Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. The game is themed around the roster of over 30 different heroes, each with unique style of play that is categorized into three general roles that fit their purpose. The heroes can be further customized using the cosmetics unlocked from loot boxes that can be earned or paid for using microtransactions. The game has been supported as a live service with new characters, maps, and game modes post-release, all free of charge. The Legendary Edition includes 3 months of Nintendo Switch Online
Overwatch is an online team-based game generally played as a first-person shooter. The game features several different game modes, principally designed around squad-based combat with two opposing teams of six players each. Players select one of over two dozen pre-made hero characters from one of three class types: Damage heroes that deal most of the damage to attack or defend control points, Tank heroes that can absorb a large amount of damage, and Support heroes that provide healing or other buffs for their teammates. Each character has distinct individual stats that build into their skill sets which include their weapon, two or three abilities, one or two passive skills and an ultimate ability that charges over the course of a match that can shift the tide of battle. The Nintendo Switch version includes special controls that take advantage of the Switch's capabilities like gyro controlling Junkrat's RIP-Tire. Players can change their hero during the course of a match, as a goal of Overwatch's design was to encourage dynamic team compositions that adapt to the situation.
The game features game modes for casual play, competitive ranked play, and for supporting esports competitions including Blizzard's Overwatch League. These modes generally are centered around sequentially securing control of points on the map, or escorting a payload between points on the map, with one team attacking while the other defends. Other modes set aside for casual matches include solo and team deathmatch, capture-the-flag, and unique modes run during various seasonal events. Regardless of winning or losing a match, players gain experience towards a player level, and on gaining a new level, receive loot boxes that contain cosmetic items that they can use to customize the appearance of the hero characters but otherwise does not affect gameplay. Loot boxes can also be purchased through microtransactions.
- Wrecking Ball
- Soldier: 76
The backstory to Overwatch is described through animated shorts and other information distributed by Blizzard in promoting the game.
Overwatch is set sixty years into the future of a fictionalized Earth, thirty years after the resolution of what is known as the "Omnic Crisis." Before the Omnic Crisis, humanity had been in a golden age of prosperity and technology development. Humans developed robots with artificial intelligence called "Omnics," which were put to use to achieve economic equality, and began to be treated as people in their own right. The Omnic Crisis began when the worldwide automated "omnium" facilities that produced them, started producing a series of lethal, hostile robots, that attacked humankind. The United Nations quickly formed Overwatch, an international task force to combat this threat and restore order.
Two veteran soldiers were put in charge of Overwatch: Gabriel Reyes and Jack Morrison. Though Overwatch successfully quelled the robotic uprising and brought many talented individuals to the forefront, a rift ended up developing between Reyes and Morrison, and Morrison became the leader of Overwatch while Reyes took charge of Blackwatch, Overwatch's covert operations division. Overwatch maintained peace across the world for several decades in what was called the "Overwatch Generation" as the team gained more members, but the rift between Morrison and Reyes intensified. Several allegations of wrongdoing and failures were leveled at Overwatch, leading to a public outcry against the organization and in-fighting between its members, prompting the UN to investigate the situation. During this, an explosion destroyed Overwatch's headquarters in Switzerland, purportedly killing Morrison and Reyes among others. The UN passed the Petras Act, which dismantled Overwatch and forbade any Overwatch-type activity.
Overwatch is set six years after the Petras Act; without Overwatch, corporations have started to take over, fighting and terrorism have broken out in parts of the globe, and there are signs of a second Omnic Crisis occurring in Russia. A former member of Overwatch, the intelligent gorilla Winston, decides to begin reforming Overwatch to protect the peace once again despite the Petras Act, with the team members recruiting old friends and gaining new allies in their fight. Thus it is also revealed that Reyes and Morrison were not killed in the explosion, that, in fact, was the result of a battle between them: Morrison became a masked vigilante known as "Soldier: 76", who is trying to uncover the reasons why Overwatch was shut down; while Reyes joined the criminal organization Talon and became "Reaper", a terrorist disguised as Death.