Out of BlizzCon 2014 comes an announcement that Blizzard has developed Overwatch, a new dynamic team-based online PvP first-person shooter. It’s their first new game franchise in 17 freaking years. Here’s what we know so far about the maps, players, story, and weapons:
Overwatch looks beautiful:
Two sites (Kotaku and The Verge) are using the term “Pixar-like” to describe the quality of graphics/animation, and I’m inclined to agree with them. The cartoonish look of the game definitely gives it a Team Fortress 2 look and feel.
Overwatch video game trailer and story:
Unlike some other shooters we can name, this one actually looks like there’s some semblance of a story. Check out the introduction video above.
Overwatch playable characters:
From the gameplay footage (above), it looks like there will be a total of 12 playable characters. It should be noted that the are a surprising number of playable female characters (5 of 12).
Tracer: A female, quick, scout-type player who has the ability to teleport from one close area to another, allowing her to cover a lot of ground in a short time
Symmetra: A female engineer-type player.
Pharah: A flying-type player who has the ability to rain down heavy amounts of fire from above.
Hanzo: A quick, arrow-wielding character who has the ability to see enemies through walls.
Reaper: A close combat-type player wielding with the special ability of firing at numerous enemies simultaneously.
Winston: A bruising ape with the ability to drop a shield.
Torbjorn: An engineer-type player capable of dropping armor upgrades and turrets.
Bastion: A robot with the ability to transform into a turret.
Mercy: A flying medic-type player.
Widowmaker: A female sniper-type player.
Zenyatta: A robot who honestly I could not tell you what he does if you paid me $100.
Reinhardt: A bruising player with a hammer with the ability to throw up a shield in front of him.
According to the developers, the game will be very accessible for gamers to play (perhaps why they chose to include so many female characters). Each match will be six-on-six and objective based. It seems as though the perspective will switch from first-person to third-person when certain special abilities are activated.
Overwatch Beta begins in 2015:
While no release date has been announced by Blizzard, they did confirm that a Beta version will be available sometime in 2015. Attendees of Blizzcon are actually able to play it on PCs today.
Number of Maps In Overwatch:
From the gameplay trailer it looks as though there will be 8 different maps to play, including one in London, a factory/forge, a Japanese temple, a Japanese suburb, a training dojo, and Egypt.
It’s a safe bet that the weapons players will start with depend on which character they choose (see character list for more), but we did notice in the gameplay video that there were a few weapons strewn on the map for players to pick up. We’ll update as we learn more.