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Overwatch shows the rest how to be a multiplayer shooter for all

I've never been much into online gaming. Maybe it's because I'm anti-social, or because in my old life I had precious little time to play anything, and just wanted to kick back and relax on my own.

But today, with shooters in particular, there's a heavy competitive scene, and millions of people spend a ton of time playing them every day. Those titles are often difficult for new players to enter, and the experience becomes frustrating, and just not enjoyable.

Enter Blizzard, and Overwatch. Things are done differently here and it's quickly become a game I'd encourage anyone to spend some time with, whether you're into shooters or not.

Overwatch

I recently got into Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, a fair time after its launch. The multiplayer there is so far removed from Overwatch it's crazy. As a brand new, level one player I'm thrown in to a match alongside and against players 100 levels more experienced.

Overwatch has quickly become a game I'd encourage anyone to spend some time with, whether you're into shooters or not.

And in Black Ops 3 you'll need to lay your hands on better weapons to stand much of a chance, too, as I quickly discovered. I like the game, but I don't have the time to catch up to a point where I can enjoy the multiplayer.

The same goes for Star Wars Battlefront. I've played this longer than Black Ops 3, but I'm still fairly low ranked and haven't yet unlocked the killer weapons and jet packs and whatnot. I'm not bad at the game, but it's still a struggle a lot of the time.

You don't get any of this in Overwatch. You're not mismatched and you're not at a disadvantage if you haven't been playing 10 hours a day since it launched. Unlocks are purely cosmetic; skins, audio phrases and sprays. There are no better weapons to be had at higher ranks, so everyone plays with the same.

Overwatch

You're also better paired up with teammates and opponents. While occasionally you'll find a seriously high ranked player in the mix, most of the time you're playing with folks at or close to the save level as you. It doesn't mean you're not playing with good players, but you're playing with people of similar Overwatch experience. The learning curve in Overwatch comes from trying out the different heroes, figuring out which you like best, and honing your skills.

The learning curve in Overwatch comes from trying out the different heroes, figuring out which you like best, and honing your skills.

It's no surprise there are already millions of people worldwide playing this shooter across Xbox One, PC and PS4. Competitive mode is now in play, but you're required to be level 25 and above. So at least if you go into this "try hard" mode, you're fairly adept at how to play.

Blizzard usually gets a mass following for its games, and Overwatch is another raging success. The way it has been managed is only going to help that continue. There won't be nickel-and-diming for future content (apparently), which is good since you're paying full whack for this up front.

As it is today, it is enjoyable for everyone — new and experienced. If you're new, you can jump right in and have a good time without someone of vast experience destroying you. Mastering it is tough, but picking it up and playing is simple. If you've been pondering having a go, I can't recommend it enough.

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Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

28 Comments
  • Overwatch is a more modern Q3.
  • a kid's type q3 if you ask me, it's not bad, but Q3 was fast paced, with great maps no doubt
  • Agreed. Q3 should make a comeback.
  • They are,I think it's called Quake Champions
  • Actually, once you hit level 25 (high enough for competitive play) matchmaking is a bit inaccurate. I (lv 28) generally get tossed in with people > lv 150.
  • Player level is a measure of time invested and doesn't necessarily equate to skill. There's a separate, invisible MMR rating the game uses to match players which is why you were in a game with those players. The system absolutely needs improvement but I wouldn't call it "grossly inaccurate".
  • Fair enough. I edited my adjective :). But I have a hard time believing that as soon as I hit level 25, I suddenly had as much time in as a lv 150 player, when before I was getting in with no higher than lv 50.
  • As said by other, MMR is taken into account to make matchmaking in competitive. People can spent 150h and still be ranked 25/100 when you could be 80/100 after only 25 player level. You would be match with your peers on MMR rating,+/-5 points as far as I experienced.
  • As I said below, I'm not playing in competitive. I'm merely high enough to be if I wanted to. I see no reason for the matchmaking to drastically change in quick play.
  • Competitive play is different. And just that. If you're going into the ranking system then you're open to everything ;-)
  • No, I'm *not* in competitive. I'm just high enough to be. Other players have reported the same behavior.
  • to be fair, the way you worded it, it really makes it sound like you were talking about competitive play.
  • True. I reworded to try to make it more clear.
  • After being spoiled with Halo 5's near-perfect multiplayer gameplay, I just can't play other shooters anymore. No other shooter is as balanced and finely tuned as Halo 5, including the matchmaking, which, after putting in your ten placement matches, does a superb job of putting you with your peers. I think new players put off by Halo 5 are put off because they don't get how to play Halo, and they struggle trying to lone wolf it and then dismiss the game and go to other shooters that are less reliant on teamwork, strategy, coordination, and skill.
  • 100% this! Nail on the head my friend... Other shooters feel weak in comparison to Halo's multiplayer
  • Got to agree with this 100%. Can't beat how balanced Halo 5 is.
  • So pretty much Team Fortress 2?
  • Maybe, but I don't remember having near as much fun in TF2. Overwatch is freaking addicting.
  • Carbon copying TF2 = "game change"  
  • Thanks for this article. This fits me exactly. I bought Battlefront and I am frustrated because I just want to me able to play without all the hassle and other people online playing getting angry because I suck at it.
  • a lot of people are saying it's just like TF2... I've played TF2 more than a few times, but am not a regular player. That being said, how is overwatch same/different from TF2 and what makes it better than TF2. And I'm asking this for people who know both games well, not just based on videos they've seen.
  • Level design and character skills are very different, though the general concepts for both games are similar.
  • for what i have seen it has great custom games too :P i mean you can do anything there xd
  • I am not going to believe anything when it comes to Blizzard and their games, unless I experience it myself. Everybody is brownnosing Blizzard crazy time. What I heard is that the game lacks content and that should not be a thing in the first place.
  • My son plays this and says it is fun, like when Halo was fun to play in MP. Asked when that was, he said it stopped being fun after Reach.
  • I have enjoyed Overwatch. It's great for when I get out of the office and want to mindlessly just play a game to relax.
  • Shooter are often one of my least favorites types of games, but Overwatch is a completely different beast. It's incredible I can have so much fun with this game. Especially playing with my friends.
    I strongly recommend people to play Overwatch with friends. It's a team-based game, you need communication to do well, and being able to laugh together is great even when losing.
  • I can't stand the art in this game. Way too many gaudy colors and the character selection looks like they threw random traits together rather than have any coherent design.