Recently, IGN did a controversial re-review of Overwatch in 2020 where the site gave it a 10/10. While the review may resonate well with some, its YouTube video currently sits at 8.6K downvotes with only 7.5K upvotes. Here is a more critical review of the game after its four-year anniversary.
Overwatch was a solid game when it was released in May of 2016, and it remains both a relevant game and esport. There have been a lot of changes since then, but it remains popular. Personally, I give Overwatch an 8/10. It does do a lot of things right, but it isn’t without its flaws, like IGN’s review might have you believe.
What Overwatch does right
Overwatch has the type of polish one would expect from a AAA title. It presents players with a vibrant and colorful interpretation of a futuristic Earth. The attention to detail and artwork in the game is top-notch. Overall, it looks great and feels great to play on both PC and console.
Overwatch also has a lovable cast of characters known as “heroes” (even though some of them are canonically bad). The heroes all have deep lore and backstories that are discussed in dialogue with other characters or on certain maps.
Lastly, Overwatch offers a unique and enjoyable gameplay experience. It blends MOBA-like heroes into an objective-based first-person shooter. There are three different roles — tank, damage, and support — and each hero has different abilities tailored to their role. The game has a steep learning curve and offers hours of entertainment for those who can break the entry barrier.
What brings it down
Most of Overwatch‘s problems over the years have come from Blizzard’s inability to balance the game. Different meta games last for months without any significant balance changes. GOATS is a perfect example of this, a team composition that consisted of three tanks and three healers and lasted for most of the Overwatch League’s second season.
Blizzard’s efforts to balance the game have been so poor, in fact, that it had to resort to Role Queue to finally change the meta from GOATS, and later it introduced Hero Pools to try to keep the meta shifting. The community has been quite vocal about these changes, and while most of the community was okay with Role Queue, Hero Pools have been quite controversial.
Overwatch is in a better place balance-wise than it has been in a while, but it isn’t perfect. The measures Blizzard has taken have come with other issues as well. One extremely negative result of Role Queue is the fact that queue times have gone up dramatically. While this isn’t a direct reflection of the game as a whole, it certainly hurts the playing experience.
I love Overwatch, but to score it a 10/10 essentially implies that it couldn’t get any better, and it definitely can. Blizzard will continue to work on the game, and eventually, Overwatch 2 will come out. Hopefully, the game continues to improve and Overwatch 2 will be even better.