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First impressions: Overwatch offers nothing new (yet), but I’m buying it anyway

I’m going to be blunt: I don’t feel like a Blizzard fan. I know that may sound odd from the guy who plays Hearthstone more than any other writer on this site, but it’s true. I don’t hate Blizz, though. In fact, I generally want to be excited about Blizzard games. Even before I was making dollars for game reviews, I pursued games that were trying to offer new, unique gameplay, but after the mid 1990s, I’ve felt Blizzard simply couldn’t satisfy me. HS is fun, but launched as a bit of a simplified modification of Magic the Gathering; Heroes of the Storm is fun enough, but damn — Blizz was late to a party started by a fan’s mod and refined by a newcomer.

Even though Blizzard has been trying to balance genders, go with a multiracial cast, and insert cool cinematics (disclosure: one of my friends works on them), my few previous beta experiences with Overwatch left me hungry for something. Most of what I was doing or seeing felt entirely too familiar, like games I already bought and left behind. Blizzard jumping into the $40+ online-only multiplayer game market where populations hemorrhage shortly after launch just turned me off.

And then came the open beta, which finally led to a bit of an epiphany.

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PAX East 2015: Overwatch aims for fall beta, introduces two new characters

Blizzard is breaking out the big guns for Overwatch — in more than one sense of that term. The studio announced at PAX East today that it is aiming for a fall beta test for the superhero-themed online shooter.

To make you wish that fall were already here, Blizzard also dropped three big reveals for the game. The first was the playable character of McCree, an outlaw cowboy who deals out damage from his heavy six-shooters. The second was the buff female tank Zarya, who uses her mighty muscles to handle a giant particle cannon. And the third was a new PvP map, Watchpoint: Gibraltar, in which heroes will help to start up a communications array (or perhaps shut it down for good).

You can watch the McCree and Zarya reveal videos after the jump!

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