.



    I really enjoyed it, I like that they have so many characters to pick from so you've got something to suit almost everyone. I enjoyed playing it much more than I enjoyed TF2.
    Will definitely be getting the game now.

    I played it on ps4 and I felt the player base didn't really know how to play the game modes a lot of the time though.

    Repeating what I posted in TAY:
    I haven't enjoyed a shooter this much since Quake 3 Arena.

    The open beta took me from "I might have some fun with it, but I don't play Team Based Online Shooters" over to "Crap, I'm probably going to buy this."

    Good fun. When everything works it's really great.

    When nothing works and you watch as your team collapses under the unstoppable onslaught of 2 Reinhardts and 2 Bastions sitting on top of the cart, it's a bit lame.

    I also sit here in hope of some singleplayer stuff, since UGH, OTHER PEOPLE. I can dream.

      Double Bastion on the escort vehicle is awful. People have been complaining about Bastion being overpowered in some situations for months, but they haven't done much. They need to bring back the 180 degree arc of fire limit that he used to have, and probably replace his 200 ammo reload with a heat building system that locks him out if he fires for too long.

        Maybe from every 2/5 play of the games, it'll be Bastion slaughtering the other team in a chokepoint. That probably won't happen as much when the meta changes, but it's noticeable he gets a lot of plays of the game.

          A lot of classes have hard counters in the game. I can't figure out what Bastion's would be, other than possibly Roadhog's grapple. I haven't tried Roadhog yet but from what I hear the grapple's a bit fiddly to use properly.

            Yeah, I haven't worked it out yet myself (please write back when you know lol). I've been maining Zenyatta, Reinhardt and Widowmaker.

            I've killed Bastion a few times when I've played as Widowmaker, with 2-3 fully charged shots but it's hard to get into a good spot sometimes with her so I don't think it's the optimal counter. It's scary playing as Mercy, I don't think I've ever had a good game playing as her lol.

              Zenyatta's sticky bombs are actually quite good against Bastion if you can get a line of fire on him that either he hasn't noticed or that he can't hit you back from. The few times I've played Bastion it's been Zenyatta or a flying Pharah at distance that kills me.

              Phyrra. Jetpak up 3 rockets down.

                If the bastion is any good, and has line of sight on a floating Phara, she is proper fucked well before the third rocket hits. There are a few situation where she can get him with splash damage though.

                Last edited 09/05/16 5:13 pm

              From memory, that ninja character can reflect projectiles so he's a pretty good counter for Bastion

                Semi-competent Bastion players know when they see that ninja, they know to stop firing at him.

                At least that's what I try to do when I see one.
                But that aside, I agree it's quite good in a mass confusion, where Bastion is shooting at everything with red silhouette.

                Genji (Ninja toon) is a good counter for Bastion. His deflect and his main attack (ninja stars) are pretty powerful. I dropped Bastion from a little distance quickly. Those stars are powerful.

            Yeah hog hook shot works but it has shortish range and even with 600hp bastion can still burst him in a couple seconds if he gets the drop.
            A lot of things can kill him but his insane ranged accuracy and dps make it hard for anything to get close.

            Last edited 09/05/16 12:24 pm

            The problem with bastion is in order to counter him you have to pick one of his hard counters - Genji/Roadhog/Widow. He's the only hero that requires a specific counter to defeat and essentially an enemy team picking him means someone on your team has to pick someone to counter him. Roadhog works in tight close quarter maps and the other two kill him in long range maps. The problem is getting to him is still highly dependent on his team being retarded and yours being somewhat sensible which is a very rare mix.

              He's not all that different than Torbjorn's turrets. And I wouldn't say he is the only character that requires a switch to shut him down. A skilled Widow, Genji, Torb, Mercy, Tracer, Rein, or Hog are a few examples that come to mind, hard to take down without choosing a counter.

                See I don't mind dying to any of the others as much because I know a modicum of skill is involved with the others and it's entirely possible to outplay. Bastion just has to look in your general direction in order for you to die and given all the maps are control points or escorts you know you're going to have to go to him, not the other way around.

                  I guess, but when I play Genji, bastion is basically a free kill for me, I literally stand in front of him and press E, yet I see Tracer and Soldier as the no skill class that beats my ass all day.

                  Every hero has a few enemies that make life hard, I really think that they have nailed the balance considering how varied the heroes are.

            Edit: double comment.

