Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Overwatch: Rating all the characters.

Oh Hai, Jason here


Overwatch was arguably the surprise hit of 2016, not saying that it was expected to flop, but the game was clashing heads with the similar Battleborn which seemed to be getting more hype from the media. But Blizzard are a team that know what they're doing and delivered a well crafted online  team shooter which has become a massive success with a passionate following. One of the main secrets of it's success has been its phenomenal cast which is full of vibrant characters. It's to Blizzards credit that they've crafted a game that feels like it has a rich story....without having any actual form of story mode...it's the little touches that form Overwatches personality.

But I digress....we're here to rate the 24 current cast members (Doomfist is not playable at the time of writing) using unscientific and completely bias methods. I'm going to rate each character on two separate traits...one rating for character....aka how interesting they are as people/robots and one for how enjoyable they are to actually play, and in regards to character it'll be based purely on the game itself and not outside lore such as comics and the like. Oh and you might not agree with me on everything....or anything, but that's just fine cause if we all had the same opinion then the world would be without marmite (and many other things).

Ana


Character: Ana has the distinction of being the first character added to Overwatch after the games release. But outside of that fact....she's a bit on the dull side. She's the mother of Pharah, was one of the original members of Overwatch and uses a biotic sniper rifle that uses the same tech as Mercy uses for healing...but other than these traits she doesn't have much personality. 3/10

Gameplay: Playing as Ana is, well...fine I guess. She has a bit of a weird quirk in that she's technically a sniper yet you'll tend to find yourself not sniping much while playing as her. Ability wise her grenade which heals her friends and hurts her enemies is fairly good and can be a real pain for Mei's and Roadhogs. Her sleep dart however is a bit awkward to use and Ana's ultimate rarely turns the tide. An Ana that divides her time between attacking and healing is a good ally but to actually play as....meh. 6/10

Bastion


Character: Bastions biggest issue as a character is that he only speaks in beeps and whirring sounds. This limits how much character he can express as it's not like he can have a pre-game natter with any of the other characters, in fact if it wasn't for his little bird friend he'd have hardly anything going for him but at least it's nice to know what the omnic grunts look like. 3/10

Gameplay: But when it comes to actually playing as Bastion things improve a great deal. One of the best defence strategies is a good bastion with another character who can use a shield ability to protect him and he's capable of being a match winner. His turret mode is his ace up his sleeve and he may just be the best choice for dealing with frustrating Pharah's. The only downside is that his ultimate ability is a bitty iffy, personally I find aiming in Bastion's tank mode to be highly inaccurate and clunky. 8/10

D.va


Character: D.va doesn't have as much lore and connection to the history yet she is arguably the games most popular character. Now lets be honest....this is partly due to the fact she's an attractive female, after all Overwatch is one of the most searched for pornography terms (Don't worry the link is SFW....as long as you don't click anything else on the page). But in fairness it's also due to her bright design and the interesting concept of being a mecha pilot. She also has some interesting lines such as "The destruction caused by the Omnic here....it reminds me of home" which hits me in the feels every time. Yeah lets be honest D.va is great and the games most beloved and cosplayed cast member. 10/10

Gameplay: Few characters have been adjusted by Blizzard as much as D.va. Originally the poorest tank the game had, this was in part because of the binary nature of her shield which has since been changed and now has a meter that recharges over time, making it a more useful shield. Her boost ability is good at getting her back in the fight but is a bit tricky to control and her ultimate is devastatingly powerful, but give the opposition plenty of warning meaning it can often be ineffective. D.va is one of the most enjoyable tanks to play....but not always the most useful. 7/10

Genji


Character: What is life without a cyborg ninja...a question that Shakespeare himself pondered I doth believe. Genji's a character who has a significant amount of story in the game (relatively speaking). Brother of hanzo, pupil of Zenyetta and once upon a time a tear away, Genji is a change man who's destroyed body has led to him reflecting on who he is. Quite an interesting character and quite a cool design. 8/10

Gameplay: Genji is arguably one of the more skillful characters to play. With his double jump, sword slash (that also acts as an escape move) and shruiken that requires a fair bit of precision a Genji player needs solid judgement to dance around their opponents....and a good Genji Player can be a nightmare to go up against. His ultimate is fine, but needs to be used at close range. Genji's also something of a rock paper scissors character, being deadly to a foolish Bastion but a smart Winston can deal with him no problem. 6/10

