Overwatch is Shiny Because of All The Polish

May 06, 2016

Yesterday, the open beta started for Blizzard’s Overwatch, their new game that will release at the end of this month. After months of iterations and improvements to the gameplay during closed betas, we’re finally approaching its release. It’s Blizzard’s new IP in a while, and it has gotten lots of love even before release. It all started with their stylish reveal trailer, which gave me some serious Pixar-vibes.

People instantly fell in love with the characters. And it’s not hard to see why: Overwatch — and even just that first trailer — just oozes style! The characters’ portrayal is just just one of the aspects that the people at Blizzard seem to have pulled off.

A screenshot of the pre-game phase. As you can see, character models — you see Tracer here — look great, and the typography looks great as well.

There’s only one word I can really use when I think about this game, and that word is polish. The characters1, the typography, animations, the game’s performance and framerate, everything seems to be so well optimized and polished that I was pretty amazed when I started the game yesterday. It’s clear that a lot of love went into this game.

Very polished games like these are a rarity in the games industry, especially when it’s a game that’s being published by one of the major studios. After all, we’ve seen games ship seemingly broken for the last few years — which is partially to thank to their extreme complexity.2

In that regard, Overwatch is like a breath of fresh air. Stylish and polished. (And pretty fun too, although I haven’t had much time to play it yet.)

  1. The characters that are introduced in the trailer above can be quite memorable as well. For example, Tracer, who is basically the mascot of the game — she’s pictured above — not only looks like a fun character, she exudes character with her witty lines and banter, the most memorable of which is probably “The cavalry’s here!”. 

  2. For instance, Dark Souls 3 has been in the news lately because of online hackers getting legitimate players softbanned. No methods are in place to avoid malicious behaviour. I think we reached a noticable start of this phase of botched AAA releases a while ago, when we saw Assassin’s Creed Unity’s release — which needed many patches before it became playable for a lot of people. There have been some fairly disastrous game launches ever since.