Overwatch on Switch is kind of a big deal for me. I'll cut right to the bottom line and say that I'd consider Overwatch to be my favorite game of the DECADE. It was such a big deal for me that I literally sold my Xbox One the week that the Switch port was announced. In fact, I was relieved that I didn't have to pay for another year of Xbox Live. Or Gold. Or whatever it was called.
Back when Overwatch launched in 2016, I actually preordered it based solely on how much I had enjoyed Hearthstone and Heroes Of The Storm. Two totally different games from a competitive 'hero shooter,' but I figured why not? And initially Overwatch felt like a Team Fortress kind of deal and I bounced off it. But a few months later I gave it another try, and started reading about it more and it just clicked with me.
In the years since, it's remained in my rotation. And I've actually kept up with it like no other game. Like I mentioned, I bought it again on Xbox One when I got out of PC gaming and had some friends willing to play it with me on console. Even weirder, I even got into Overwatch League, and have been watching it for the first two seasons.
I should maybe NOT admit how into the game I can be. But whatever. There's literally Luci-O's cereal in my kitchen right now. I still wear my Boston Uprising 'inaugural season' t-shirt probably weekly. I've received all kinds of Overwatch merch as gifts. Heck, there's even a Pachimari plush toy in my daughter's nursery. I'm just not like this about other games.
But please don't think I'm saying I'm good or anything. I'm not. I'm fine. I'm competent. I try hard. I care about not dragging my team down. But I'm perfectly happy staying in a casual lane. And when I'm practicing a new character, I'm also fine with playing against bots. I have no delusions of being great. But that's not what OW is about for me. It's just a great way to relax.
Anyway, I'm approaching this Switch port as someone who has played hundreds of hours over the past several years - both on PC and on Xbox One. Is the framerate lower? Yup. Are textures going to be simplified? Sure. Is it the absolute best version of OW available? Of course not. But here's the thing - and this is true of many Switch ports nowadays for me - it doesn't matter. What matters is that the EXPERIENCE is here. The past few nights I've played OW in a way I was never able to before: sitting on the couch, next to my wife while she read a book; or while listening to the TV in the background. It's an absolute game changer for me to have the ability to play OW without shutting myself away in the game room. And that is worth whatever sacrifices the port makes.
My personally, I don't find the handheld great for FPS games. I think my hands are too big, and I don't like position of the analog sticks. But I've been standing the Switch up and playing with a Pro Controller and it's perfect for me. People are going to hate that progression isn't cross platform. And that's a legit downer. But I can deal. I had to start over on console once before. It is what it is.
All I can tell you is this: since the Switch came out, my number one dream port was Overwatch. That's the one game I wanted, and now it's here. I'm beyond happy that this exists. And that it's playable! And for now, I'm having fun grabbing Halloween loot boxes as I slowly level up once again.
I had taken a break from Overwatch for the past few months because I felt like the rumors of it coming to Switch HAD to be true and I didn't want to re-up my Xbox subscription. Coming back to the game now is soooo comforting. Who says you can't go home again, folks?
Quick Play now has a queuing system where you choose the roles you're willing to play: Tank, Healer, or Damage. It's a nice touch. And now there are mandatory slots for two of each of those roles on a team. I can see the pros and cons of this, though I think the pros win ultimately.
The downside is that this may prevent some truly insane and interesting team compositions. I mean, if a team was really badass using six healers, I'd want to see that. Y'know? But really what this does is cut down on some tension on picks. There's no more situations where you go into a match annoyed that nobody wanted to play healer.
Of course a mandatory composition does mean that things could get sort of stale (such as with the so called GOATS meta that invaded Overwatch League for a while there... I remember the most exciting matches were ones where teams got creative with their picks and bucked the trend). But then on the flip, each class does have some picks that could still think outside the box. It's been shown that Zenyatta can be a legit pick for damage. And D.Va is a tank, sure, but she feels more like a damage-tank combo. Even Soldier 76 can be seen as a quasi-healer if played right.
The bigger thing for me is that it's helping me branch out a bit more outside of my chosen favorites. If I get called in to tank and someone else picks D.Va (my absolute favorite in the game) then I need to get better with someone else. And though it seems like I get picked to damage less than the other roles (not surprising), it's fun to see what the team looks like and pick accordingly, bouncing around between whoever - Solider 76 or Widowmaker or anyone really.
