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The reviews are in: Blizzard’s Overwatch is worth every penny

When the open beta of Overwatch launched earlier this month, the hype around Blizzard’s newest release hit a fever pitch. Gamers acquired a taste for this team-based shooter, and the weeks between the beta and the final release were nothing less than torturous if the countless posts on social media are to be believed. Thankfully, Overwatch is now officially available worldwide on the Xbox One, PS4, and PC. And from the early looks of things, it seems that everything is about a smooth as you’d expect it to be.

Critically, the game has been very warmly received. Metacritic currently has 10 reviews listed for the PC version, and it’s averaging a score of 94/100. Unfortunately, the console versions don’t have enough reviews to populate a score just yet. Over at our sister site IGN, the final review score isn’t quite ready. However, the review-in-progress is available, and it has a tentative score of 9.4/10. If the servers continue to remain steady, and there aren’t any surprise issues that pop up, it’s safe to assume that the score will hold.

A quick glance at the Overwatch forums shows that there are definitely some technical issues going around, but nothing seems particularly widespread. And if you check out the Overwatch hashtag on Twitter, it’s mostly just happy chatter from fans – not outrage. It’s a shame that there’s a small percentage of people who can’t play the game they purchased, but it’s par for the course — especially on the PC. No game will ever be completely bug-free.

I spent a few hours with the open beta and the day-one release on the PS4, and my experience has been fairly smooth from tip to tail. Matchmaking takes a little bit longer than I’d like it to, but we’re only talking about a three or four minute wait at most. Once the game begins, I haven’t seen any meaningful lag or connectivity problems. I have observed brief visual stutters a handful of times, but it hasn’t ever impacted the gameplay.

Since the open beta showed off the entire game only a few weeks before launch, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was absolutely zero perceivable difference in overall performance in the day-one release. Both consoles saw occasional frame rate drops during the beta, but it’s small potatoes.

Still, the PC is undoubtedly the lead platform. And since you can grab the core game for only $40 on the PC, it’s a better value for frugal customers. Meanwhile, console gamers are forced into buying the “Origins Edition” for a full 60 bucks in exchange for some extra digital goodies.

Regardless of which version you end up with, Overwatch is loads of fun. It’s completely approachable for new players, and the progression system makes every match feel meaningful — even when you get steamrolled. And if you’re willing to read up on the metagame, turn on your mic, and coordinate with your teammates, there’s a lot of depth here as well. The game features 21 very different heroes, and players can change things up mid-match if they see fit. Blizzard will presumably continue to tweak the game balance over time, so there’s huge potential here for high-level play for years to come.

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