Overwatch is all the rage. I was skeptical at first, but I eventually succumbed to the hype. In the first couple of hours, I didn’t get it. This didn’t feel like a competitive first-person shooter, a genre I’d grown to love. However, Overwatch gradually changed me. It challenged my expectations and assumptions in regards to the FPS genre and I suspect will have a lasting impact on those that follow it.
I first jumped into the game thinking, “it’s a first-person shooter, I know what I’m doing.” I was partially right; Overwatch is technically a first-person shooter. But it’s also a hero shooter, which meant I absolutely, totally, one-hundred percent had zero idea what I was getting into. I therefore got my ass handed to me, repeatedly. I’d go into every battle head on, always hitting shift to sprint (stupid) and unsurprisingly, losing a bunch and angering my teammates. Instead of thinking I was doing something wrong, I naively assumed that I was not meshing with this game. Put simply, I became doubtful that this was a game that suited me.
But then something clicked. I watched how others played, I got some tips from my friends and all of a sudden things began to make sense. With Tracer and Lucio, I needed to move just as much as I shot; with any support character I always needed to keep something between me and the enemy and concentrate my fire on my allies; with Torbjorn I needed to hang back, dropping turrets and taking potshots; and with Reinhardt I could simply sit at the objective with a shield up and bash away any enemies that dare come close.