Overwatch was announced at BlizzCon 2014 today as a new team-based multiplayer shooter from the developer, which contains elements taken from Blizzard’s cancelled MMO Project Titan.
Blizzard describes the game as a “pick-up-and-play first-person shooter” set in an all-new Blizzard game universe, and during a panel today at BlizzCon the firm’s SVP Chris Metzen said certain elements of Overwatch such as maps were derived from Titan.
That being said, Metzen said Overwatch is not Titan despite there being similar “components”.
Here’s the synopsis for the game:
“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.”
Players will pick a character, a offense, defense, tank or support role and join a team of six which will battle other teams across futuristic locations such as a hologram-lit London and a bazaar set against a high-tech Egyptian pyramid background.
Every battlefield is built to highlight each character’s unique abilities, and fights can “shift from streets to rooftops to open skies” at any given time.
“Overwatch is our take on a vibrant, near-future universe with amped-up characters and action-packed team-based gameplay,” said Mike Morhaime, the firm’s CEO and co-founder. “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.”
Each character has its own distinct set of weapons and superabilities. Below is a list of just some of the characters to choose from.
- 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.
Teams will be able to combines character powers, and at present there are 12 playable heroes available to play on three different maps at BlizzCon.
More heroes and maps will be added to the game as development progresses, and beta testing will begin in 2015. The official website is through here.
A couple of videos are below, but more are available for each character through the official website.
Screenshot and artwork galleries are posted below.