In Blizzard’s first attempt in years to branch out from their Warcraft-Startcraft-Diablo trifecta that has been working so well for them, Overwatch is ready to take the stage. In its team-based FPS gameplay, Overwatch combines the specialize roles of Team Fortress 2 with the story-rich, uniquely designed characters of games like League of Legends to create a very distinct game that is part shooter, part MOBA.
However, as 9.7 million players found out during the open beta, Overwatch is not the patchwork Frankenstein designed to add more characters to Heroes of the Storm that you might expect. The 21 different characters coming out at launch all feel as unique as they look, creating a wide variety of ways to play the game. However, while part of the fun in Overwatch is discovering what makes each character unique, when the game launches on May 24th, those with a particular play style in mind will want to try out these characters first.
Choose Your Overwatch Hero
Dominating through Defense
Bastion is not typically a character that most people start off a game with. He is best switched to later depending on how the game is going, but his major strength is that he is able to turn the tide for the losing team. While almost absolute garbage when on the attack (except in Payload) and vulnerable if not placed in a good position, if you are defending an objective and are able to find a good choke point, Bastions ability to transform into a stationary turret can absolutely mow down rows of enemies. With the ability to repair himself and a shield that gets tossed down when set in sentry position, he is a formidable defender. However, don’t let anyone get around to your exposed rear or you are dead.
Healing and Parkour
Lucio is a support class hero and easily the best healer in the game. However, even for those that hate healing, he is also one of the most fun heroes to play in Overwatch. His healing skills also come with a increased movement speed buff and the ability to wall walk, so you can rush to your team’s aid in the blink of an eye. His ultimate, Sound Barrier, is able to put up a shield around your allies, perfect for capturing an objective, and all the while Lucio can put out some pretty decent damage.
Unlike other healing heroes (I’m looking at you, Mercy), you don’t need to stick to other heroes like butter because of a lack of offensive ability. As Lucio moves so fast, you can get anywhere you need to be in a hurry. If you are playing with a group of friends, he is the ultimate way to support them while being fast and fun all at the same time.
Fulfilling a Desire to Become a Impenetrable Wall of Metal
When it comes to playing a pure tank, there is no hero stronger than Reinhardt. With decent mobility and an absolutely ridiculous shield, Reinhardt makes players a powerhouse when pushing up to capture points. Although Reinhardt has a lack of ranged abilities, his Charge can essentially take out almost any hero while his Earthshatter ultimate is able to stop multiple enemies in their tracks. However, it is his shield that makes Reinhardt such a desirable tank to play. It takes so much damage, that most players don’t even find it worth it to try unless they have a few team mates to help. If you can position yourself in front of your offensively strong allies, they can shoot through the shield and it can turn the tide of a game.
Well-Rounded, Somewhat Boring Offense
In a game full of vibrant and unique characters, Soldier: 76 is the most generic of them all. However, as boring as he is to look at, it doesn’t change the fact that if you want solid offensive ability and want to play Overwatch like a more traditional FPS, the soldier can provide. His Pulse Rifle features great stopping power and accuracy from a long range, and his Tactical Visor ultimate essentially turning you into a sniper, providing you have a line of sight. Yet, his AOE healing provided by Biotic Field also grants him some support capability, particularly when heroes are all grouped up taking a capture point.
Proving How Good You Are at This Game
While Genji stands among the strongest offensive heroes, players are going to need fast fingers, good instincts, and perfect reflexes to play him at his best. With the highest skill ceiling of any hero, Genji is as good as you can make him. When facing long ranged players, you can deflect their shots if you are quick enough as well as close the gap between you with quick movement capabilities. While Genji’s Shurikens can help do damage from moderate range, he is very much a close ranged character.
Genji’s double jump and wall running make him fun to play like Lucio, but unfortunately, he is a major glass cannon. If you cannot effectively reflect shots or get caught up close and personal with a tank, Genji will easily shatter.
Controlling All the Zones
Mei may look like one of the Ice Climber twins, but don’t let that sweet baby face fool you, she is a force to be reckoned with. While Mei is excellent on defense, she is squishy enough that she should never lead a charge like other tank characters. However, her utility is second to none. Her Endothermic Blaster can not only slow other players down, but if she lands enough hits, it can actually freeze them solid for a few seconds. This gives her enough time to switch her he Icicle to land one or two shots to the head which is enough to end almost anyone. Icicle is also effective enough to poke players at a range as well.
However, Mei truly shines with her ability to Ice Wall. This can be set up in corridors or choke points and is strong enough to withstand a few shots. Combine Ice Wall with her Cryo-Freeze ability that freezes herself and Mei not only becomes virtually untouchable, but also heals while in her ice shell. This allows her to easily sit and wait for the cavalry to come. While not particularly powerful on its own, combine her AOE Blizzard with the AOE abilities of other players and Mei can easily take out a whole team if they are grouped up.
Hitting, Running, Redoing
As essentially the face of Overwatch, Tracer is one of the more forgiving heroes in terms of skill. Similar to Genji, Tracer is all about mobility. However, she is not a close quarters hero. She needs to be able to move in order to be effective. With Blink, Tracer can bypass the enemy team’s defenses in order to hit them from behind and toss her Pulse Bomb ultimate into their ranks. It is also worth noting that Tracer with her Blink up is nearly impossible to catch, allowing her to hit a few shots and run when things get hairy. However, if you do mess up, her Recall ability also rewinds you three seconds in time, returning you to the position and health you had at the time for a Prince of Persia style redo.
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