Blizzard's new game "Overwatch" takes the company into uncharted waters
The beautifully drawn and animated Overwatch - Blizzard's brand new IP revealed yesterday at BlizzCon - will be company's first ever first person shooter as the Californians merge team work, roles and class skills and escape from the WarCraft/StarCraft/Diablo triangle.
After almost two decades, Blizzard finally open a brand new IP chapter. Previously sticking to the worlds of Azeroth, Sanctuary and the Koprulu sector, the studio from Irvine developed exclusively for their trio of franchises in WarCraft, Diablo and StarCraft. While the codenamed "Project Titan" was supposed to open a new universe for Blizzard fans to enjoy, the project was recently pronounced cancelled and with that the hope for something fresh at this year's BlizzCon was lost.
Or was it indeed? Mike Morhaime's opening speech spoke about Goblins vs Gnomes, Hearthstone's new expansion; Legacy of the Void, the defining chapter of StarCraft 2's storyline; the new features for their team brawler Heroes of the Storm... and something else. The audience explodes as Blizzard veteran Chris Metzen comes on stage to introduce a project nobody was really expecting.
Dubbed "Overwatch", studio's new IP will offer something Blizzard fans aren't used to seeing from their favorite company - a first person, team-based shooter. Overwatch copies many of the features such as class roles, clean graphics and dynamic action that made games like Valve's Team Fortress boomingly popular and adds some cool overtones to make the game look even more intriguing.
In Overwatch, players will not only choose a role like Tank, Offense, Defense and Support but will also pick specific heroes with specific skill set, much like it's done in traditional MOBA games. One team will take the role of the attacker and the other will be the defender, each side with different mission objectives, like bringing that floating crate to the other side of the map or shoot the bad guys trying to do that.
The gameplay trailer briefly covers the twelve heroes currently available in the build. We get to know the tanky Reinhardt and Winston; Widowmaker, the sniper; Mercy the medic; Reaper the cloaking, dual-pistol wielding infiltrator; Traver and Hanzo as the mobile shooters, entursted with gunning down the opposition.
Each character is equipped with three standard abilities and one ultimate, akin to heroes in Dota, League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm and other 5v5 team games. Yet there's no items, no talent builds, no laning - it's all about the unstopping action, gunfights and teamwork.
Closed beta will be coming 2015 with no hints of release timeframe mentioned in good Blizzard tradition. Full recording of the panel can be found below.
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