It’s official - iDigitalTimes’ 2016 GOTY goes to Overwatch . Not that this is much of a surprise to anyone following the heaps of GOTY stories coming out at the end of the year. Overwatch did more to reinvigorate the stale FPS multiplayer scene than any game in recent memory, and Blizzard deserves a lot of credit for consistent, engaging support in the form of cool events and amazing animated shorts. Here’s what the iDigi staff thought about Overwatch , and why we decided to include it on so many of our GOTY 2016 lists:
Overwatch will appear on the top of many Best Of lists this year, and rightfully so. This multiplayer shooter is so filled with creative characters, wonderful animation, a backstory you can sink your teeth into and a thriving community that is maybe a little TOO into the game.
This is an online shooter for those who don’t like online shooters. If you’ve ever been turned off of the genre as a whole, at least try out Overwatch . There’s bound to be at least one character you'd like to play as and see success with.
Oh yeah, and keep those amazing animated shorts coming!
Overwatch flew under in the early months of 2016 as it fought to separate itself from Gearbox’s Battleborn . Both were shooters with cartoony art styles and hero-like characters, but it was Blizzard’s winning formula that stood out from the pack. Prioritizing pure skill over weapon upgrades, this is a game that anyone can get into at any time. There are no skill tiers leaving noobs behind and no intrusive microtransactions to detract from the gameplay.
Beyond that, however, Overwatch has succeeded in creating the type of multiplayer-only service that so many other titles have failed to cultivate. With continued support through holiday events, constant communication and an already thriving eSports community, Overwatch clearly left its mark on 2016 and beyond.
Overwatch - Do you really think there was any game that’s going to beat Overwatch ? I’ve spent hours upon hours perfecting my Mei icicles, Reinhardt slams and BM emotes. It’s the closest thing to a perfect multiplayer game and the only thing that ruins it is having to play with other people. Even with the caveat of human interaction, Overwatch is still amazing. I scream when I get headshot by a Widowmaker on Watchpoint: Gibraltar and cheer when my allies shoot back. Winston and his band of buddies will be an important game of the gaming ecosystem as the years go on, heroes never die!
I wasn’t sure whether or not to include Overwatch on my 2016 GOTY list. There’s still plenty about the game I don’t like, particularly what I believe to be an over-emphasis on ultimate abilities and last-second comebacks. That said, it seems silly to ignore the game’s popularity, not to mention the fact that I’ve reinstalled Overwatch to participate in all three — Olympics, Halloween and the going Christmas festivities — of this year’s timed events. I’ve also taken the time to participate in all three ranked seasons, spent $30 on loot boxes and adopted a new VOIP client just to improve my average performance while playing Overwatch with friends who don’t live here in Colorado. Overwatch may not be perfect but it’s the breath of fresh air the first-person shooter genre has needed for several years.
Overwatch burst onto the gaming scene and transformed it, injecting life and color into the gritty, desaturated world of online shooters. The game’s appealing blend of diverse characters, mixed-media storytelling and addictive gameplay made it a magnet for many players disenchanted by League of Legends or tired of Team Fortress 2.
Overwatch has made such an impact it feels like it’s been out a lot longer than May of 2016. Blizzard’s ongoing release of comics and characters, and their continuing adjustments to the game’s balance, indicate they have a long life planned for Overwatch .
No ifs, ands or Tracer’s butts about it, Overwatch is the clear GOTY 2016. It is a transformative title for the genre and the “shooter for people who don’t play shooters” has found a lot of common ground for both. A thriving competitive scene offers all the depths the eSports fanatics could want, but it’s paired with casual modes that equally showcase the superior playstyle and design choices that distinguish Overwatch.