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Game Picks: Win or lose, ‘Overwatch’ stays fresh and fun

In “Overwatch,” time-traveling Tracer makes quirky British quips as she blinks through the battlefield.
In “Overwatch,” time-traveling Tracer makes quirky British quips as she blinks through the battlefield.

Win or lose, ‘Overwatch’ stays fresh and fun

As the clock winds down to zero, you backtrack in time to drop a perfect pulse bomb on the enemy, blowing apart the greedy robot-turned-turret and his teammate, a slick sniper assassin. The game heads into overtime, but your team has just been annihilated by an enormous magical dragon. Then you hear it: “Heroes never die!” Your team’s hero activates her ultimate ability and brings your group back to life for one last stand.

Moments like these define “Overwatch,” both amazing victories and last-second defeats. No matter what happens – win or lose – you’re going to have fun.

The game’s strength lies in its simplicity and polish. Two teams of six players each do battle on a handful of maps, and most modes boil down to some form of escorting, capturing or protecting an objective.

Unforgettable characters are the lifeblood and driving force of “Overwatch.” Time-traveling Tracer makes quirky British quips as she blinks through the battlefield, while tanky Reinhardt roars as he dunks enemies into dust with his rocket hammer. These personality-driven heroes have unique skillsets that make playing each one different; you’re not just embracing the sniper rifle or the rocket launcher, but ability kits that come together to form a hero.

Whether you’re slinging Widowmaker’s grappling hook or deflecting incoming projectiles with Genji’s blades, gameplay changes dramatically from one character to another. “Overwatch” encourages players to swap characters constantly to deal with the ever-evolving nature of a match.

The game provides dynamic experiences that allow immediate enjoyment, while at the same time rewarding those who seek expert status. You settle in and learn how to play within minutes, but the potential for character mastery and team-centric gameplay go well into hundreds of hours.

“Overwatch” doesn’t have a campaign or any single-player/offline aspects worthy of note, but its profound ability to provide drastically different experiences with each hero ensures that fresh explorations and hours of renewed enjoyment are a single tap away. In addition, Blizzard is not dividing the community or locking characters behind paywalls, as all future maps and characters will be free.

“Overwatch” is an amazing experience. It’s fresh and consistently fun, with matches that are great in random groups, but astonishingly good when played with friends.

Overwatch

Concept: Two teams battle in fast, objective-based matches with a roster of distinct characters.

Rating: T (Teen)

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Graphics: The colorful characters and settings are bright, but you can always tell what’s going on.

Sound: Audio is integral to the gameplay, calling out when ultimate abilities have been activated. A spirited score enhances the action.

Playability: Incredibly easy to pick up and play, since most characters have only a single weapon and a handful of abilities. Advanced team play and strategy leave plenty of room to grow.

Entertainment: Vibrant and endlessly entertaining. Whether you just want to play a few quick rounds or settle in for hours with friends, “Overwatch” delivers with polished panache.

Price: $40-$60

Score: 10/10

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