            Last edited 09/05/16 1:54 pm

              I am in the same boat, if anyone can work out a hard counter besides sitting back and picking him off, definitely post it.
              On one of the levels the team had a Bastion and Reinhardt shield in the corner, making it near impossible to cap the objective. The only counter I came up with was using Tracer to zip in and drop the sticky bomb. Blew up the Bastion and did a lot of damage to the shield where other players could attack the objective and gain control, but it is high risk and well placed turrets can quickly drop a Tracer trying to get in.

                Bastion is easy to counter. Pharah needs only 3 direct shots, Roadhog pulls him out of his sentry mode, Genji makes him kill himself, Widowmaker snipes him, Tracer can annoy him, etc.


            Genji deflects bullets back at the other team, this pretty much destroys people if he's getting shot at by bastion lol

            No one's mentioned Junkrat. If you know where the bastion is and can lob nades from outside line of sight Junkrat just destroys bastion. His grenade does a pretty good amount of damage as well. Just don't bother with the RIP tyre if there is a bastion anywhere near it, just dies straight away.

            There are plenty of ways to drop him, Genji deflect being the easiest, Junkrat if he is inside a corridoor, Phara if he is around a corner, Mcree flashbang or Hogs chain if you can get close, shooting him from behind Reinharts shield, and a whole bunch of ultimate's can get the job done.
            Everybody has counters in this game, part of what makes it great. Although the suggestion of having a 180 degree arc on him would probably be fair.

            OMG roadhog is my favorite i have an 80% hit rate with my grapple. Its really really easy to use and so satisfying! For bastion I noticed Tracer is a great counter. she is so fast that she can run behind bastion and shoot him as he spins. Also Widowmaker with sniper is great as you can hit him from really far away.

        A pair of Genji's and reflect take care of this pretty quickly.

          Genji seems to be pretty great, I seem to get killed by him a lot no matter what class I am lol.

          I don't think reflected bullets go through Reinhardt's or Winston's shields though do they? Also, this video at 37sec seems to suggest the reflection just doesn't last long enough to get the desired effect.

            Reflected bullets easily do the job....given there are no shields. If there ARE shields, then your job as Genji is to flank Bastion, hit him with your shurikens and THEN reflect the damage back when he does a 180 flip and attacks you without the shield.

            There is nothing more satisfying than getting Bastions to kill themselves :D

            Only problem are the map or two with the really small chokepoints - people complain but these give variety and a new challenge of trying to fight through.

        Symmetra's photon orbs are ideal for Bastion/Reinhardt strategies.

        They pass straight through Reinhardt's shield and Bastion isn't moving (or moving slowly on the cart) in Sentry mode. They can stay there and die, or they can move. Their choice.

    I've been playing on PC, and so far I'm absolutely loving it.

    - Great diversity in characters. All the heroes feel different and fun to play. Favourites so far would be Pharah and Hanzo.
    - The game Everything plays so smoothly, characters are responsive, my bullets (/arrows/ice rays/blobs/ninja stars/whatever) go where they should. When I kill someone, I know I should have. When I die, I know it's just my fault and I was outplayed.
    - Map design is tops.
    - Art style is fun and attractive.
    - Matches are just the right length - fast and frenetic, but still leave room for some great comebacks.
    - I like how all the unlockables are purely cosmetic - no pay to win etc, but I still feel encouraged to play and unlock loot boxes.
    - Coming from someone that does "tilt" pretty heavily when playing Destiny Crucible, CoD, Siege, etc - this is the first game in a long time where despite losing (and lose I did), I still just had fun. No urges to throw the mouse at the wall!

    My only real criticism is I question how much I'd play solo. Thankfully that's not an issue as, after the beta, a number of my friends also plan to pick it up. But still, if you were a solo player I do question how much you'd get out of the game.

      I'd actually like to see TTK increased by maybe 10%, but aside from that I agree with pretty much everything else you listed. Great game.

        I think there are some characters that do have a short TTK and could do with it being increased, but there's also other characters with a slow TTK. It's just a matter of making sure they balance each characters' TTK with their health, abilities etc.

        E.g. Black Widow has a pretty short TTK with her sniper rifle (if you land your shots), but she's very squishy and her abilities arguably aren't as useful as the others'. Wall hax ult notwithstanding.

        But you do raise a very good point!

        Last edited 09/05/16 11:51 am

          The main one I think should have a bit more TTK is D.Va. She's a disruption tank which is difficult to master and means she's usually behind the line without healer support, but right now she just gets chewed to shreds by most any of the offense classes, especially since she needs to be almost point blank to do any real damage.

    I love it, but I worry about the longevity of it. To all but the non hardcore players will there be any reason to play it after a month?

