I have touched upon how I am not a big fan of online multiplayer games before, I don’t like how competitive and serious people get about it and I feel very self-conscious if I have to work in a team in case they don’t think I’m playing right.
A few months ago my other half got me to try Overwatch, I was launched straight into a battle playing as I-can’t-remember-who with no idea what I was doing and as a result I was of course terrible at it, and therefore hated it. Then, like an aura of multiplayer goodness tinged with my slight obsession with them, Game Grumps released some videos where they teach their least experienced player how to play Overwatch. They take him through each class explaining the role of them and taking him to the training zone to try a hero from each class out. (Cue me shouting “THERE’S A TRAINING ZONE?!!” at a shame-faced Dan who failed to mention that in his attempt at getting me to play.) I watched Dan play a couple of games then had a good look at characters I liked the look of, I ended up choosing Mei who is adorable in her snug little snow boots and glasses.
Aesthetics aside I thought that defensive DPS would be a good place to start as I generally play a DPS character in other games anyway and as Defensive DPS I would be less of a glass cannon so I wouldn’t get killed quite so much, and therefore disheartened. It worked and I found playing as Mei really fun. Then I tried just plain old DPS as Tracer, who is also super fun to play but I died a lot more with her as her health is 100 points lower than Mei’s. I still like her though, she’s my second go-to. I have become almost dependent on Mei though now, I am pretty good at playing as her and even got play of the game at one point! I was very proud of that. This means that I am very uncomfortable if I have to play as anybody else though, other than Tracer who I have the hang of, even if it’s a slightly shaky hang. When I get the game for myself (more on that later though) I will find a character I like in each class to play so that I can play anything if need be, I have a feeling Mei will always be my main though.
So what’s different about this online multiplayer game to others that I have really struggled with in the past, mainly because of other players (*cough* World of Warcraft *cough*)? I suppose it’s the randomness of it. Unless you seek a friend out for a team you are thrown in with random people each time, all of varying levels and Dan’s not a hugely high level compared to some other players but no one’s left the group because they think they’re going to be hindered by a lower level player (and I don’t think that’s an option anyway even if they wanted to). It’s also insanely fast-paced so it’s difficult to strategise and really think something out, if you can at all. That kind of plays into my comments about Starwhal in a post I did many moons ago, I really liked that for the reason that it was chaotic and you didn’t need to be good at it because no one really can be, therefore eliminating that competitive vibe. In Overwatch you have players that are really good at the game but even the most skilled players can fall in the most random, chaotic situations, there doesn’t ever appear to be a huge rivalry.
Another thing that I really like is that all the characters have back stories or shorts that show off their skills in Pixar-esque animated mini movies and if some characters have a history together then they will have little chats before each battle. This makes the characters a lot more interesting than in other fighting games where you don’t really have a story it’s just a character menu of random, tough looking people. I haven’t seen a lot of the stories yet but what I’ve seen so far is really cool. Here’s a short about Widowmaker below (featuring Tracer) it’s really good, if you have 6 minutes it’s well worth a watch even if you don’t play Overwatch.
Finally, the best bit for me: I don’t have to speak to people, the euphoric moment where I realised that I wasn’t expected to have a headset or type talk to people was amazing. I just want to get on with it, I’ll get Mei to wave at you and say ‘hello!’ but do not expect me to attempt to talk with you. This isn’t me being a dick by the way, if someone wants to mess about pre-battle kicking animated basketballs around or doing a stupid animation dance-off I am more than up for that, I just get very anxious if there is a social element added to a game that expects me to communicate with other players in order to play the game more effectively. I don’t know why but the thought fills me with dread. Although if I was in a situation where I knew everyone IRL that I was playing with then that would be different.
Unfortunately Overwatch is a bit pricey (when I looked on the PS4 store it was about £50) and having just moved I’m in a bit of a money-saving situation what with just moving. Plus it seems stupid to get it when Dan, who I am now living with, already has it but I want my own account on it and we want to play it together as well (now that he knows I’m a good defensive DPS player he wants me on his team =P)… First-world gamer problems!
What are your thoughts on multiplayer gaming? Do you play Overwatch? If so who is your go to character? Which class do you generally go for?