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Blizzard Announces Overwatch

Blizzard has opened up BlizzCon 2014 with the announcement of Overwatch, a "supercharged team-based shooter" which will begin beta testing next year (the trademark for this was discovered in April). Signups for the beta are underway right now on the brand-new Overwatch website where they offer a cinematic trailer and a gameplay trailer. Here's more:
The action of Overwatch takes place in a technologically advanced, highly stylized future earth. In a time of global crisis, an international task force of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities known as Overwatch had come together to restore peace to a war-torn world. After many years, the group’s influence waned, and it was eventually disbanded. Overwatch might be gone now . . . but the world still needs heroes.

With an emphasis on accessibility and pure fun, Overwatch brings Blizzard’s signature easy-to-learn, hard-to-master gameplay to the FPS genre. Harnessing the power of their hero of choice, players will join forces in teams of six and battle each other across a range of futuristic global locations, from the hologram-lit streets of London to a bazaar in the shadows of a high-tech Egyptian pyramid. Every battlefield is iconic and built to highlight each character’s unique abilities, and fights can shift from streets to rooftops to open skies within the span of a breath.

“Overwatch is our take on a vibrant, near-future universe with amped-up characters and action-packed team-based gameplay,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “With every new Blizzard game, we look at our favorite aspects of a genre and put our own spin on things. Our goal with Overwatch is to create an awesome FPS experience that’s more accessible to a much wider audience while delivering the action and depth that shooter fans love.”

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66. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Jan 12, 2015, 18:12 SM0k3
 
This actually looks pretty damn fun, definitely reminiscence of early TF2 when it was still simple before all the crafting & the micro-transactions. Will be checking this out...  
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65. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 9, 2014, 21:03 Flatline
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Nov 9, 2014, 06:14:
Wowbagger_TIP wrote on Nov 8, 2014, 15:39:
Have we even seen nearly enough to know whether it is innovative or not? Really, how innovative was TF2? It was just a well-polished and pretty well-balanced team shooter with a fun art style.
The graphical style was unprecedented at the time. I can still remember how impressed I was with the visuals when I first played it. In contrast this looks dated, with poor animations, low texture detail and low poly models. It is utterly derivative.

For Blizzard's first new IP in decades it's extremely underwhelming. More effort was put into the cinematic trailer than the game itself.

Not only that but from a visuals standpoint alone Valve went full into role recognition with standout silhouettes and characters that still "pop" even in the middle of a shit load of chaos.

And... let's also not forget that TF2 was the follow-up to the mod that basically *started* the team based classed FPS genre.

We'll see with this. What makes me cautious is that Blizzard is falling back on 10 *years* of design and giving us something that isn't impressive.

It'll still make money like gangbusters though because Blizzard could put their logo on a festering open herpes sore and people would still line up to lick it.
 
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64. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 9, 2014, 06:14 theyarecomingforyou
 
Wowbagger_TIP wrote on Nov 8, 2014, 15:39:
Have we even seen nearly enough to know whether it is innovative or not? Really, how innovative was TF2? It was just a well-polished and pretty well-balanced team shooter with a fun art style.
The graphical style was unprecedented at the time. I can still remember how impressed I was with the visuals when I first played it. In contrast this looks dated, with poor animations, low texture detail and low poly models. It is utterly derivative.

For Blizzard's first new IP in decades it's extremely underwhelming. More effort was put into the cinematic trailer than the game itself.
 
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63. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 9, 2014, 01:48 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Osc8r wrote on Nov 8, 2014, 17:49:
Even the trailer looked unbalanced. Oh look, i stealthed into a group of players and clicked one button and killed 5 players.

Sounds like a MMO trying to be a FPS.

Yay?

Like FPS's need to be more accessible or dumbed down. But hey, thats blizzards specialty!

No idea how easy or likely that is to happen. I'm sure the spy would look seriously OP if you didn't have the context to understand how to counter them in TF2. We don't have nearly enough info to determine much of anything about the balance in this game. Seems silly to rip on it before at least seeing some actual matches played.

Besides, there are more than enough non-stylized or pseudo-realistic shooters out there already. A lot more of those than there are of this sort of game anyway.
 
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62. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 8, 2014, 19:06 FloorPie
 
So its a Pixar inspired UN Super Justice League Team Force OverWatch Saves the Day FPS shooter with cornball antics and cheesy lines? Thats what I got from the cinematic trailer anyway.

I think I prefer the Pandas of MoP.

