For a long time I was… I don’t want to say an Overwatch apologist, because I don’t think Overwatch is a game that needs apologising for. To this day, it’s a fine multiplayer game with a lot of obvious care and attention into making it the best game it can be.
But as the game has aged, my enthusiasm for the game has faded. Which is still something to applaud, that it got two and a half years with of me sticking up for it before finally being worn down by a crappy fan community and refocus from the developers towards the esport aspect of the game.
It’s been a few months since I played Overwatch with any enthusiasm, having other things going on in my life, like moving house, patchy access to internet and a crippling addiction to Destiny. But that’s the kind of game Overwatch was for me, one I’d play in fits and starts, taking a break before getting deep into it again.
What usually spurs on these re-visitations to the game are the seasonal events, the current of which is probably the one I most look forward to: the Archives event. For those of you who might not know what I’m talking about. The archives are events that focus on the lore of Overwatch, creating four man, cooperative experiences that shows some slice of the game’s history for the players to experience for themselves.
Despite how interesting Overwatch’s lore actually is, with it’s rather extensive cast of colourful characters, there is surprisingly little of it available, outside of some comics. So I jumped back in and found I had a lot of fun with the event. The mission itself was actually disappointingly short. But the upside to this is the ability to go back and play through it with any of the other heroes after the fact.
The event is short and sweet, fighting into a warehouse, holding off a few weaves of enemies before pushing a payload round a corner and then holding off some enemies again. It doesn’t introduce anything new to the game mechanically, but that’s not the appeal of this particular event. I played it through three times and found I was really enjoying it. I rediscovered some of that enthusiasm for the game that kept me so interested years later.
It enthused me so much that I thought, “hey, I haven’t tried that new hero; Baptiste out yet.” So I decided to jump into quick play game. The game I entered was already only two minutes from our team losing on the first point. I sighed and thought “no matter”, so I picked Baptise, saw a wrecking ball outside needed healing, left spawn and immediately died to a head shot from a Hanzo. And why I hadn’t played the game for so long suddenly all came flooding back to me.
I then turned the game off.
I used to be the person who was turn my nose up at all the people who would complain in online forums about wanting some single player experience within the game. This wasn’t that kind of game, if you don’t like multiplayer games; then you shouldn’t have picked up Overwatch.
Now, finally, I have been worn down and I agree with all of them. I’m tired of Overwatch’s online component. I’ve fallen into doing the same old stuff all the time, as I imagine everyone else has. I like this world and the characters within it, I enjoy playing the game too, but thing long after the game’s release, coupled with the refocus on the game as an esport, it feels like it’s just gotten away from me.
Playing Storm Rising, as tantalisingly short as it is. I just want a game in the world with these characters that has no competitive element. Have it be single player, have it be squad based like these events, I don’t care. But I’m tired of Overwatch, I don’t mean that in a angry, rage quitting kind of way, I mean it in a my limbs are made of lead and I don’t have the energy to continue kind of way.
If you’re still playing and enjoying Overwatch, I envy you, because you probably have friends to play it with. I might just curl up into a cocoon and play single player games for the next 12 months.