Editor’s Note: This hub will continue to be updated as we learn more details about Overwatch. Visit this page from time to time to learn more.
Blizzard has just announced Overwatch, their new scifi franchise, a reworked version of the cancelled Project Titan, the ambitious MMORPG concept that was canceled a few months ago after more than 7 years of development. Out of the ashes coems Overwatch, a sci-fi team-based multiplayer shooter. It is the company’s first new IP in 17 years!
The matches are 6v6, featuring tons of characters (many of which you can see in the trailers below), and take place on maps that are not unfamiliar from today’s world. Expect to see some familiar sights in this near-future version of Earth. Locations include King’s Row in England, Hanamura in Japan, and the Temple of Anubis in Egypt.
So far, only two types of matches have been revealed. There’s Payload, in which the attacking team must deliver a payload to a certain point on the map while the defending tries to stop them at any cost. This is your “capture the flag” type of match. Point Capture plays out pretty much like a “territories” match. Both teams fight for control of the map by capturing different locations.
You won’t have to wait to play it for very long. The beta will release in 2015! You can find out more details about the beta when the game’s official site goes online.
Here is an excerpt from the press release:
The action of Overwatch takes place in a technologically advanced, highly stylized future earth. In a time of global crisis, an international task force of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities known as Overwatch had come together to restore peace to a war-torn world. After many years, the group’s influence waned, and it was eventually disbanded. Overwatch might be gone now . . . but the world still needs heroes.
With an emphasis on accessibility and pure fun, Overwatch brings Blizzard’s signature easy-to-learn, hard-to-master gameplay to the FPS genre. Harnessing the power of their hero of choice, players will join forces in teams of six and battle each other across a range of futuristic global locations, from the hologram-lit streets of London to a bazaar in the shadows of a high-tech Egyptian pyramid. Every battlefield is iconic and built to highlight each character’s unique abilities, and fights can shift from streets to rooftops to open skies within the span of a breath.
“Overwatch is our take on a vibrant, near-future universe with amped-up characters and action-packed team-based gameplay,” saidMike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “With every new Blizzard game, we look at our favorite aspects of a genre and put our own spin on things. Our goal with Overwatch is to create an awesome FPS experience that’s more accessible to a much wider audience while delivering the action and depth that shooter fans love.”
Jeff Kaplan, a former game director on World of Warcraft, is developing the game, whose art-style is a bit reminiscent of Team Fortress 2.
There’s a lot more below…
The gameplay looks great, a mix of fast-paced and tactical action based around a class system. Again, it’s not unlike Team Fortress 2 in its foundation, although the Pixar-style animations helps the game stand apart.
How Pixar is this game? Check out the announcement trailer:
More Details About Characters/Classes
The heroes of Overwatch each bring their own distinct weapons and superabilities to bear. When entering a match you can choose from four different types of classes. There’s Offense, which is the main attack class on the team, Defense, who provides strategic cover for the attack classes, Tank, who carries the heavy weapons, and Support, who helps amplify the damage done by other classes.
Here’s just a glimpse of the numerous heroes that will ultimately fill Overwatch‘s rosters:
– Tracer, a former British test pilot who shrugs at danger, can execute impossible acrobatic assaults thanks to her ability to teleport, drop energy bombs, and even reverse time.
– Reinhardt, a hulking German soldier in battle armor, can charge great distances and pin his enemies to a wall or slam the ground with his rocket hammer to knock them off their feet.
– Hanzo, a bow-wielding Japanese mercenary, has the ability to scale walls with his bare hands, fire off a tracking device that illuminates nearby enemies for his team, and unleash a huge spirit dragon that does grievous damage to all enemies in its path.
– Symmetra, an Indian architech, manipulates light and energy to shield her allies and damage her enemies—and she can turn the tide of any battle by building a device that instantly transports her teammates to the front lines.
– Winston is the Beast of Overwatch. A bespectacled genetically-engineered gorilla, who also happens to be a scientist, is as smart as he is vicious. He has a “Tesla Cannon,” a jetpack, and can go into Berserker mode. I’d stay away from him. He does look adorable in that announcement trailer, though…
– Reaper is an all-around bad guy. He has the ability to teleport, can turn into a Wraith, and performs neat acrobatic tricks with his dual pistols. Oh, and his costume is really, really cool.
You can find all of the character breakdowns at Overwatch’s official website.