May 24th is D-Day for PS4 gamers who have been waiting for "Overwatch: Origins Edition" to become available on their favorite console. Blizzard is releasing this team-based multiplayer shooter game just before summer sets in, a strategic move as classrooms empty and living rooms fill with young gamers. "Overwatch: Origins Edition" isn't just for the teen or college set, though; its appeal is just as strong for gamers of any age.
When the game rolls out, you'll get access to 21 different characters, each one a hero with special skills, weapons, and abilities. That means multiple tanks, multiple characters who specialize in ranged weaponry— multiples of every type of hero. Want to defy the laws of physics or mess with the rules of time? There's a hero for that. The setting is Earth in the somewhat distant future, and the maps include fascinating locales like an Egyptian temple, King's Row in London, or China's Lijiang Tower, to name just a few.
The game has a six-on-six, team-based play style, with a core versatility that many gamers find appealing. Are you up against an enemy that your current hero can't handle? Swap the hero out for another to get the edge over your opponent. This mid-battle switching really makes the game more interesting and engaging.
Blizzard designed the game to be fun to play in short segments, but also enjoyable to invest multiple hours in over a longer period of time. The longer you play, the higher your account level becomes; so instead of a particular hero gaining levels, your entire account levels up. Every time you achieve a new level, you'll get a Loot Box with four cool items, perhaps a new animation, a unique emote, a graffiti tag, or a new skin. Don't like the loot? Sell it in-game to get more Overwatch currency so that you can buy something else.
The longer you play, the more interesting cosmetic drops you can collect. The drops don't give you any kind of performance boost; they are simply a fun way to introduce or show off your characters.
The game isn't free-to-play, since Blizzard wanted everyone to have access to all the characters at the same time. The makers of the game felt that going with a free-to-play model could result in some players with plenty of spending money having an unfair advantage in weapons and characters. Instead, Blizzard decided to go with a single upfront cost that levels the playing field.
Pre-purchase Overwatch now through the PlayStation website, and you receive early access to the first stage of the Beta (May 3-4) for yourself plus one friend. Other sellers are offering free posters or mini figures to entice pre-orders, so shop around until you find an offer you like. The Open Beta, scheduled for May 5-9, allows everyone to play for free. This freebie phase not only helps Blizzard work out any kinks, but also whets your appetite for playing the game, inducing you to pre-order it. Check out the Beta and hit us up in the comments to share what you think of Overwatch.