Anyway, I'm still having a blast YEARS into playing this game. The Halloween event is always fun, and starting from scratch (YET AGAIN) means unlocking new skins and stuff feels sort of more exciting than it had for me in a while.
I mentioned before that I actually quite like the new 2-2-2 role requirement in quick play. Well, this is why... it's forced me to start experimenting with new characters instead of sticking solely to my favorites. Personally, I always queue up to play ANY role and let the cards fall where they fall.
It's rare that I get picked to play damage, but when I do there's generally a few picks I'll have. I've been a longtime fan of Soldier 76. But I'll sometimes attempt Widowmaker on a defend map. And there's a handful of others I enjoy playing. So that's not too much to think about.
On the tank front, D.VA's been my favorite forever. Though given my preference to play her somewhat aggressively, I'll now tend to wait and see what the other tank player chooses and try to compliment them with D.VA or Orissa as necessary. So that's cool.
For a while support was a tough role for me. If I could get Zenyatta then I was happy. I feel like I'm comfortable with him and can kind of swap between playing him aggressively or not depending on the situation. However, I didn't really have a secondary support so if someone grabbed him first then I felt like a detriment. Until now.
It turns out that I REALLY enjoy playing as Ana as well. As a sniper, she feels a little less stressful or stealthy to play as than Widowmaker. And as a healer she's interesting as her ammo heals allies which means you're still doing a ton of shooting and throwing grenades for damage while healing at the same time. It's an interesting approach. Plus, her sleep darts are badass if used in a well thought out way. Congrats, Overwatch. You've made it fun to play support.
You can't open competitive play in OW until you hit level 25. Not that I play comp, but it's still like a badge to earn. And obviously I've already done this on PC and Xbox One long ago. Anyway, last night I was a small bit of XP away from 25, so I'm like I want to do this as D.VA (my fav) and make this an awesome win. It was a payload map. We're so close. We can see the goal. Clock's ticking down. Four seconds left. Their whole team is like a brick wall. I use my boosters and fly up over them, drop behind them and self destruct and jump on the payload un-meched. We're in OT now. It's moving slow. My team catches up to me. I'm back in the mech. Problem is we're right at their side, so as they respawn they have like zero walk to get back to us and defend. Overtime, overtime, overtime, it just keeps going. Every time I see one of their players go down, two more respawn. If one of us go down it's a longer walk to get back. Overtime, overtime, overtime, just keeps going! We are but an inch away from victory but they won't let up. I get un-meched and pushed back and we lose. My heart's pounding. I hit 25. I send kudos to three of my teammates. Even though it was a loss, it felt like a win in the same way that Rocky did. We lost, but I knew I had played the hardest and smartest that I could of. I did everything "right." Every decision was what I should have been doing, they just played better. But that's okay.
I always enjoy the holiday events in Overwatch. I feel like the temptation of those limited edition skins really brings out the best (skill) in players. Which is to say, I've been seeing a lot of losses this week. Everyone wants those sweet sweet skins. I'm close to nabbing that Soldier 76 ugly sweater myself.
It's crazy that a game that I've been playing on other consoles for years is already my #5 most played Switch game right now. This is within a two month span!
Also I got a Play Of The Game as Zenyatta which blew me away. It's not often you see a POTG from a Support. And it was for actually saving lives, not for kills. I think he's my best Support - easily - yet, I admit also play him fairly aggressively. So it was cool seeing the POTG was me dropping Transcendence at just the right time to turn the tides.
The new season of Overwatch League started over the weekend. It was exciting for me, and thank goodness my daughter decided to take a nap just in time for me to catch Boston Uprising's match against New York. Sadly, NYXL crushed the Uprising but it was still a lot of fun to get back into OWL.
The Uprising's roster is totally different this year. I only recognized two faces - Fusions and Colourahex. And the rest of the chairs are filled by rookies, which is interesting anyway. Clearly from this game it looks like they've got a ways to go before the gain the synergy that some of my favorite players shared.
One of the reasons I love watching OWL is because it pumps me up to play the damn game, though. Like, I only started playing Zenyatta last year after catching some phenomenal plays with him in OWL. And because of that I started playing him fairly aggressive. Watching this game, it got me pumped to play Tracer who I haven't bothered with since the beta in 2016. I jumped into a game last night and on my first map as Tracer got like 14-1 KDR. That felt good.