Blizzardâ€™s Overwatch is full neat twists and innovative ideas, with one standout being the ability to give well-performing players a â€˜likeâ€™ at the end of the match. Putting past rivalries aside, itâ€™s even possible to give the opposition a â€˜likeâ€™ if you felt their skills outrivalled your own.
It so transpires that this idea isnâ€™t wholly new. Raiden V â€“ which dropped to a bargain Â£9.99 on Xbox One last week â€“ features a similar â€˜cheerâ€™ system. Itâ€™s something I quickly became incredibly fond of.
When taking to the skies in this top-down shooter youâ€™re automatically connected to an online network. The left-hand side of the screen then acts as a newsfeed, informing of feats that other players have performed. This is displayed in real-time, and itâ€™s possible to give fellow players a â€˜cheerâ€™ as and when they achieve high scores, beat bosses, find hidden characters and acquire copious amounts of medals.
A push of the â€˜Yâ€™ button is all it takes; a method that doesnâ€™t distract too heavily from the near-constant barrage of enemies Raiden V throws your way.
A tally is kept of how many â€˜cheersâ€™ youâ€™ve obtained, and only once the game is over are you shown the Gamertags of those who gave you a virtual high-five, plus the amount they gave in total. Itâ€™s a twist reminiscent of indie hit Journey, in the sense that you donâ€™t find out which fellow gamers came along for the ride until after the ending credits.
Now hereâ€™s the thing â€“ â€˜cheersâ€™ actually do something. Two things, in fact â€“ not only do they fill a power gauge that generates a screen-filling attack, but they make the whole experience a tad more compelling. It genuinely feels good to receive a bunch of â€˜cheersâ€™ after breaking a high score; something that urged me to â€˜up my gameâ€™ and memorise enemy placements and attack patterns.
This made me think about what other games would benefit from a â€˜cheerâ€™ system. Online shooters are a no-brainer â€“ imagine the ability to reward a sniper with an extra ammo clip if they achieved five headshots in a row, or handout temporary XP boosts for high killstreaks. Itâ€™s an idea that would go a long way to making the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield feel more teamwork ordinated, especially if each class had a perk to gain from acquiring a certain amount of â€˜cheersâ€™ per match.
In short, it feels good to get a pat on the back from a fellow gamer. Itâ€™s a bit like when a manager tells you youâ€™re doing a good job, without asking you to stay on for overtime.