2016 was an exceptional year in gaming and one game managed to stand high above the rest. Overwatch by Blizzard Entertainment is my 2016 Game of the Year.
Could it have been any other game?
Overwatch is a FPS hero shooter that captivated it’s fans and player base with intuitive gameplay, a colorful cast of characters and a refreshing blend of game types and class based gameplay that hasn’t been seen in the FPS department in quite some time.
Before we get into the meat of what makes Overwatch great, it’s important to note the animations. Blizzard’s marketing outside the game was nothing short of spectacular in the way they would cut Pixar-esque animated shorts, showcasing a character per short and a bit of background about them. This was a way to add a story to an entirely multiplayer game and was done brilliantly.
Overwatch is a 6v6 hero shooter that pits two teams of unique heroes against one another in 2 game modes, moving the payload, where one team defends said payload whilst the other team attacks trying to move it to an objective. The other game mode is a more simplified control game mode.
As of today there are 23 heroes in Overwatch spread across 4 class sets, Attack, Defense, Tank and Support. Each class set is uniquely dependent on gametype, enemy team and whether you are trying to attack or defend a point.
Overwatch does a great job in blending these roles and allowing players to have fun team comps or strictly competitive builds. Unfortunately in it’s current state the game is pretty dependent on 4 tanks and 2 healers in the games meta. However, at launch the game was pretty open with few characters in the “broken” category of being over powered.
These are complaints that typically come with a giant competitive multiplayer game with a ravenous fan base.
So far in Overwatch’s brief history we have had 3 major events in the game, starting with Summer Olympic games in August, Halloween, and the Holiday season event. It was just announced yesterday that a Chinese New Year event is beginning next week. These events have each added new character skins, loot chests, and a game mode. For the Summer Olympics the game had a rocket league style of game, while the Halloween event had a PvE game mode for Junkrat. These events are a great addition to the game as it keeps content fresh and keeps people coming back even when you intend on breaking away from the game for a bit.
Loot Chests & Skins
Overwatch, like a lot of games nowadays has a loot system. Overwatch gives a free chest per level up, or allows you to purchase chests through the games store. Each chest gives you a chance to get skins, emotes, sprays, and player icons. These aren’t as bad as they are in a game like Call of Duty. The Overwatch skins are aesthetically pleasing and very well designed.
With all that’s mentioned above packaged into one game, it’s no wonder Overwatch was voted my Game of the Year for 2016. Overwatch is also accessible on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as well as PC. Overwatch offers a ranked system as well that is split into seasons and cranks up the tension from what it’s like in a traditional quick play match. Overwatch is one of the FPS genre’s true gems and my absolute highlight of 2016 in gaming. Overwatch has also seemingly solved the complaint from people about a game with no campaign being “half a game” by providing a robust set of lore, whether it’s through animated shorts and comics.
Also, shutout to Overwatch’s social media team for continually providing entertainment to the community and for Jeff Kaplan and team for being open and actively listening to its player base.
Overwatch is my 2016 Game of the Year and a must play for anyone.