Today my social media feeds are abuzz with the latest Overwatch event, one centered around Overwatch’s one year anniversary.
Per usual there are a number of new skins scattered among the characters, while other characters are ignored, an issue I’ve always had with the events since their inception.
Some of the new skins I quite like:
While others invoke feelings of “meh” to outright dislike:
And there were a whole slew of new emotes in the form of dances for each and every character. While many of these certainly fit the character, such as Reaper crossing his arms and slightly tapping his foot, they aren’t exactly ground breaking additions to the game. They are cute and mildly amusing at best but the Twitter chatter alone would make you think Blizzard reinvented the wheel with these emotes.
To be fair I do enjoy Overwatch for what it is, a solid team based hero shooter and even put it in my top ten last year (although if I wrote that list today after playing a number of 2016 games that I missed out on Overwatch would have been bumped out of the top ten), but I have never been in love with it the way so many seem to be. It never quite grabbed me the way it did others and I find it laughable that so many people gave it 10 out of 10 scores and made it GOTY last year, its good but not that good.
I’ve been playing a lot of it lately as my children and girlfriend have recently fallen in love with it and a good portion of my weekends with them are spent passing the controller down the line playing matches. Doing this with their account has brought my attention to one of the biggest problems with the game and that is the utter shiftiness of the the loot box system.
Not only do many characters get passed over for the “cool” new skins it is incredibly unlikely that you’ll get a skin for a character that does have one AND that you actually play as (unless you are the rare breed who has equal love for all characters). Since the beginning of April the kids and I have pushed their account’s profile from level 1 to the upper 20s and have almost exclusively received sprays, voice lines, player icons and the occasional victory pose. Very few skins have been in the boxes and in fact during the last event the only character skin of note we saw was Mercy medic attire.
As the game doesn’t have traditional FPS unlockables (i.e. guns and whatnot) the only bait on the hook to keep playing (aside from enjoyment of the game) is the loot boxes in the hopes of getting something that feels worthwhile.
This is where the game is still failing a year in.
Player icons, sprays and whatnot are not making it feel worth my time to play the game. Even my children are put off and disappointed by the constant stream of bland content in the boxes we play hours to earn, getting yet another voice line when all we want is a kickass new character skin.
The randomness of the loot boxes is even more disappointing if you actually give in and shell out real world money for some boxes. I made the mistake of doing this once last summer and found the same frequency of disappointing content in the boxes I paid money and not time for.
So while every one is cheering on the cute new dances of their favorite characters I’m left sitting here shaking my head as I wait for some actual improvements to the game in the vein of the decision to not let people pick the same characters (the single best thing they ever changed).
That said I do have to admit I really dig D.Va’s new attire.