Multiplayer shooters live as long as they can maintain the interest of the audience, it is critical for them to win the attention of gamers and keep it. Few games succeed, but Overwatch, Blizzard’s debut in the FPS team genre, inspires great expectations. Let’s take a closer look at the game with GGsel. Until now, the king of the genre of team shooters with different classes of characters was Team Fortress 2, which goes, scary to imagine, the ninth year. And it is still played by tens of thousands of people every day.
Curiously, but in 2007 Valve, obviously, not counting on selling the multiplayer shooter separately, included it in the bundle of unprecedented generosity – The Orange Box. I’m sure that many people wouldn’t dare to try it, if they didn’t get it for free – either together with other Valve hits, or later on the free-to-play model. The first step of the TF2 to win the audience was its ubiquitous availability: in the case of the Orange Box, the players actually imposed it. But it was enough to try it, how the doubts were dispelled – it was an intuitive, diverse, bright and extremely fascinating shooter, which did not bother you a bit and you could spend days and weeks behind it.
And there were many contenders. Only where are they all? Does anybody remember Battlefield Heroes now? APB (2010)? Brink? Primal Carnage? Loadout? Even large and steamed up multiplayer shooters from industry giants, Titanfall and Evolve, “died out” shortly after the release: almost no one plays them anymore. However, there is every reason to believe that this will not happen again with Overwatch.
Blizzard managed to create an incredible excitement around the game. The open beta of Overwatch has gathered more participants than any other, surpassing both the record for Ubisoft Tom Clancy’s The Division and the hippie around the new Star Wars Battlefront. Unlike Valve with TF2, Blizzard didn’t have to impose its game on the public – people came to it themselves, biting their elbows (and doing nothing else) waiting for the Overwatch release, and after the release immediately dropped, seemingly ready for the whole server.
And it’s very likely that people will stay in the game – just for the reason that many Overwatch scolded. It’s not a free-to-play game, and the person who is willing to pay $40-60 for it is by default much more interested in it than the person who ran in to “click” on a pro bono game just because it’s not worth anything. The absence of modes other than multiplayer in the game ensures that everyone who bought the game is interested in it and not in anything else.
Finally, the user base Overwatch will not be fragmented, as it often happens with shooters, for which there is a lot of DLC. Blizzard promises that all characters, modes and arenas will be released in the future for free, which means that all players will always be equal. The phrase “everything is equal” generally describes Overwatch very well and distinguishes it from other shooters. No pumping, no perks, no customization. The weapon in your hands will be exactly the same as the enemy’s weapon. He can have no advantage over you, except his personal skill. Everything is as honest as possible.
And Overwatch shows by his own example that all of the above is not necessary to shooters. Levels here exist only to emphasize the approximate amount of time spent on the game, and to award cosmetic items. Microtransactions are also tied exclusively to “cosmetics”. Overwatch is a clean, distilled team shooter with no unnecessary things. If you are interested in computer games, you can also look at the new Need For Speed Heat.