    I will be sad when the Beta finishes, because then I won't be able to play it again until May 24 :(

    i enjoyed it, but the matches are just way too short for my liking ( i only play against the AI)

      The AI matches are good for getting used to a class but they're very easy and quick compared to normal matches. What you're experiencing is how fast a match goes when one team steamrolls the other (which also happens in normal) but a reasonably matched game goes for quite a while.

      You should definitely try playing online. Even if it's just on your own without friends, it's definitely a lot more challenging and interesting.
      I played on my own as my friends were either busy or out of town, but I thought I would just end up bored of it by the end of the weekend, but it turns out it's a really great game and I'm just gonna have to buy it.

    i'm happy to admit I have once more been proven wrong by blizzard. I've never a fan of competitive shooters no matter how it's disguised but I had a lot of fun with the beta over the weekend.

    I don't feel the need to preorder but it's on my list to buy now, more than likely depending on how Mirrors Edge turns out.

    I went from "don't care, definitely not buying", to "must buy". The one condition I put on this is that it really will be a team game, if I did not have people to play with I don't think I would enjoy it. So if you are a solo player I recommend getting a headset and finding a group of people to game with for this. It did take some getting used to and playing with different characters to find the ones I feel comfortable with and can contribute the most.

    Overwatch Vs Other FPS
    As someone who ranks silver / gold in Halo and others I play with range between platinum - onyx it can be difficult trying to play with them, I usually get owned as matchmaking pegs you at the higher rank in the fireteam and if we lose I feel like I just cannot contribute where I avg between 11-13 death per match (although slowly getting better).

    In overwatch, with multiple character types that all have strengths it is great to be able to play the objective and feel like you are not just letting people down. If shooting isn't your thing, you can set traps, heal or just provide a shield where KD is not the driver, it is team work and effective strategy.

    "Alex and I"

    EDIT: Also loving the fact that the comments are full of imbalance issues. Glad to see Blizzard have done absolutely nothing since the first beta then.

    Last edited 09/05/16 2:34 pm

    Very polished game, quick matches but it leaves me feeling unsatisfied, for me this will fill in the gaps for quick games when I don't want to think too much or have little time.
    The progression of skin/spray unlocks wont be enough to really hold me into pouring loads of time into this one, If competitive mode works out It may keep my attention.

    Otherwise im a little flat about it in regards to retention i've sorta seen and played this before. Would of loved to see more story elements as im more interested in the characters then the actual fact I need to "capture another point" "defend another cart" etc.

    Last edited 09/05/16 11:57 am

    I guess I'm in the minority after reading those comments but I was pretty unimpressed. I picked up the beta cause some friends encouraged me to so we could all try it out together and I found that there was no real meat to the game. I mean it's definitely my own personal preference for video games shining through but after I had played as a character from each class I got bored with them all - I found the controls really annoying, there's no "run" button which I'm very used to in first person shooters so I kept pressing left shift and activating whatever power. I liked playing as the blue sniper lady but the map design made it pretty much impossible to maneuver on rooftops using her grappling hook power (having to wait for the cooldown every time you want to jump from building to building is pretty annoying). I think there isn't a lot of character mobility in general, and the kind of first person games I really like (dishonored, call of duty advanced warfare, far cry) all have a lot of mobility. And as usual in team based cartoon-ish first person shooters I found all the weapons to be underpowered. They felt plastic, just like the weapons in TF2.

    All of that is to say that I didn't really like it. I was frustrated at the game's limitations while I was playing - discovering new characters by playing them in a competitive environment was annoying but I'm sure I could've done that better by playing against AI a bunch before playing the actual game. I don't really like mobas or this style of team-based, repetitive shooter so I never expected to really like it. I'm glad I gave it a chance and I'm glad that people are enjoying it but it's not for me.

      you need to allow yourself the time to learn the characters and how to play the game.
      Your right when you say "its not like other shooters".
      I found that I had to change my mindset and how/why i was playing the game to enjoy it to its fullest (written in a blurb below).
      I now have the utmost enjoyment out of almost every game because at its core, it rewards pure skill with rewards. Playing to strengths and strategies and the querks of each character is truly rewarding.

        I think that there are some games that I'm invested enough in to try to change my mindset to enjoy them - I didn't fall in love with Rise Of The Tomb Raider at first but I really liked the first one so I persevered. I think Overwatch, as a new title in a relatively new genre of game by a studio that hasn't made a game like this before doesn't garner that benefit off the bat.