Hanzo


Character: The grumpy Bow and Arrow wielding brother of Genji has rather dashing facial hair, clearly he spends quite some time on it. Hanzo's the grumpy sort who seems to be as aggressive as his brother was...but has never grow out of it. I've always felt that Hanzo is something of a villain, although more because he's so stubborn than anything else. Beyond that there's not much else to say......Hanzo can be a bit bland really. 4/10

Gameplay: Hanzo is a pretty fun character to play, probably the most enjoyable sniper....yet 'maining Hanzo' has become a bit of an insult somewhat amusingly. Truth be told a decent Hanzo can be useful due to his recon arrows, and has the capacity to be a one hit kill character...he also benefits from having one of the best ultimates in the game. Thing is he's not a very good attacker yet people still choose him far too often. 6/10

Junkrat


Character: I'll be up front with you all....I'm a Junkrat fan so this may end up being a bit bias. But yeah, he's a fun character with lots of little traits such as being a bit twitchy and the singes at the tips of his hair. There's also a decent amount of plot in Overwatch in regards to Junkrat with his partnership with Roadhog and the fact he has some sort of Omnic treasure stashed away. Yay for Junkrat. 8/10

Gameplay: Again....I'll be up front with you, Junky is my main (although I tend to adapt). Hes' pretty deadly both up close and from a distance and as long as you pepper the enemy with your bombs and remember you can use his mine as a grenade and as a way to launch him to higher parts of the map. He's also pretty good at dealing with shields and his ultimate can be a game changer if used well. 9/10

Lucio


Character: Lucio's a bit of a strange one....he's well designed visually, being cool but not trying so hard to be cool it's cringe worthy, and he's often taken centre stage, being the face of Overwatch's first ever event revolving around the Olympics, and being the finale of the intro. But story wise he's pretty bare bones, other than being a DJ and being a fan of equality theres not much other than a hint of romance with D.va. Still he's a likable enough fella. 6/10

Gameplay: When it comes to playing as Lucio...well he's been a bit of a sleeper hit, with not many people playing him in the early day but over time he's arguably become the most popular support types to play. This is likely because his speed boost allows teams to get to points very quickly giving them a bit of an advantage and he's a decent attacker, although too many people don't use him as a healer well enough. His Ultimate is useful, but not that much of a game changer. 8/10

Mccree


Character: I didn't like Mccree for quite a while....feeling like he was a pretty bland character who was just a boring looking Clint Eastwood cliche, but I've turned the corner a bit. This is mostly because if some recent additions to the pre-game chats alluding to his criminal past and the fact he switched sides which gives Mccree a bit more depth. He still looks a bit boring though. 5/10

Gameplay: Mccre is a funny one, since you often see people choosing him when the team really doesn't need it...I mean seriously if your team is on defence you don't need a Mccree for crying out loud. He's moderately fun to play with his flash bang being pretty deadly but his roll is just utter cack even though it does reload your gun (I didn't realise that for ages). His ultimate ability is a bit fiddly and reeeeally signposts itself, but can be a game changer. 6/10

Mei


Character: Mei's a bit of a personal favourite as I think she's pretty adorable, I'd also argue she has some of the most fun emotes in the game. She's also quite a unique female character in the sense that she doesn't have a stereotypical thin figure and is more natural, which is a positive. Plot wise though the threads are a bit thin as she's just trying to help protect the planet and doesn't have too much connection with the other characters. So strong design, nice personality but a bit thin when it comes to plot. 6/10

Gameplay: Alot of people aren't fond of having Mei's on their team and that's for one reason...her ice wall ability which alot of trolls use at the start of a game to block their own team for a few seconds. What's more a foolish Mei player may block people's shots and attacks. But people can be unfair to Mei players as sometimes she's put up that ice wall in front of a Bastion with a Reinhardt in front of it and you were going to get made into mincemeat and you don't need to call me a fu.....sorry was having a flashback. Mei's attack is a handy one as well since its stops opponents dead in their tracks and her ultimate is one of the best ones. A bit of an under rated and under used character...maybe because she's kind of in between being an attack and defence character. 8/10

