It’s been a good run, but Overwatch has closed its servers for good. The hero-based competitive shooter from Activision Blizzard shut down the game on Oct. 3 so they could prep it for the transition to Overwatch 2 on Oct. 4. In a way, you can argue it’s the same game, but it’s just receiving a huge update. By closing down the servers and the changes that are on the way, though, it’s hard not to feel like this is anything other than a new game.
There are a lot of fans of Overwatch out there and they may use this extremely brief lull as an opportunity to try something new, or maybe they’ve always wanted to find a similar game out there and give something else a try. This list is for everyone who really loves Overwatch but wants to try out a different game.
What if Overwatch just looked a little different? Paladins is not ashamed of just how much it has been “inspired” by the far more popular hero shooter. It’s a clone through and through, which means that it’s going to feel very familiar to longtime Overwatch players, but considering that it has a very dedicated player base, that doesn’t seem to bother too many people. Some of the best games ever made were clones or started off as clones until they branched out into becoming their own thing.
How has Paladins separated itself? By having way more characters, way more skins, and a few cross promotions to boot. There aren’t many games out there where the characters from RWBY can go head-to-head with the engineer from Team Fortress 2 or Ares from Smite. That makes Paladins unique and it should only find more ways to differentiate itself as time goes on.
Team Fortress 2
Why play Overwatch when you can play one of its biggest inspirations in Team Fortress 2? Valve might be busier with Steam than it is with game development these days, but TF2 was a masterpiece of a game that is still completely playable on PC. It’s free-to-play and there is an extremely dedicated community of players that keep it continuously towards the top of Steam’s most current active players, alongside games like Apex Legends and Destiny 2.
The one downside of Team Fortress 2 is that when a game is active for 15 years, the learning curve of players is rather steep. You’re gonna be going up against people who have put literally thousands of hours into this game and they are not going to go easy on beginners. Don’t let that intimidate you, though. Find a character you like, turn off chat, and just start learning. Eventually, you’ll be a veteran with the rest of ’em.
Speaking of Apex Legends, this is another phenomenal game for longtime Overwatch players to dip their toes into, but it’s also going to be the most drastically different from the bunch. Apex Legends is a battle royale, so players will be gunning to be the last one standing instead of trying to accomplish an objective, but what makes it like Overwatch is the unique characters. Every legend in Apex Legends comes with unique skills and quirks that help players differentiate themselves from each other and don’t turn matches into a battle of who simply has the best loot at any given time.
There are also some team elements as well that help Apex stand out from other battle royales. Players are paired into a party of three and while team comps aren’t the end all be all, there are definitely characters who pair better together with others. It’s a different kind of game and one that some Overwatch players may find enjoyable.
Valorant was once dubbed the Overwatch killer by many fans, but in reality, the only similarity between the two games is that they both have unique characters with special gimmicks and powers. So, why is it on this list? It’s for those of you who want something that is less about hero compositions, or pressing Q at the right time, and more about clicking on heads.
Valorant is a twitchy, skill-based shooter far more similar to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive where players with the best instinct, reflexes, and aim come out on top. It can feel really intense sometimes, but since it’s such a popular game, there are plenty of newbies to learn alongside. It has a good learning curve and the heroes are fun. If you thought you were a good shot in Overwatch then consider giving Valorant a try.
Did none of these appeal to you? Well then don’t worry, because Overwatch 2 is still there for you. Despite all the changes, it should still be largely the same game, just with some new learning curves. Many of those heroes that players have put hundreds of hours into will still be there. It’s an opportunity to fall back in love with an old friend all over again.