Oh, and where is my Starcraft: Ghost? Dammit. You wanna make a FPS? Bring back that old project Blizz. Or just a SC based FPS game.
 
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61. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 8, 2014, 17:49 Osc8r
 
JeffD wrote on Nov 8, 2014, 03:30:
PropheT wrote on Nov 7, 2014, 18:34:
If that cinematic was "pretty laughable bad" then I have no f'ing clue what you'd think was actually good. Show that cinematic to people without telling them what it was from and they'd probably think it was Pixar.

The gameplay, though, is just TF2 mixed with Monday Night Combat. I was about as excited as I've been for a game in a while after the cinematic, and after the gameplay trailer all I am is disappointed that it's just another multiplayer team shooter.


I ment the cinimatic trailer was just a horrible story representation of the universe. Crashing an overwatch museum with stereotypical tongue in cheek gags? How are we supposed to take it even remotely serious?

As for "just another multiplayer team shooter".. are you fn kidding me.. did YOU even watch the gameplay trailer? You have 12...TWELVE Classes so far, each has there own skills and play style. Not all of them are twitch based front line assaults. And there will be MORE coming. The diversity of group combinations is going to be huge. Bigger then anything currently out there in the FPS market. And balance is paramount so if there is anyone who can do this right, it is either blizzard or ncsoft, so I am glad to see one of those doing it.

Even the trailer looked unbalanced. Oh look, i stealthed into a group of players and clicked one button and killed 5 players.

Sounds like a MMO trying to be a FPS.

Yay?

Like FPS's need to be more accessible or dumbed down. But hey, thats blizzards specialty!
 
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60. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 8, 2014, 16:56 NewMaxx
 
Wowbagger_TIP wrote on Nov 8, 2014, 15:39:
Have we even seen nearly enough to know whether it is innovative or not? Really, how innovative was TF2? It was just a well-polished and pretty well-balanced team shooter with a fun art style. This one looks to be much the same in the visuals and gameplay concept, but beyond it being a team shooter with more classes than TF2, we don't know much. Definitely a wait and see thing, but it looks promising.

Word on the street is that it was built from salvaged Titan designs. That wouldn't surprise me at all given that there seem to be a lot more "types" of characters than you typically find in a TF2-like game. I imagine the resulting archetypes were resolved from the various races/classes from Titan. In my experience, balance in PVP is always an issue and a large part of that is from "flavor of the month" and the like. If you look at any modern MOBA or even arena fighting games (like Smash Bros) you see a similar pattern. Does it affect the "average" player? Not at all. Let's be clear, though, that the highest grossing players (from Blizzard's perspective) are the top and hardcore players.

These are the guys who are also streaming and getting the game out their socially. That dynamic with freemium games is not something I think a lot of older PC gamer types have wrapped their heads around yet, but I can assure you that it most definitely affects innovation. I've seen it as a growing trend as a player in the last few years, where design decisions are skewed towards making certain people happy at the detriment of others. It's bad enough in a situation like WoW PVP, which is level in that everybody pays a subscription but not everybody engages in PVP. Now take away the sub and make it only PVP and you might start to see what I mean.
 
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59. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 8, 2014, 15:39 Wowbagger_TIP
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Nov 8, 2014, 09:11:
It's TF2.5 with Pixar style cinematics. It's not even close to as innovative as TF2 was for its time.

Have we even seen nearly enough to know whether it is innovative or not? Really, how innovative was TF2? It was just a well-polished and pretty well-balanced team shooter with a fun art style. This one looks to be much the same in the visuals and gameplay concept, but beyond it being a team shooter with more classes than TF2, we don't know much. Definitely a wait and see thing, but it looks promising.

 
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58. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 8, 2014, 09:11 theyarecomingforyou
 
JeffD wrote on Nov 8, 2014, 03:30:
As for "just another multiplayer team shooter".. are you fn kidding me.. did YOU even watch the gameplay trailer? You have 12...TWELVE Classes so far, each has there own skills and play style. Not all of them are twitch based front line assaults. And there will be MORE coming. The diversity of group combinations is going to be huge. Bigger then anything currently out there in the FPS market. And balance is paramount so if there is anyone who can do this right, it is either blizzard or ncsoft, so I am glad to see one of those doing it. :)
It's TF2.5 with Pixar style cinematics. It's not even close to as innovative as TF2 was for its time.

I'll wait to see how the game turns out but I really can't get excited about it.
 