Mercy


Character: The Queen of healers is a pretty strong character. She's one of the most genuinely good cast members although does have a hint of arrogance about her (a bit like most doctor's really). Mercy also appears to be ageless as she was an original member of Overwatch yet seems to look almost the same. She also has some story links to Ana as the biotic technology Mercy uses for healing was used without her knowledge to make Ana's gun. Oh and alot of peoples ship her with Genji nowadays, lucky robo bloke 8/10

Gameplay: Being the most supportive support character means that Mercy is always useful to have on your side, however she's also a character that can be played poorly as many players just heal one character and never switch to anyone else in need. Her Ultimate can change the course of the game but can also be used badly to resurrect a single person straight into the line of fire. She can be fun to play but it depends on the team, as you've got to look out for her and few do. 8/10

Orisa


Character: The newest member of the roster, Orisa suffers from lack of connection to any other cast members meaning she has little connection to anyone other than her sort of kind of creator, Efi. Design wise she's pretty interesting being almost a centaur like creation with a hint of Barret from Final Fantasy 7. She needs more time to settle in really. 4/10

Gameplay: There seemed to be a lack of interest in Orisa at first but that seems to be changing as she's a very useful character. Her shield is second only to Reinhardt's in usefulness...but unlike Reinhardt Orisa can continue fighting once the shield has been deployed. Her grab sphere is also pretty handy and one of my best kills ever was dragging four enemies off the edge of the map with it. Her Ultimate isn't quite a game changer but it is pretty good. She really doesn't have all that many weaknesses and I'd argue she's the best all round tank Overwatch currently has. 8/10

Pharah


Character: Pharah's a pretty strong character, with her mother being an original member of the Overwatch team and Pharah herself wanting to become a hero, plus her interesting mecha outfit with a slight Egyptian theme to it, she defies stereotypes, a strong example of how Overwatch does diversity the right way. 7/10

Gameplay: Pharah also plays in a very unique way as although there are character that can leap high and clamber up walls, she's the only character that can fly (more or less) which makes her a unique threat. Her knock back grenade can be very dangerous on certain maps and her ultimate can be a major threat, although does leave her a sitting duck, especially to Soldier 76 and Bastion who are her nemesises (or is it nemesi?). 9/10

Reaper


Character: Reaper benefits from being the main villain of the initial roster giving him a place all of his own. Throw in also being an original member of Overwatch and theres plenty of story to give him value. Reaper also has a very cool look, part matrix, part Rambo, part ghostface from Scream. Even his weapons look badass. 8/10

Gameplay: Personally I find reaper one of the trickier characters to use, due to the fact he's next to useless from a distance and doesn't have that much health and has to sneak in via his teleport and mist form abilities (yes I know I'm not using the proper names). But Reaper does have one of the most devastating ultimates in the game. In all one of the trickier characters to use but a good Reaper user is always an asset. 6/10

Reinhardt


Character: Reinhardt plays the role of every ones favourite grandpa doomknight, an elderly gent who would probably like nothing better than to have a good old fashioned scrap and then kick back with some beer and various flavoured sausages (ahem) while having a chat with the very opponent he just defeated. Design wise he looks quite villainous, but he's defiantly a good guy and would probably be great fun going out on the booze with. He does look a bit generic though and his classic armour is a bit lifeless. 7/10

Gameplay: Reinhardt plays a pretty unique role within the roster as he's currently the only melee character, having to rely on swinging his hammer about to attack his enemies. He's also the most tank like tank with his shield being an essential part of many attacks...although Orisa has usurped him from that role a bit. Ability wise his hammer beam thingy is okay...just okay, and his charge attacks is high risk but often disrupts the opposition if it hits the right enemy. His ultimate is fine, but rarely a game changer. He has an important role, but can struggle with poor support from team mates. 7/10

Roadhog


Character: One of the nastier members of the roster, Roadhog looks like the sort of guy who'd eat roadkill, go to strip joints and go on alt-right marches. He certainly seems happy to kill whoever bothers him. Design wise he's a bit meh, other than being pretty obese and having a hook theres not much to write home about. 4/10

