Finals are practically over, my research paper has been submitted, I forced myself out of the fetal position and took my Miller Lite IV out of my arm. My life over the past month has been a torturous slog of nonstop clinical work, dozens of research hours, homework assignments out the ass, and several exams I may or may not have sold my soul to barely pass. When I was down and out, I always found solace in one thing and one thing only…alcohol. Ok…I found solace in two things. Alcohol and OverWatch. I have been playing OverWatch for little over a month now and it has already engulfed all of my free time outside of clinic, school, homework, and the gym. With almost 3 entire days logged into the game, I have garnered a pretty steadfast understanding of everything that goes on throughout each game mode and map, along with expanding my hero pool outside of JUST DPS heroes. With the 1 year anniversary coming up, and me joining the community so late, I figured I would finally give some input into why OverWatch would have been my Runner-Up for Game Of The Year in 2016, (sorry guys I still love Dark Souls 3), some of the flaws with at least the console version of the game, and some ways for Blizzard to possibly improve the experience for some of the more competitive members of the OverWatch community.
OverWatch is the perfect amalgamation of two videogame genres that I have dominated in, and have dominated my life over the past decade or so. As many of you all know, I am very rarely referred to as a “casual gamer”…fucking plebs. I like my videogames to reflect my life as a whole, rage-inducing, tortuously painful, yet smart and strategic in its own rights. This is mainly why I have been so drawn to the competitive nature of First Person Shooters, and more recently the 3 years of hell I spent in a battered and broken relationsh….League of Legends. OverWatch combines the twitchy run and gun nature of FPS games with the tactical strategy hero and map elements of MOBAs, into a downright amazing online gaming experience.
As much praise as I can pour into this game, OverWatch is NOT perfect and does come with some pretty unnerving flaws, at least with my time spent playing it on console with Xbox Live. Hearken back to my competitive days of Call of Duty, where I, along with several highschool friends would absolutely shit stomp enemy teams with ease. This would soon be followed the enemy team of filled with whiny, voice-cracking prepubes cursing about my family and all of the filthy things they may have done to them. This still applies to OverWatch, and I’m 24…not a 17 year old highschooler. A good chunk of the console community is still peppered with youngins who will relentlessly spew toxicity your way no matter what happens (Flaw #1). The only way this can be fixed, leads into my next downside to console OverWatch, and that is the complete lack of a Reporting System. The PC version of the game has a reporting system in which toxic players can get banned just like League of Legends, however, it is nonexistent in console versions of the game (Flaw #2). My 3 years of reporting someone every other game after a match of League of Legends has my mind totally set on it being a necessity in hyper competitive games like OverWatch, and it is the only way to really keep some of the toxic community in check. Seeing as though I enjoy the game so much, FOR NOW, I will only mention one other outstanding set back the console version has compared to the PC version. Multiplayer communication on console is strictly limited to whether or not players are using a mic during the match (Flaw #3). I will be lucky to have one other player on my team that used a mic to actually communicate in Ranked, and that just means 66% of your team refuses to communicate altogether. You can see how this can be frustrating for people who want to get better at the game and rank up in OverWatch competitively. On PC, you can type in chat even if someone on your team isn’t using a mic, and console gamers are just sort of fucked here. I think the best way to correct this, for all versions of the game would be to implement a Ranked Queue in which you can elect to wait longer for a match in order to get a full team of players willing to communicate with a mic. Granted, I am not a game developer, so I don’t actually know how possible this may or may not be, but I would much rather wait 5 or 6 minutes to get a team willing to communicate via mic for a ranked match, than the 2 or 3 minutes to get placed with people who refuse to communicate at all. Thankfully, a lot of the time, I have the luxury of playing with a solid team from the Pass The Controller Podcast, so shout out to the PtC boys, definitely go check them out at https://ptcgaming.com/ . Maybe, just maybe Papa Jeff Kaplan will read this and shine some of his glorious light upon us OverWatch console gamers.