Every so often, a video game comes out that is so wildly popular that non-gamers regularly bring it up in a conversation before gamers do. That has been our experience with Overwatch, Blizzard Entertainment’s hero-based team shooter. It is a game that has dominated the internet since its release in the form of dank memes and an uncomfortable amount of pornography. Blizzard even erected giant action figures around the world to market the game’s launch. That’s what’s we in the business call a marketing power move. No other game achieved this level of pop culture saturation since Grand Theft Auto V in 2013.
Fortunately, Overwatch deserves all the attention it’s getting. Not all of it is positive, but a little controversy is to be expected when your game is this massive of a hit. Blizzard, a developer that historically puts most of its stakes in the PC gaming landscape, has crafted a first-person shooter that rivals all of its competitors. Similar style games like Gearbox Studios’ Battleborn failed to make even a splash among consumers and critics in Overwatch’s wake.
Blizzard should be praised for its diverse cast of 21 characters in the initial release of Overwatch, which includes 8 female characters and a huggable gorilla scientist. Many cultures are represented among the heroes. Cover girl Tracer hails from the United Kingdom, brothers Hanzo and Genji are native to Japan, and justice storm cloud Pharah calls Egypt her home. Body diversity is a welcome subversion of traditional hero stereotypes. Mei is as cute as she is chubby, but neither of these traits will stop her from impaling your face with an icicle.
Overwatch is a multiplayer only game without any form of story mode, but its lore is as fleshed out and rich as any other Blizzard game. Every character has a fully realized backstory that is told through comics and Pixar quality animated shorts. The game plans to carve out its own space in eSports and is in the midst of its first competitive online season.
Also it is also worth mentioning that the game is really fun to play, in case none of your friends have told you yet. Half of the TSG staff can’t get enough of the game so if you’re playing on PlayStation 4 or PC feel free to add us. And while you’re at it, give three cheers for the Calvary because Overwatch wins our Game of the Month for Mei!