Gameplay: Roadhog is the king of health as he has plenty and can self heal, but still needs to make sure he retreats when things get hairy. His hook ability is highly useful and very much his signature. His scrap gun is powerful but with only four shots and a slow reload time he can get himself in bad positions if he's not mindful. His ultimate is dangerous but tough to control......and backfires badly in the face of a deflecting Genji. 7/10

Soldier 76


Character: Originally front and centre back in Overwatches glory days as Jack Morrison, time and the fall of Overwatch has transformed him into a grizzled veteran character with a hint of Clint Eastwood about him. His face mask is pretty cool but does impact on how much personality he has on display as ultimately soldier 76 is a pretty cliched character who often just comes across like a grumpy old man who should be complaining about millennials all the time. 5/10

Gameplay: Solider 76 is the most FPS themed choice in the game with his normal assault rifle and his normal cross hairs....yet the fact he's the only character that plays in this way makes him feel unique. His healing ability is useful and allows him to be used as a backup healer and his rockets are pretty powerful. Throw in his useful sprinting ability and an ultimate that is always a danger and Soldier 76 is very useful and always fun to play as the most pure attacking class. 9/10

Sombra


Character: Poor Sombra was the victim of over hype, being built up heavily and then being considered a bit of a let down. Character wise she's actually fairly interesting being a member of Talon, the main villain group...but her loyalties are shaky at best and Sombra appears to be out for herself. Look wise she's pretty interesting although suffers from a bland weapon (and some of the dullest alternative costumes in the game....but that's an article for another day). Generally interesting but needs a bit more love. 6/10

Gameplay: The reason that Sombra's hype backfiring was the fact that she's a bit fiddly to use, and when she is being played well her impact on the game isn't obvious to the others....just remember that if you've got a Sombra on your team, and you haven't seen the oppositions Reinhardt about for a while...that may be thanks to her. Her Hacking ability is very handy and her main feature but her teleport a bit less so and many people seem to use it poorly. Her ultimate is very weak and doesn't seem to do much....Blizzard really could do with improving it....and she needs to be able to hack turrets without them shooting at her as this SHOULD be her most useful skill. Just a bit unfocused really. 4/10

Symmetra



Character: Another member of the group who suffers from having little plot....other than the fact she's a perfectionist and can't handle things being wonky the game doesn't give her a whole lot of story. Look wise she fairs better having quite an elegant look without being overly sexualised, but there's not really enough here. 4/10

Gameplay: Symmetra is one of those characters who's gone through a few changes, most notably her ability to give each member of the team a shield was removed, swapped out for a physical shield that could be fired forward and her ultimate was altered so that players could choose a shield generator. Her turrets are a real hassle especially if people are too stupid to focus on dealing with them first. Her weapon is quite interesting as once it attaches then aiming isn't needed....we've all faced that one symmetra that makes mincemeat out of everyone. Her aforementioned ultimate is her real ace in the hole...the shield generator is very useful but the teleporter is the real star and a well placed one can often win games. Only real issue is that shes not always that fun to actually play as. 7/10

Torbjorn


Character: If Reinhardt is your friendly old grandpa then Torbjorn is the grumpy racist one who doesn't understand why you haven't moved out yet like he did when he was your age even though housing is ten times more costly now even when adjusted for inflation. Yeah he's not that nice a guy and is pretty prejudice toward the Omnics. Look wise he's fine but nothing that interesting and a bit too similar to Reinhardt really. 3/10

Gameplay: But....he's a highly useful member of the team. Once essential for every defending team he's been nerfed a bit but is still very handy, and the changes to the way he collects scrap has made his armour ability more practical. People often underestimate him in a gun fight as well, with his primary fire being quite accurate and long distance and his shotgun being pretty deadly up close...I find him weirdly effective against D.va's. His ultimate is pretty strong as well and can stop an opposing team dead in their tracks, but the fact is he'll usually be working away on his turret so he can be a tad dull to play. 8/10

Tracer


Character: Tracer is very much the cover girl of Overwatch and is an incredibly likable character being genuinely good and very perky and cheerful, she also has quite a bit of plot including a relationship with Widowmaker which is both antagonistic and flirty, a strong friendship with Winston and more recently a suggestion that Soldier 76 is her father. She's not the obvious choices for the face of the franchise, but she is the best choice. 9/10

