Launching its beta in 2015, Overwatch looks a bit like Blizzard’s more sci-fi/fantasy-inspired take on Team Fortress 2 with two teams of six duking it out. Blizzard described the game’s premise with the following passage: “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.”
Overwatch lets players play as a diverse cast of characters including an armoured gorilla, a spiky-haired teleporting British lass, a wall-climbing ninja, a cybernetic angel, a viking mechanic, a lithe grappling hook-wielding goth girl, a futuristic grim reaper and more.
Environments run the gamut from ancient Egyption palaces, to Japanese lotus gardens and pagodas, to 1930s-inspired English alleyways and cities.
See it in action in its gameplay reveal below.
“Overwatch is our take on a vibrant, near-future universe with amped-up characters and action-packed team-based gameplay,” said Blizzard CEO and co-founder Mike Morhaime. “With every new Blizzard game, we look at our favourite 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.”
For more on Overwatch, Blizzard issued the following descriptions of four of its playable characters:
- 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.