The new April event is the perfect showcase for practically everything that Overwatch has to offer.
It’s almost surprising that Blizzard’s competitive, team-based shooter Overwatch is still so loved almost a year after release. Turns out, dropping new content every few months will keep players interested for a pretty long time. However, Overwatch isn’t beloved by every gamer on the planet. Shortly after launch, many players criticized its repetitive game modes, and wished for a hearty campaign or story.
Overwatch Uprising is one of the aforementioned content updates. With it, the game has received a plethora of cosmetic items and a new temporary game mode. It may also hold the key to fixing the early quarrels of off-put players.
You see, Uprising puts players in the shoes of four eager Overwatch members: Torbjorn, Mercy, Tracer, and Reinhardt. These valiant heroes must save London alone, in a small quest set a few years before the game’s current timeline. While normal matches pit teams of six against each other, Uprising forces a team of four to face off against hordes of AI-controlled “Omnics”–sentient robots tied to Overwatch’s lore.
Instead of just moving a payload or taking a control point, players are tasked with completing a variety of objectives. Each type is taken from one of the game’s multiple maps. First, they must capture three points throughout the city, and strike down the machines that flood the streets. Next, they need to defend and escort a bomb, while encountering new kinds of enemies. Finally, players must work together to take down high-priority Omnics, while surviving the onslaught of lesser bots.
It’s interesting to see so many details lifted from the many maps and modes Overwatch has provided for the past year. The mix of playstyles and situations are perfect for teaching new players, while they also form great training moments for veterans. Uprising provides a smart introduction to the various tasks that heroes will need to focus on in a real match, like target prioritization or objective capturing. Yet it also distorts the game’s rules just enough to keep the mission interesting.
Playing against humans can feel like a slog after a while, but it’s riveting to mow down overbearing bots. Different difficulties provide a true challenge without feeling unfair. Hopping into Uprising on a higher difficulty almost feels like playing an entirely different mode. This is especially true with the included “All Heroes” version, which lets players defend London using any hero from Overwatch’s roster.
All of this is truly refreshing, and the promise of extra fun and new loot entices Overwatch fans to play the quest over and over. It hurts to know that Uprising is ending soon; which is why Blizzard needs to step up their game. The fans need more story-related content.
Imagine having 10-12 of these combat operations, each set in a different location while shedding light on the mysterious backstory in Overwatch. Uprising is fantastic because it gives players a glimpse into the organization’s past. Blizzard fleshed the world out to an extent via comics and animated shorts, but not every fan will see those. Every fan will see a shiny new game mode when the start up the game, though. Releasing small story missions every two or three months would certainly create longevity and relevance–two aspects the title may need as it heads into its second year.
Overwatch may not have needed a campaign at launch. However, Uprising is a clever and enthralling way to renew interest in the title. Its introduction is a nice teaser, but now we want more. The inclusion of extra quests would definitely draw players back in as a “relaunch” of sorts. If every mission made smart and exciting use of Overwatch’s mechanics and heroes, they would make an excellent game even better. Thanks Blizzard, for showing me a game mode that I didn’t even realize I wanted.