Going into the Overwatch Summer Games event, many of us were hopeful that we were going to get something truly spectacular. We didn’t know when this event would start, but then the Summer Games went live out of nowhere.
This marks the start of Year 4 events and… well… let’s just say that players have wasted no time in expressing that they think Blizzard has become way too lazy with these events. It almost seems hard to believe that, after the third anniversary of Overwatch’s launch and the fourth year of Summer Games, there is almost no effort put into the extra content. Before we cover the bad though, let’s first look at the good parts.
Summer Skins: For Better or Worse.
When Overwatch first got going, they made a pretty big push for new cosmetics you can unlock for your characters. From the skins and emotes, to the special highlight intros and victory poses (and voice lines), there are so many special goodies to unlock and enjoy. For this year’s event, the approach to the epic skins for Reaper, Mei and Reinhardt are different from previous years as you can’t get them in the lootbox. Instead, by playing the game and winning matches, you can unlock the skins at no cost, so that’s a great deal for players.
On the Legendary side of skins, we have skins for Genji wearing Kendo armor, Hanzo looking rather casual, Torbjorn during his time at the beach, and Wrecking Ball as a Lucioball. The skins themselves are rather nice to look at and the weapons have a unique look to them as well. But, there is sadly one big and glaring issue with the legendaries this year: there are only four of them.
In previous years, players got the chance to get eight brand new legendary skins, and over time, it did drop down to six. But four? We will come back to this in a moment. Before we do, we need to talk about the Summer Games event. And how this cements the idea that Blizzard gave up on Overwatch; at least for the Summer Games.
Lucioball: Umm… Squeak?
With the hype going into Summer Games, players were hopeful that there was going to be something additional coming besides the 3v3 Rocket League-iste game mode, Lucioball. For the last three years, Lucioball has been the primary focus. While the game mode itself can be fun for a few rounds, many players find themselves getting bored of it or rage quitting after falling behind, and going back to playing the main game. Players were hopeful that maybe we could have a new mode to go with Lucioball to spice things up a bit, or perhaps as a tradition with previous years, a new location to play Lucioball in.
And all we got instead was a Squeaking Hamster…
Now don’t jump to any conclusions and say, “We should be grateful that Blizzard even decided to continue putting on the event” or something along those lines. Ever since Hammond rolled into Overwatch, people have been hopeful that we were going to get a Lucioball skin for him and Wrecking Ball. We didn’t get it last year, but we got it this year and it is rather funny to boop Wrecking Ball away while Hammond is squeaking up a storm and flying through the air. But other than that, there is nothing else new to the game mode. It is still the same mode people have played for now going onto the fourth year.
Blizzard, What Happened?
It is hard to really say what the game plan is for Overwatch’s future, if we are to look at Summer Games as a whole. Other than the new legendary skins looking nice, and the idea of playing the game to get the epic skins being a great change; it feels like it does little to ignite the small spark of hope for longtime players until Hero 31 comes in August. If you are someone new playing Overwatch, this likely won’t bother you too much. If not, you’ll likely find yourself asking, “Why bother bringing it back?”
As of late, it has felt like Overwatch has severed just about everything that drew fans into the game. The story feels like it only gets an update once every six or so months, with small stories scattered in between. While the events that were meant to be fun celebrations, feel more tacked on than ever. This has many of us concerned about the other events this year, as this can mean that Junkenstein’s Revenge will likely remain unchanged, Winter Wonderland will be as boring as ever, Lunar New Year will focus solely on Capture the Flag, and Archives could be another watered-down “mission” with nothing else special about it.
It seems clear by this point that the only thing Blizzard has put their full attention on has been Overwatch League. Understandable, too, if you have a competitive eSports consisting of the best players around the world; but it feels like we are running into the same problem Capcom did with Street Fighter V, where the focus is more on promoting the competitive side of things rather than drawing in new players.
As much fun as it would be to be the first to openly declare this event as a bust, everyone on the Blizzard forums has already expressed their thoughts on the matter. It is too late to change things now, and I doubt they would have a spare skin or two they could suddenly throw in to make things better. At this point, if Blizzard wants to focus on making the game play better, they need to double down on it and bump up the production. If you are releasing three new heroes and a few maps a year, you need to be doing more than just crossing your fingers and hoping that players will be patient enough for you to not make any major moves for months on end. Not to say Blizzard has gone silent, but this lack of variety is starting to become really noticeable.
It isn’t unreasonable to expect more out of game publishers if it feels like their Games as a Service isn’t offering enough in their services. One could believe that Blizzard can still make something happen, and hopefully, with the responses they’ve had in the opening hours of the event, they will take it to heart and do more than just the bare minimum. At least make use of the Mansion during the Halloween event, Blizzard! Please!
So what do you think? Did you like what we got for the Summer Games? Do you think Blizzard needs to step it up? Or are they doing just fine where things currently stand? Leave your thoughts down below and be sure to follow us here at Culture of Gaming for more news and editorials on Overwatch and other things in the gaming world.