Siobhan Keogh is the NZ Herald's gaming blogger.

Game review: Overwatch

Image from video game Overwatch.
Image from video game Overwatch.

You might recall a moment in your gaming history when you were pinned down by another player and, in your bid to escape, accidentally walked off a cliff.

In Overwatch you can just hit the rewind button and get back in the game.

Overwatch has an answer for everything and a character for everyone. For a game where you do the same things, on the same maps, over and over again, it certainly has the ability to surprise and delight.

Image from video game Overwatch.
Image from video game Overwatch.

Overwatch is a team-based first-person shooter from video game giant Blizzard, the company behind World of Warcraft and Diablo.

It's a 100 per cent online multiplayer. Players choose from 21 different characters and each one is quite distinct from the last in both strategy and personality. Together you try to achieve a common goal such as holding a territory or escorting a payload.

If you've played Valve's Team Fortress 2, you've got the idea. Overwatch is Blizzard's answer to TF2 in the same way that Hearthstone is their answer to Magic: The Gathering.

The games are similar, but different enough that you can't hold it against the developers. Overwatch successfully mixes the shooter elements of TF2 with an entirely different genre of game - the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA).

MOBAs are also objective-and team-based, and usually have a huge number of characters to choose from. Some characters are more difficult to master than others.

They also tend to use bright colours, elaborate art and fantasy elements, such as magic. All those features have been woven into the tapestry of Overwatch to great effect.

Image from video game Overwatch.
Image from video game Overwatch.

Overwatch's highlight is its accessibility. Not only can players at every skill level pick up a controller or mouse and have a go, but it makes them laugh and doesn't punish them for doing so.

This is a game that celebrates success without making the less-successful feel too bad about themselves. At the end of a match you won't know who the "worst" player is on your team, which helps to combat abuse and harassment.

Overwatch feels like taking a breath of fresh air after inhaling smoking gunpowder for years.

In a market full of FPS games that might as well be called "Gritty Realistic War Simulator 5", here's a brand new competitive shooter that could hold its own on the eSports circuit and is also designed to make players feel good.

More of this, please.

Review: Overwatch

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: M
Verdict: You won't hit rewind on this purchase

- TimeOut

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