I started things off the good ol’ fashioned way: with the tutorial. I’m not sure if you get a choice with who you play in the tutorial or if it rotates, but I completed the tutorial as Soldier: 76. It’s all pretty basic in terms of the controls, so I was able to grasp what was going on pretty quickly.

From there I then went to practice range where I played as D.Va, Doomfist, Genji, McCree, and well, basically everyone. My favourites from that experience were D.Va for the mech suit, Doomfist for the powerhouse hits, and Farah was hella cool, but slow to use for taking folks down.

Reaper was like, okay? I feel like people have said that they liked the character, but I didn’t really have a connection to him within the game. There were several that I wanted to like more but just couldn’t quite figure out. Others included Sombra and Mei… I keep trying to play with them though to get use to their particular skill sets.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t incredibly intimidated by the game going into it. It’s been out for so long now and I felt like I was going to let the other players down. It’s hard to play a game that’s social when you feel inherently anti-social…

I spent a lot of time training and doing practice room stuff to familiarize myself with the characters and learn about their abilities. Then I started practice rounds with the AI, which were a lot of fun. I wanted to stay there and play for as long as possible to build up my rank, desperate to not be a complete newb when I finally worked up the courage to play with actual people.

In between playing rounds with AI, I opened a bunch of Loot Boxes excitedly, even though I had no idea what to do with anything. I got a bunch of cool things (maybe??) and then went ahead and worked out how to equip it all. I have no idea what the spray paint does or like, anything else aside from assigning a default skin but hey, it’ll sort itself out.

I went back into playing the AI and upped things to Medium (ooOooh!) and tried out a rotation of characters. I found I really liked playing as Orisa in that round. I wanted to like Ana more as a fan of sniper characters but found it hard to really use in such a big multiplayer clash.

One character I found I really like was Torbjörn, which was stupidly unexpected. I think his gun was really powerful and I felt like I could bring something to the team in terms of giving them protection with the armor he throws out. He was the only character I played where I was able to stay alive for almost the entire match and actually do well with. That being said, when I tried to use him in a second match, I didn’t do nearly as well until about halfway through where I found my groove.

Finally, I decided to venture out of the AI zone and headed to the Arcade section of the game for a Halloween special called Junkenstein’s Revenge. I was incredibly nervous for the level of player I would find there, but after selecting the Normal play mode the team I got was chill and honestly, not that great either, which was something that made me feel better too. I actually think I got the most kills as far as the Zombiebots in the level. I was pretty pleased. I didn’t wind up winning either time I played (matches were 8 mins long or so), but I had a lot of fun just shooting up Zombiebots and enjoying the spooky experience.

I decided to go back to the AI sessions one more time before calling it a night on my first time playing Overwatch. It was there that I made the revelation that I had been playing with REAL PEOPLE all along. I honestly thought that if you chose to play the AI, the whole thing was AI – it didn’t even occur to me that your TEAM would be real people and you’d just be fighting against AI.

In conclusion…
All of my hang ups about Overwatch revolve around playing other people and that turned out to be just fine. Even when I thought I was just playing on my own, I was actually playing with others, so clearly it was something that was all in my head.

I’ll be posting new updates soon as I try out different sections of the game and letting you know how I’m enjoying the game overall.

Stephanie Cooke
Stephanie is a Toronto based writer and editor. She's a comic book fan, avid gamer, movie watcher, lover of music, and sarcasm. She is a purveyor of too many projects and has done work for Talking Comics, JoBlo.com, Agents of Geek, Word of the Nerd, C&G Magazine, Dork Shelf, and more. Her writing credits include "Home Sweet Huck" (Mark Millar's Millarworld Annual 2017), "Lungarella (Secret Loves of Geek Girls, 2016), "Behind Enemy Linens" (BLOCKED Anthology, 2017), "Home and Country" (Toronto Comics Anthology, 2017) and more to come. You can read more about her shenanigans over on her <a href="http://www.stephaniecooke.ca">personal web site</a>.

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