      Yeah, you're definitely in the minority in that regard. To me, Overwatch has more mobility than the vast majority of FPS that have come out in the last decade until maybe the last two or so years. The run button is a relatively new addition to he genre, and Blizzard specifically made a hero with this amongst other modern military shooter features, in part as a tongue in cheek jab and the other as a familiar character. There's an incredible amount of verticality in all the maps and the majority of charters have their own way to traversing either across or up. Hell, there's a character who has a rocket charge, others blink, teleport, wall climb, boost, to name a few. It's definitely the most fun multiplayer shooter experience I have had since TF2 first came out back in '07.

        We all have different preferences, it might not be something you enjoy, but could also be how you experienced it. When I played on Saturday I did not enjoy it that much and was struggling a lot.

        When I spent more time on Sunday and learned more about different classes and found characters I gelled with, it became a lot of fun. If you have a group of people to play with it would add value, solo, I don't see longevity in the game.

      Rob I felt much the same way as well. The game is beautifully polished and fairly balanced but it just didn't grab me. I played around with the various characters and abilities and couldn't find a happy medium that I enjoyed. I think it was more to do with the game not fitting my style of gameplay and as such felt very flat and uninteresting to me.

    Needs more hats.

    Its fun enough, I wouldn't pay to play it. I had my fill of Team Fortress style games with TF2 a few years ago, and its free.

      TF2 wasn't free when it launched, though. I get what you're saying but it's not really an even comparison.

      I thought I was done with them as well myself. I was an avid TF2 player, but after years of the same thing, I gave it up and haven't played it for almost a year now... so I thought I'd try out Overwatch for the weekend thinking it'd be the same thing. But boy was I wrong! Even with the obvious lack of hats, this game won me over in about an hour's worth of online gameplay. Then I spent almost the entire weekend playing it and still want to go back to it.
      I wouldn't pay full retail price for it, but I can definitely see many an hour spent playing.

    They need to limit it to one character per team.

    In example, on Hanamura, 4 Torbjorn and 2 symmetra can hold the first point without the enemy team getting anywhere near it. It's super scummy and broken.

    Last edited 09/05/16 1:18 pm

      Yeah there appears to be a few balance problems before you even start factoring in duplicate champs.

    I've been skeptical about the game, but found myself charmed by about the second round. I'm coming from hundreds of hours of Team Fortress 2, specifically Scout and Pyro, and instantly found like skills in Tracer and Mei. The game highlight at the end of each round, especially when it shows you zipping about like a mad person eliminating the entire team! The Loot Box drop system is also very satisfying, but at this point Blizzard literally have this down to a science.

    I've gone from "I don't really care about ANOTHER shooter" to "Hmmm, maybe I'll buy this when it launches." It's not an insta-purchase for me because a) the very high price point b)the very, very short match times and c) I may or may not get time to actually play it, amongst my other hundreds of Steam games.

      I have to agree about the high price point, was really surprised it is a $89-$99 game depending on system of choice. It seems more like a $40 - $50 title the way it plays and for PC could see it being a $20 - $30 title where it is competing against CS and TF2.

      Really enjoyed it and based on it's own merits, playing with a team it is a lot of fun, and the sole reason I am buying day 1 is that a group of friends have all said "I will buy it if you buy it". If it is up to an individual player or a PC player with the competition it has, I think that price point needs to drop a bit, which could see people pass on the game completely.

        Lol please, its a Blizzard game. Well worth the price tag.

        I really dont understand this mentality. Multiplayer games offer so many more hours of entertainment than your standard single player experience, yet so many people whinge and moan about them costing money.

        Would it be worth $89 with a 6 hour campaign of running down corridors?

          I agree with your point that MP offers many more hours and SP is not required now days ( I never touch the SP campaign). for me it is the benchmarking of other games in the same genre that creates an expectation of price point.

          Competing against other shooters, with this art style, focus on MP, lots of "loot" to unlock, I probably would of been more comfortable with a $20-$30 shooter on PC with microtransactions for loot or a $50 - $60 price point on console with microtransactions. I guess it is what I am conditioned to expect based on competitors.

          Being a blizzard title doesn't give it a free pass.
          As it stands with its current game modes I doubt I would put too many hours into it... Honestly after playing a few days of the beta (open and closed) I'm pretty sick of it-
          Short match times, Poorly balanced characters, Limited match types, Limited to 6v6, No local servers, Long matchmaking wait times, Little competition...

          If there was an addition of straight up deathmatch or team deathmatch or conquest even I would probably buy it, but as it stands I'm thinking I might give it a miss and wait for a better online experience.

          As for paying $89 for a 6 hour campaign.... Who does this? that seems masochistic to me...
          I purchased two single player games last year TW3 and FO4 both provided MUCH more than 6 hours gameplay and cost much less than $89.

