Overwatch has received astounding acclaim by players and critics alike, and it’s no surprise. It’s a pretty good game. Today, though, we take a look at something that will make or break it: How much stuff can you shoot in each map?
Watchpoint Gibraltar – 5/10
We’ll start with a middle-of-the-road map. Gibraltar is pretty alright for environmental shooting. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly blown away by it, but I’m also not dreadfully disappointed.
Gibraltar is a research station. Naturally, this means there’s a lot of computer consoles, so there are many, many screens to shoot and destroy. This is fun the first three times, but after that it becomes more of a chore than a fun excursion. Shooting debris is about the thrill when you get down to it, and in most cases, twenty thousand computer screens just don’t cut it.
I will say that Gibraltar also features many, many instances of my personal favorite object: the fire extinguisher. When fired upon, this red canister leaps into the air with the most satisfying hissssssss, then propels itself throughout the room for about 30-45 seconds. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of that.
Horizon Lunar Colony – 6/10
I want to be impressed, but an abandoned lunar base doesn’t really feel “lived in,” and it lacks the chaotic energy that comes with shooting debris that actually came from people. However, Horizon Lunar Colony isn’t a map to be thrown out, because it is something of a game-changer.
The biggest asset the Lunar Colony has is the small, low-gravity area outside the base, where peanut butter canisters float free of their gravitational constraints. These jars alone make great target practice, but if you have a Symmetra – or a very determined Pharah – you can carry any number of things out the airlock. My only wish is that this low-gravity area could be just a bit bigger, but alas: beggars can’t be choosers.
The “classroom” area outside the point also deserves mention here, if only for one key feature. The chalkboard, when fired upon, flips over and over and over, similarly to the trash can in one of the spawn rooms in Hollywood. You can increase the speed by firing again, and bullet placement has a big impact on how it rotates. Because the chalkboard doesn’t break, it’s fit for endless fun, while you wait for the attacking team to get their act together.
Château Guillard – 6/10
We could have had it aaaaallllllll…
The chateau has a lot going for it. Debris is absolutely everywhere: the paint cans, the ladders, somebody’s leftover breakfast on a too-long table… It has, by far, one of my favorite elements: the barrels gathered in the dungeon. They explode on impact, which makes it all the more fun to shoot them from the levels above and watch them fly. There’s also plenty of fragile glass, which is always a plus. For those who like the fire extinguisher as much as I do, the champagne bottles are a small-scale replica, although their flying time is proportionally smaller as well.
The reason this map remains squarely at 6/10 is because Widowmaker’s rifle, queen of all debris, cannot be moved from where it rests on the floor. No bullet, no beam, no ballistic in the game can move it even an inch. Amelie herself has superglued it to the side of the desk, in preparation for the death match she somehow knew would take place in her home. How hilarious would it be to shoot it and see it go flying? How wonderful to see it trapped in Symmetra’s beam, floating towards whatever unfortunate player may be in her sights, as she smacks them square in the face with it at long range?
This miniscule detail, insignificant though it may seem, is enough. With a heavy heart, I must remove a point from this score, and so it sits at 6/10: still worthwhile, but not as good as it could have been.
Eichenwalde – 8/10
This map takes place in the same futuristic world as every other map, yet the setting remains virtually untouched by much of that tech. Rustic buckets litter every mossy passageway, and each one is shootable, with enough physics to make it go flying halfway across the area. The spawn rooms are decked out with cups, silverware, trinkets, and many, many spoils of battle.
Every shield, weapon, or hunting trophy can be blasted off the wall with ease. Shields hit the cobblestone floors with a fittingly metal sound that resonates through the many tunnels and hideaways. You can wreak absolute havoc here, and there’s something so inexplicably satisfying about shooting rustic furniture that you just can’t get with sleek metal.
Outside the tunnels and spawn rooms, one can enjoy the flapping of shutters, smacking against the walls and windows from the impact. Shooting rusted caution signs causes them to fly off into oblivion without so much as a goodbye. If you’re particularly keen on disrespecting the remains of fallen omnics, you can do that too! Shooting piles of mossy robot parts often causes an arm or two to bounce along the ground. It’s a bit grim, but it’s worth a laugh or two.
Rialto – 10/10
Although this map is bollocks for attacking, it happens to be fantastic for sharpshooting. Every environmental detail can take a hit. Those potted plants? Yep. Expensive vases? You bet. Here’s some highlights:
The gondolier omnics, when fired upon, say “ow” before breaking apart into scrap. There’s three of them, and unfortunately, they won’t regenerate after dying, but the gondolas will continue to move. As a bonus, you can shoot many environmental details from the gondolas, which don’t leave the area, and instead make rounds back and forth under the bridge.
The Talon armory is chock-full of guns, but they have no glass casing. You can shoot them. You can shoot all of them, and they fall off the walls with such a clatter. Every gun in the room can be dismantled if you’re brave enough. Also, if you make your way into the Talon conference room, the chairs spin. Have fun shooting those over and over again. You’re welcome.
One of my favorite spots are the little corner buildings as you move through the map. Among them: a clothing shop, a grocer, and a hotel lobby. The clothing shop has gloriously poofy dresses that swing from the impact of fire, and you can shoot shoes and briefcases from the shelves. The grocer has bins of produce, namely bell peppers of varying kinds. If you’re looking for a thrill, shoot those bins right off the shelves, and every individual pepper will go flying. There are also glass cases of fish, which can be propelled out of their casing and onto the floor with enough determination. Alas, the crab at the end of the row can’t be moved. Poor Yorick, I knew him well…
Perhaps my favorite tiny detail about this map lies in the hotel lobby. Aside from the many suitcases that do such sweet flips, if you take aim at the shelves to the side of the desk, you can see a rack of hotel room keys. Shooting this won’t make the keys fly off the hooks, but it will make them fly in a circle before coming to rest again. Behind the desk, there are also two luggage carts, with several clothing bags hanging from them. These bags will replicate the same effect on a much larger scale, which is just as funny, if not more so.
All in all, this is one of the best maps for environmental shenanigans, if not the best, and I would happily play it explicitly for that purpose.