Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Test Driving the Overwatch Healer/Sniper: Ana

When I play games, I usually with choose either a sniper or healer. So you can only imagine my enthusiasm and excitement when Overwatch announced that the new hero would not only be a healer, but a SNIPER, I got super excited. It was like it was MADE for me.

For those that have not played Ana, or Overwatch and have no idea what I am talking about, Ana is the new hero in the multiplayer first-person shooter video game created by Blizzard available on PC, Playstaion and Xbox One. The newest hero is Ana, who is a sniper, whose weapon also heals her teammates. She also has a Sleep Dart for enemies, a Biotic Grenade which heals teammates and does damage to enemies. Her "ultimate" ability is a "Nano Boost" which is given to an ally and allows them to move faster, deal more damage to enemies and take less damage.

When I first logged in to try her out, I found out I was not the only one who wanted to play her. Funny thing, it is not a good test to see how a hero will work with others when every.single.other.person.is.that.character. How dare everyone else in the world try the character * I * wanted to try (sarcasm font not available, so use your imagination).  I swear, if I hear another chorus of "warihum quwitak" I may lose my little mind. Did not really give me a feel of the character. Got me a little frustrated, and I was sure the experience had soured my preconception of the hero.

I had actually had a draft of this blog post now for at least a week. I wanted to have a little more to write other than bitching about have 4-5 Anas on a team and how I didn't like the hero like I thought I would.

So. I took a "time out" and waited until I could fully appreciate the hero, aka trying Ana with a team of non-Ana heroes.

My opinion, now that I have taken the time to actually try it, is that the hero is very much map-specific. She does not have a way to get to "safety" like the others do. For snipers, Widowmaker has her grappling hook, and Hanzo has his spiderman-wall-climbing-thing going on. For healers, Mercy has her guardian angel left shift, Lucio has the whole speedy thing going on. So Ana joins the ranks of Zenyatta in the way that they both are healers without a way to get to safety. At least Zenyatta's orbs get fired in a more rapid sequence than Ana's sniper rifle.

However, if you get a map with a few strategic corners and accessible hiding places, I found Ana actually a lot of fun to play. It took a few games to really get used to the idea of sniping your allies, and good players are always moving, trying to avoid the enemy, which makes it a little more difficult. I found myself often saying "hold still you little sh*t, I'm trying to help you" and then just end up throwing a biotic grenade instead.

Her biggest plus is the Nano Boost ultimate, especially on specific heroes (coughcoughGenjicoughcough). I find I hardly am able to use her sleep dart, as when I am close enough to an enemy to aim and fire, the piddly 200 health of Ana is quickly diminished. I use her biotic grenade and sniper heal thing more often than not.

So overall, pros of Ana are her ultimate, and the biotic grenade, and overall sniping/healing abilities in the right map. The cons of Ana are the aiming for the Sleep Dart, the inability to get to higher ground and aiming at better players who are always moving.

I would have to say, Mercy or Lucio will probably remain my "main" support healers.

If there are other healers on the team, and it is a quick play or against AI, I may play Ana again, but the map and the situation would have to call for it. So not quite the "made for DuchessCPK" as I had hoped it would be.


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