Fantastic, frantic shooter with some violence, open chat.
Based on 105 reviews
Based on 300 reviews
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Overwatch is an online multiplayer, team-based, first-person shooter available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows-based PCs. Primary gameplay consists of two teams of six players each fighting each other for control of specific areas or objectives. Characters battle using a variety of weapons and special abilities, ranging from more realistic handguns and melee weapons to over-the-top futuristic superpowers. Although the violence is a big part of the relatively nonstop action, there's very little in the way of blood. The basics are easy to learn, though the game's large roster of unique characters and abilities adds an extra layer of complexity to the experience. Overwatch features a widely diverse roster of characters from every corner of the globe, representing a range of genders, races, cultures, sexualities, and even species. While there's no profanity in the actual game, the online matches could expose players to offensive language from other players. Parents should also be aware that Overwatch includes microtransactions in the form of loot boxes, which contain cosmetic additions and can be earned through gameplay or special promotions or purchased via the in-game shop.
this game has no skill based matchmaking
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Fast paced shooter game is one of the most kid friendly shooters.
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What’s It About?
In OVERWATCH, it's been 30 years since humanity fought against artificial intelligence in the global war known as the "Omnic Crisis." Overwatch was the international task force formed by the United Nations to keep the peace between humans and AI. The heroes of Overwatch continued to protect the world for years, becoming a beacon of hope to the people. Then things began to change. Accusations of corruption and criminal activity began to tarnish the reputation of Overwatch, leading to the unexplained destruction of the team's headquarters. Branded as criminals, traitors, and even worse, Overwatch was officially disbanded. With no one to stand against the forces of evil, peace is being threatened once again. Despite being divided, disgraced, and disavowed, the world needs the heroes of Overwatch now more than ever -- but who will answer the call?
Is It Any Good?
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.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about violence in gaming. Is the impact of the violence in Overwatch affected by the unrealistic visuals? Would the impact be intensified if the violence was more bloody or gory? How does the violence in Overwatch compare to that of other games in the same genre? Does the violence change the way you view the story?
How can strong communication skills help when working with others to accomplish a goal? Is communication necessary to be successful in Overwatch?
Talk about representation in video games. How important is it for audiences, especially younger audiences, to see characters who mirror their own race, gender, etc.? How can this sort of representation help kids feel more accepted?
- Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
- Release date: October 15, 2019
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Superheroes, Adventures, Robots
- ESRB rating: T for Blood, Violence, Use of Tobacco
- Last updated: October 18, 2019
Our Editors Recommend
Halo 5: Guardians
Violent, addictive sci-fi shooter remains very engaging.
StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void
Thrilling, violent end to the StarCraft II strategy series.
Star Wars Battlefront
Though sci-fi combat can be repetitive, this game's a blast.
For kids who love sci-fi
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