Overwatch is free to play on PC


Game description:
The backstory of the tactical shooter Overwatchis much more complex than the simple gameplay suggests. The action takes place in a not too distant future on earth, where armed conflict is shaking the entire population. Progressively developed robots wanted to subjugate humanity, which is why a group of outsiders with different professions has made it their task to put a stop to this chaos. The new alliance of these peace fighters is called Overwatch. Their efforts ensured peace all over the world, but the influence did not last long. The alliance had to split up after conflicts over and over Overwatch.
In the first-person shooter, the new hero slips into one of the 21 different characters and plunges into the turmoil of two rival teams. In teams of six, players compete against each other in scoring points and transporting cargo. The primary objective is to take areas with one's team or to escort cargo from A to B and defend it from the opposing team. Only real team players who play with their team can decide the game for themselves.

Pedagogical assessment:
Easy to learn, hard to master
At the beginning, the young hero can play a tutorial in which the first basics and basic controls are taught. Soldier 76 - the hero of the tutorial and founder of the Overwatch alliance at the time - can shine here with a volley of fire and rockets, a bionic healing field and the tactical visor. The various skills can be controlled and activated using the mouse and keyboard or the gamepad. The player can then choose from 21 different characters, each with their own skills and individual strengths and weaknesses. The young hero usually gets to know this himself / herself in the matches, but can also play each character on dummies in the training room after the tutorial or go straight into battle against computer-controlled opponents. With this system, the shooter offers a good introduction and is therefore also suitable for newcomers to the genre. But it is still a hard way for them to learn all the skills, strengths and weaknesses of a character by heart and be able to use them accordingly. The knowledge of which figures harmonize with each other and with which characters the weaknesses of the opponent can be played out first has to be learned, which can take time.

The necessary variety is there - or not?
21 playable characters sound like a lot at the beginning - and they are too. Because usually the player first focuses on the one or two characters who scored points on the first impression. Little by little, the other characters become more daring. The ever new experiences that are made are a welcome change. The gorilla Winston, for example, is very slow but incredibly strong and can withstand a lot. In contrast, there is Tracer, a young woman who teleports through the playing card at lightning speed and cannot take much. On the other hand, she is very mobile and can bring some players to white heat with her hectic pace. The characters are divided into four different classes. Offensive, defensive, tank and supporter. The classes also add variety to the individual gaming experience with combinations and their own style of play. The player therefore takes on specific roles, such as healing teammates, providing support or securing defensive lines.
In contrast to the large selection of playable characters, the selection of game modes doesn't really shine. There are three different variants:

  • Quick search - A quick match against other players who have comparatively the same skills.
  • Brawl of the week - Also a normal match against other players, but with special rules, such as double lives or only supporters who change weekly.
  • Ranking match - based on won and lost matches as well as their skills, players are divided into different ranks. You have to work your way up to get better and better ranks.

The fact that there are only a few modes doesn't make the gaming experience any worse, as the variants are very varied. Ultimately, the game is fun in the matches and although most of the time the players only conquer points or transport a cargo, this does not get boring due to the dynamic gameplay.

Fast and action packed fights
As already mentioned, plays Overwatch very dynamic. The battles are very fast and the ability to change characters in the game creates a lot of rotation and tactical play. Young people aged 16 and over can easily find their way into it. For younger players this, in combination with the ego perspective, can lead to stress and overload. Despite the colorful, funny and detailed comic look, Overwatch a purely competitive game that only thematizes the battle between two teams. There is no embedded plot or story mode. Tactical and good hand-eye coordination are required within the game.
Even if it is Overwatch is a shooter, the representation of violence is not in the foreground. Rather, it is about playing together, dealing carefully with the skills and strengths of the characters and the tactical skills of the players. No blood flows within the fights and some of the characters are human-like - albeit fantasy beings.

Gambling addiction in Overwatch?
With game content such as stickers, emotes or sayings, it offers the possibility of designing the characters according to your ideas. The skins that change the appearance of heroes are very popular. This and other content is obtained from loot boxes that the player receives after each level up. In these there are always four objects with different values. A distinction is made here in colors. Gray items are the most likely to come out of the box, while gold items are the least common. Golden items are always very special character skins that not only change the colors of the clothes, but also give them a completely new look. However, the chance of finding such a rare item in the loot box is not very high. Therefore, Blizzard has made in-game purchases of these loot boxes possible. For example, the player can buy 24 boxes for 19.99 €. The content of this is again random. It can also happen that there is no rare item in any of these purchased boxes. This can quickly shift to the same feeling that begins with gambling. An ambition can arise to get the missing items through purchased loot boxes. But since this is pure luck, as already mentioned, a large sum can be spent here quickly. Younger players in particular are often not aware of the extent of such intoxication and can quickly lose track of money that has already been spent. Even adult players can often not hold back. It is therefore advisable not to link the account with a bank account, as one click with registered account data is enough to order a package of loot boxes. The content can still be played for free. This then takes longer, but the player has no other disadvantages.

Overwatch With its colorful and likeable comic graphics, it offers a good start into the shooter genre, especially for beginners. The controls are easy to use and play very smoothly overall. The 21 playable characters provide variety in the fast matches thanks to their individual skills and strengths. This means that the few game modes don't get boring either. New content for the game should be available completely free of charge in the future. It's a shame that the potential of the Overwatch story and its characters is not used in the game. There are very good short films and comics on the Internet that tell these stories.
The game is not suitable for young people under the age of 16 due to the required quick responsiveness as well as the required hand-eye coordination, the ability of tactical understanding and the combative setting. Younger players * may have their problems with the fast and dynamic style of play. In order to be able to enjoy the gaming experience, the age recommendation is from 16 years.