Gameplay: The reason I said above she's not the obvious choice for face of the franchise is because of the way Tracer plays.....I would argue she's the trickiest character to play, mostly because of her wafer thin health bar and how well her abilities need to be used. Her dash ability needs good timing and spatial awareness to be effective and her rewind ability can also be misused. Her guns always feel like they need to be reloaded a bit sooner than you like and her ultimate is pretty powerful but needs good accuracy. Good Tracer players are very dangerous and will give the opposition real headaches....but bad ones are an utter liability (although if they don't try then they'll never get better). 6/10

Widowmaker


Character: Widowmaker is very much the tragic heroine as she was originally married to a member of Overwatch before being kidnapped and experimented on to change her physical form and make her emotionless. I kind of wish there were more hints to the tragic side of her character in the game as many of the little touches just focus on her being a cold hearted killer. She's pretty cool looking and probably has the most blatantly sexy design although her weapon is a bit meh looking. 7/10

Gameplay: Widowmaker is a sniper through and through which means she's an acquired taste...but theres also a console/PC divide with her as she's much easier to use with a mouse and keyboard. On consoles (which is how I play) she's one of the weakest characters and often a liability. She also suffers from the poorest abilities in the game...her mine being easy to spot and not that deadly compared to Junkrats traps and her grappling hook having an extremely long cool down time for an ability that isn't that amazing. Her Ultimate is somewhat useful but not a game changer...she really needs some improvements. 3/10

Winston


Character: Winston has two things going for him, the first is the fact that he's very much a front and centre character what with being the force behind trying to reform overwatch. Second...he's an ape with glasses. Yet in spite of this, I find him rather boring as a character and I don't know why, he's just a bit of a bland personality. Maybe it's because of the fact he's been given Roman Reigns levels of unearnt attention by Blizzard (a wrestling reference for those who don't get it) or maybe its because of how he plays.... 4/10

Gameplay: Poor Winston...he really is one of the worst characters in the game. His shield is a flimsy piece of tracing paper, his leap is a fine escape move, but nothing special and his Tesla gun is pretty weak and only works up close, I'm not a fan of his ultimate either as it's tricky to use and aim his attacks properly. His one redeeming feature is that is dangerous against nippier characters, especially Genji...if you've got an annoying Genji to deal with the switch to Winston for a bit. 2/10

Zarya


Character: Zarya is rather unique among female characters with that fact that she's depicted as a strong and muscular character. This has of course caused some males to whinge (probably the sort of bell end who uses the term "cuck" regularly) but I gives her an identity all of her own. Story wise there's not too much other than a potential rivalry with Sombra and the fact she's not a fan of any form of Robot. She looks cool, but there's not a whole lot to say. 4/10

Gameplay: Zarya is another character who requires alot of skill to play due to her shields which she can place on herself and someone else and that when hit with attacks, increases the strength of her weapons beam. This means that to get the most out of Zarya's attacks, the player has to time the use of these two shields to get the most out her. Of course a good Zarya player is pretty hard to put down with her recharging shields being a major hassle. Her ultimate is fairly good but ideally needs to be paired up with someone Else's ultimate for max damage. 7/10

Zenyatta


Character: Let's be honest here, a Buddhist Robo Monk is a fairly unique idea, and Zenny does have his fans (its Zenny to his friends) and being the only Omnic character does give him a good amount of connection to the story but personally I find him to be a little dull....and I think I may be a little unfair in that view point. His design is pretty interesting what with floating off the ground via robo flatulence and his orbs.....yeah sorry I just find him somewhat mundane and can't find much to say. 5/10

Gameplay: It felt like there was a patch of time when everyone picked Zenny as their healer of choice. This may be because he's not half bad at attacking with his orbs being highly accurate and quite rapid firing. Hes a sold healer as long as the person playing as him pays attention and his debuff orb is very handy. Ultimate wise...well his ultimate which heals everyone near him rapidly should be really useful but for some reason never acts as the game changer it should be. Probably the best pick for a healer who wants to get their hands dirty. 8/10

So that's that for this (long) ratings list of all the current Overwatch characters.....of course some of you might not agree and that's fine, feel free to say who you love and who you hate and why in the comments. Time for the cleanup

Theres an Overwatch page to follow right here.

Geekmash over here.

Myself here.

And I really need to start giving the facebook page some more love right here.

Catch ya later yeah!

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