Why Blizzard’s Overwatch Entering Closed Beta is so Important.

Blizzard has made some of the most iconic games in PC gaming over the years. The original Starcraft is considered by many the greatest PC game of all time, World of Warcraft continues to be the juggernaut of MMORPGs, and they even have a movie coming out based on their original property of Warcraft. They’ve made a leap into the MOBA genre now with Heroes of the Storm, even though it’s key to remember that the original DotA used the Warcraft III engine and was actually a custom map. So why is Blizzard’s Overwatch so important? It’s an FPS game by Blizzard.

For anyone who dislikes how Blizzard updates/balances/reworks their games, you’re simply taking for granted the fact that they actually receive updates. For example, right now I would make the argument that CS:GO is the biggest FPS game in the world. And yet it continues to have bugs, complaints, and a comparatively small prize pool. Blizzard develops their games from the ground up and at least attempts to listen to the population and pros of the game of how to keep things in check and continue to help the game grow. So that in turn gives a better chance of this game being competitively viable should that be what the community wants from Blizzard.

Valve on the other hand, only cares about DotA 2. Recently CS:GO may have gotten some much needed updates like hitbox fixes, peeking, and other great things, but it simply should not have taken this long for such a popular game, but what’s the alternative for a high level competitive first person shooter? Yes, there are the Call of Duty games, but if you’re strictly a PC FPS player like myself, those games seem to be more for consoles and aren’t as appealing. There really isn’t a wide variety. So Valve doesn’t feel the need to update a game that clearly has some issues with netcode and things of that nature, because there is no competition to push them to do so.

So that brings us back to Overwatch. If Overwatch totally fails, it won’t force any of the other games/developers to up or improve their game, they’ll simply be satisfied with what’s going on, because they won’t find anyone leaving for the competition. Competition from other games forces developers and publishers to be on the top of their game and really actually try to improve their product, and that is something that has been lacking in terms of PC FPS games.

Aside from the fact that Overwatch could potentially create competition for other games, let’s just talk about how this game is a little different. The main thing most people are talking about is the special skill sets each character gets, something most people consider the little bit of MOBA stirred into the Overwatch cocktail.

The abilities of the hero, Widowmaker.
The abilities of the hero, Widowmaker.

Many will be reminded of Team Fortress 2 and with good reason, the similarities are pretty obvious if you’ve played TF2. And yes, Overwatch is a different game from CS:GO just simply by the sci-fi nature of the game versus CS:GO’s more grounded arena, but it is still an FPS, and in a lot of ways instead of grenades you simply have different skills. The core of an FPS is aim, positioning, and picking smart fights, and I’m certain that core is in tact in Overwatch.

At the end of the day, whether or not I enjoy Blizzard’s Overwatch, I want it to succeed, because I want it to push other games to be even better and you should too.

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