          As for online titles I have gotten many for MUCH less(or free) and have gotten many many more hours out of them before getting sick of them than I did overwatch.

          It has the potential to be a great, no amazing game... but it just isn't there.

            Except the majority of people do think it's an amazing game.

            You say you're sick of it, how poorly balanced it is, how little competition there is, and then go on to say you'd probably buy it if it had team deathmatch?


    Played it on both PS4 and PC.
    Was surprised how much I enjoyed the PS4 version, to the point where that will probably be the one I end up getting.

    It's a wonderful game, well put together and it works well - but I'm not going to buy it. There's very few online games that would replace a single-player, story-driven narrative game for me, and I think we've reached a point where my backlog has more appeal than a game with *shudder* other people.

    Most fun I've had in a multiplayer FPS since Halo 2, and I wasn't even playing with friends... Became my most anticipated game after just a few hours.

    I seem to be one of the few who wasn't taken by the game. It doesn't really feel that special to me. Plays fine, lots of personality, but it just doesn't do anything that I haven't seen before in other games. I can't justify a purchase at the current price tag either.

      Blizzard games typically don't do things that haven't been seen in other games. It just polishes it to a high level of quality and pure fun.

    It'll replace TF2 for me for a while until the Competitive is released for TF2. See if that is any good.

    Last edited 09/05/16 12:27 pm

    Played the beta and enjoyed it. Just not sure if its worth the high price tag to me. Also not sure how much staying power it will have.

    It's a very highly-polished and a bit more varied TF2 clone, with MUCH better graphics and loot system. If you like TF2, I reckon you'll like Overwatch.
    (Disclaimer: It feels like it has the longevity of TF2 as well, so if you're hanging out for a narrative or novelty... maybe don't. Play the beta, get your fill.)

    Preordered it as soon as it was available - but it's a Blizz game, I always do that.

    Found it to be a nicely satisfying addition to Blizz's stable. I'm glad there's no levelling/progression system (I mean you level, sure - but I mean unlocking weapons, perks, etc) and it's just get in, play and have fun. I appreciate the purity of it.

    I agree too many of one character is frustrating, but I think a lot of it is just plain novelty at the moment. I think once people have played more, the teams will diversify a bit more. Same with the character balancing - they'll iron it out. Bastion is just so unbelievably broken at the moment, something will have to give. Heat build up, longer setup/teardown time, limited firing arc, something. Because at the moment, he's seriously getting play of the game 50% of the matches I play. And yes, you can counter him, but he's still ridiculous.

    Great characters, great design, fluid/responsive controls, satisfying sound. Just puts a smile on my face.

    Really been missing playing a game just for the sake of playing. We still get loot boxes, but apart from some cosmetic customisation options, we're all on the same page. I like that.

    Last edited 09/05/16 12:58 pm

    I like it a lot. It is going to be a nightmare to balance though. I am torn about the Bastion situation. A good team can easily counter him but when you are playing with a group of randoms it is like banging your head against a wall.

      I mean he is a defender, and should be able to fortify a position - my only issue is how fast he kills you. His damage needs to be nerfed at the very least. Watch killcams and see how fast he drops Roadhog or D.Va for example, it's ridiculous - they're tanks, and they melt in seconds. And if you're a 150-200hp character, you're dead, even at full health in what seems like 2 seconds.

      Although having team mates who don't know what they're doing doesn't help. Watching them pile into the meat grinder instead of taking any of the alternative routes to flank the enemy is frustrating. But, people are still learning.

      Frankly, as far as I'm concerned, a team that trips over themselves to be the next person to join the pile of team-skull-icons deserves what they get.

      As for speed of killing... I strongly disagree with @ynefel. As someone who played a lot of bastion, I've been 1-shot by Widowmakers I couldn't even see, the archer guy who only poked out of cover for half a second to loose his insta-kill arrow, 2-shot within half a second by the reaper guy or had a full clip unloaded in one second by rapid-fire mccree who've snuck up behind because they don't make any god damn foot-step sounds... By the time you've had grenades launched at you, or can hear Pharah loosing her cluster rockets directly over your head, the tear-down-into-mobile mode animation is too long for you to actually react, and you're instantly dead.

      Bastion is very, very, very, very, very, very, very easily countered and very, very quickly with no recourse. If anything, bastion's a bigger target due to being static. It's only a specific type of, "Charge!" player who falls foul of him when rushing through choke points.

      If Bastion couldn't kill so quickly, he'd need a fuck of a lot more health to counter being in the field of fire for longer. People are not meant to 'trade shots' with him.

      Last edited 09/05/16 2:22 pm

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