At first, Overwatch seems to be a team-based multiplayer shooter, which has its roots strongly resembling Team Fortress 2. Even the two Overwatch modes, payload and point capture, have more similarities than differences to the modes from the multi-award winning Valve shooter.
But looking a bit closer we notice and see the world of Dota-like games as well. Each playable character in Overwatch has not only different weapons like the ones in Team Fortress 2 but all have abilities followed by an ultimate ability that resemble the ‘Heroes’ in Dota 2 or ever other MOBA games (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena).
Looking at the development history of Blizzard, Overwatch was preceded by a very long production cycle for a game called Titan. A game that would be completely new and not based on the company’s three main franchises; namely Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft.
Titan was under development at Blizzard for over seven years, and was considered to be the next big MMO after the long-running World of Warcraft. But over time, we have seen a strong change in the online gaming scenario. Players have started to spend countless hours on MOBAs, resulting in a tremendous increase in e-sports and not to mention the insane prize money involved. It seems that this left Blizzard confused as to where Titan was heading and what exactly players want.
Player preferences have indeed changed over time and Overwatch is likely to be the child born out of team-based multiplayer shooters and MOBAs. Blizzard has already stated that Overwatch incorporates elements, such as maps, that were originally intended for Titan.
Being a fan of both Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2, it’s great to see this shift in scenario and Overwatch may turn out to be a new breed of games to incorporate the best of both genres.
Confused or not, let’s not forget that the original Dota was a mod based on Blizzard’s Warcraft III: Frozen Throne, and now Valve having a strong hold over the rights of the Dota name, Blizzard will surely want to have a piece of this massive online cake.
A great comeback was expected with Blizzard’s own MOBA, Heroes of the Storm, but after some mixed reviews for the same, the game didn’t even create a dent in the vast following for Team Fortress 2, Dota 2 and League of Legends. It will be an interesting scenario to behold if Blizzard is to pull off a great game with Overwatch.