Recently been playing this a decent bit (after over two years off) with some friends on PS4 and while I am moderately enjoying my time, I feel like it's very much a social experience where I turn off my brain and just giggle with some buddies than any kind of compelling, competitive or strategic multiplayer engagement. More like how watching paint dry with friends could possibly be fun, and even then there are times where it still pushes me into mind-numbing boredom as I go through one overwhelmingly one-sided steamroll into the next (whether I win or lose).
I feel like the mark of a good competitive FPS is that you're having fun even when you're losing. That push and pull between both sides in a constantly changing environment forcing both teams to adapt to each other's playstyles, forming new strategies as matches go on in order to secure wins. The tragic comedy of Overwatch is that even winning is made to be unsatisfying, primarily due to a roster so bafflingly unbalanced that it makes my head hurt.
You have characters like Junkrat who win by pressing and holding down one button and then get rewarded with an ultimate that's almost always GUARANTEED to get at least 3-4 kills in even the most braindead of player's hands, Roadhog who has one of the largest healthpools in the game, an easy one-shot kill on most squishies having a very small cooldown with his hook, and a SELF-HEAL THAT MAKES HIM TAKE 50% LESS DAMAGE, or Moira who can routinely out-heal other healers and out-damage the team's DPS despite being an incredibly low-skill cap character, it's unreal. Meanwhile a character like Cassidy's only saving grace, the flashbang (which Overwatch 2 bewilderingly strips him of), is on a ten second cooldown, and is easily baitable, boasts very low mobility, a mediocre healthpool, and struggles to get any mileage out of a very predictable, easily counterable ultimate. This feeling of being underpowered is taken to its most hilarious and exaggerated degree with the character of Widowmaker who, to paraphrase Dunkey's adept description of her for a sec, is the worst character in the game and has the worst ultimate in the game.
A lack of general polish and balance with this game's roster severely kneecaps any chance of that exhilarating push and pull I described earlier. You either steamroll the enemy or the enemy steamrolls you, that's it. There's very little fun to be had in decimating enemy teams and watching them scramble to group up and play for these boring ass objectives, all while the game clearly expects way too much cooperation and coordination from a team usually comprised mostly or entirely of randoms. And it goes without saying that being on the receiving end of these annihilations is anything but enjoyable.
So you've got a horrifically unbalanced cast of characters, with matches that very easily stagnate, feel tedious, and are ultimately unsatisfying to lose OR win, and you group all that with ABSURD queue times for competitive matches that regularly reach twelve, thirteen, and even FIFTEEN minutes? It all combines to make an FPS that, while I can still enjoy it with friends for some fleeting, mindless fun before getting frustrated or bored and hopping on something many times better, that's all it is. Fleeting and mindless. A game you play because it's the only thing you can play with your friends. It's not an experience with any real substance or value that'll stick with you after you put your controller down and turn your console off. It's only a matter of time before my friend group tires of it completely and drops it altogether.
ALSO I FUCKING HATE BLIZZARD HOLY FUCK.
Reviewed on May 13, 2022