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.