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57. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 8, 2014, 07:53 Deathbishop
 
Everyone said Hearthstone was 'just another CCG' and we see how that's going for them.

Some seriously jaded people up in here. This is a new Blizzard IP with the next iteration of TF2 to boot. They might as well start printing money now.
 
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56. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 8, 2014, 03:30 JeffD
 
PropheT wrote on Nov 7, 2014, 18:34:
If that cinematic was "pretty laughable bad" then I have no f'ing clue what you'd think was actually good. Show that cinematic to people without telling them what it was from and they'd probably think it was Pixar.

The gameplay, though, is just TF2 mixed with Monday Night Combat. I was about as excited as I've been for a game in a while after the cinematic, and after the gameplay trailer all I am is disappointed that it's just another multiplayer team shooter.


I ment the cinimatic trailer was just a horrible story representation of the universe. Crashing an overwatch museum with stereotypical tongue in cheek gags? How are we supposed to take it even remotely serious?

As for "just another multiplayer team shooter".. are you fn kidding me.. did YOU even watch the gameplay trailer? You have 12...TWELVE Classes so far, each has there own skills and play style. Not all of them are twitch based front line assaults. And there will be MORE coming. The diversity of group combinations is going to be huge. Bigger then anything currently out there in the FPS market. And balance is paramount so if there is anyone who can do this right, it is either blizzard or ncsoft, so I am glad to see one of those doing it.
 
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55. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 8, 2014, 03:10 Osc8r
 
That looks... bad. Props on them if they are able to dumb down the COD genre though.  
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54. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 8, 2014, 00:57 Wowbagger_TIP
 
I'll give this a try. Looks pretty TF2-ish, but I liked TF2, so that's not really a bad thing. Not sure what some people have against stylized characters. They seem like they'll be pretty interesting and fun to play.

I like the verticality of the game, which is something we didn't get enough of in TF2. The grappling hooks and other abilities should add a lot of variety to the gameplay. I haven't been much into MP shooters for a while, so I'll probably get my ass handed to me, but hopefully it'll be fun anyway

Just hope they don't make a mess of this one the way they did with D3!


This comment was edited on Nov 8, 2014, 01:06.
 
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53. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 7, 2014, 23:58 TangledThorns
 
Looks like the perfect game for people who are too dumb to play Battlefield 4  
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52. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 7, 2014, 23:40 loomy
 
I can break the tie: this game (and the cinematic) are 100% laughably derivative... and also 100% good.  
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51. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 7, 2014, 22:17 Fantaz
 
1 word... meh.

i prefer my realistic shooters rather than the cartoony nonsensical crap. this game is not for me.
 
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50. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 7, 2014, 22:00 Creston
 
*hollywood voice over*

"In a time of global crisis... a coalition of soldiers... scientists... adventurers... and oddities... comes together and restores order to the world. They are known as... the Overwatch!

dramatic pause

"They're all gone now. Please welcome to our game: The Overwatch!"

You need to hire better writers, Blizzard.

to a bazaar in the shadows of a high-tech Egyptian pyramid

Egypt doesn't build pyramids anymore. They kinda stopped doing that awhile back, sorta right around the time you began work on Titan.

fights can shift from streets to rooftops to open skies within the span of a breath.

So, in a second? You can go from streets to rooftops to the sky in a second? That sounds rather uncontrollable.


Our goal with Overwatch is to create an awesome FPS experience that’s more accessible to a much wider audience

More accessible to a much wider audience than what? Other FPS games? So you want to make a game that's somehow more accessible than, say, Call of Duty, a game which is played by roughly 89% of the world's population?

This entire press release is a just a confused burble of synergy words.

/snark off.

They still make cool cutscenes though

This comment was edited on Nov 7, 2014, 22:10.
 
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49. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 7, 2014, 21:58 Agent.X7
 
Well...I'm glad they canceled Titan. Oooh, look at the pretty colors on those anime rejects!  
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48. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 7, 2014, 21:27 Cyanotetyphas
 
Looks like it could be fun. Not going to pay for an arena shooter in this day and age though.  
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47. Re: Blizzard Announces Overwatch Nov 7, 2014, 21:25 Yakubs
 
"FPS experience that’s more accessible to a much wider audience"

How come no one here has commented on this? FPS games are already symbols of stupidity in the gaming market (CoD, Halo, etc) and Blizzard wants to make it even worse? It's not a surprise but it's still depressing that this is what they've come to.
 
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