For years, Blizzard Entertainment has made a name for itself by crafting amazing worlds filled with entertaining characters, and then setting players loose to be a part of that universe. With Overwatch, that tradition continues ... wrapped in a Pixar-esque sci-fi wonderland filled with unique and interesting heroes and villains. As fantastic as the Overwatch universe is, though, little of the story unfolds over the course of the actual game. Outside of the game's cinematic opening and some occasional in-match dialogue between certain characters, there's not much character or plot development. The characters don't even have full backgrounds or expositions in the Hero Gallery, just a short one- or two-line bio synopsis, customization options, and a list of abilities. To get the full Overwatch experience, you'll have to look outside the game, to tie-ins like websites, books, animated shorts, and more.
What Overwatch lacks in story development, it more than makes up for in gameplay. Each individual in the game's 20-plus strong roster feels like a complete and unique character. Plus, by allowing (even encouraging) you to swap out characters mid-match, Overwatch gives you more than enough opportunity to find the heroes or villains that fit your particular style of play. The basic controls are easy to pick up and learn, but figuring out the best tactics to use, both for your character and as a part of a team, adds a layer of complexity that will take plenty of time to master. There are plenty of reasons to keep coming back to Overwatch as well. Outside of the main six-vs.-six multiplayer matches, you can test your skills in the Practice Range or solo against AI-controlled heroes. Special events and limited-time game modes occasionally add new rules to matches that guarantee to mix things up. One week you might only be able to play as Tank class characters, and the next you might only be able to use headshots against the competition. There's no offline component to Overwatch, which means that to get the most out of the game, players will need to group with others online. The risk here is that online chat could expose players to toxic behavior. And while players can mute troublesome players or abandon chat altogether, communication between teammates does help considerably to coordinate strategies.