Overwatch and its downfall


Leah Parkhurst, Howler Staff Writer

Overwatch is a game created by Blizzard entertainment, fully released on May 24, 2016, with its announcement launching in 2014. Following the game’s release, many players of its genre found it a breath of fresh air. Overwatch struck a goldmine by combining aspects of games like Team Fortress II and Call of Duty to create a team-based, 6v6, objective game.

This game is what’s known as an FPS (first-person shooter); however, it has a unique take on the genre. In this game, you choose the character you play as, with each character getting their own abilities and strengths. Overwatch gave players unique freedom that, to this day, remains unmatched. This game is also not entirely mechanical skill-based, with several characters having weapons like staffs, hammers or flails. The game features a wide variety of heros.

As of April 2022, there are 32 playable characters in the game. The characters are divided into 3 categories/roles: Tank, Damage and Support. Each character has their own personality, voice lines, backstory and oftentimes game-changing abilities that make them special. You can play as a massive armor-clad veteran who wields a sci-fi shield and rocket-powered hammer, or you can play as a Brazilian, frog-themed DJ who can skate on walls and heals people with his music as he rides around the battlefield.

Overwatch’s popularity did not last. Updates for the game became less and less frequent as the developers began to focus on a sequel game. Overwatch has been in such a content drought, that almost nothing substantial has been added since 2020. Players are getting tired of the same metas (most effective tactics available) lasting for months at a time.

The reason given for the complete lack of content in recent years was the upcoming release of Overwatch 2. Players of the current game have joked that they’re just making a 60-dollar update. The Overwatch community has been continually disappointed throughout the past few years, with countless empty promises of better communication and the release of new content that remained continually unfulfilled. The new game was announced in 2019, and since then has been pushed back years at a time, with an official release date still remaining unannounced.

However, there is still hope for those waiting for this sequel. With the closed beta being announced for April 26th, 2022, and a new hero already being confirmed, new and old players are flocking to the game, giving it popularity that hasn’t been seen in years. Players are excited to see new content, and I hope that the new game director of Overwatch, Aaron Keller, and his team of developers will deliver.