Blizzard have announced “Overwatch“- a 6v6 team-based FPS
Over the last 2 years Blizzard have proven to us that they cannot produce something that isn’t well polished and without features; Hearthstone has had an incredible launch (now earning more for the company than World of Warcraft despite being free to play!) and Heroes of the Storm has received some extremely positive reviews, as has the Warlods of Dreanor alpha / beta. And now, out of nowhere, we’re presented with a gameplay and cinematic trailer for a brand new multiplayer first person shooter, “Overwatch”. Let’s take a look at everything we know about this new title.
Earlier this year, Blizzard’s Project Titan was cancelled after seven long years of development. Kotaku reported after the announcement of cancellation that it was to be “a massive multiplayer PC game in which players could both maintain non-combat professions and shoot their way through death-matches on a sci-fi version of Earth”. Mike Morhaime, Blizzard co-founder and CEO said in an interview with Polygon regarding its cancellation that, “We had created World of Warcraft, and we felt really confident that we knew how to make MMOs,so we set out to make the most ambitious thing that you could possibly imagine. And it didn’t come together. We didn’t find the fun. We didn’t find the passion.
We talked about how we put it through a reevaluation period, and actually, what we reevaluated is whether that’s the game we really wanted to be making. The answer is no.”
While Titan and Overwatch aren’t connected directly, Blizzard have said that Overwatch uses models and maps originally intended for Titan. The issue with Project Titan, ultimately, was that the market had changed a lot since they’d first released World of Warcraft. For example, modern MMORPG’s often follow a free-to-play business strategy else they run the risk of failing. It’s a very saturated market. At the time, neither of these things were true. It was quite a sad day for Blizzard fans when the announcement was made, but it’s clear to see now that there were better things in mind. Overwatch appears to be the successor to Project Titan, regardless of the official statement. Both follow futuristic settings and have the same department of Blizzard working on them and so it’s easy to believe that Titan was cancelled following successful Overwatch alpha tests.
At first look, comparisons can be easily drawn to Valve’s Team Fortress 2. They both bare a similar art style and the format of each class being a different character that fulfills a different role in the team. Upon further inspection, however, we can see some clear definition and uniqueness. Blizzard are incorporating the holy trinity (or, in this case, quadity*) into an action first person shooter it seems, with each class fitting into one of four categories: Offense, Defense, Tank and Support. Offense and Defense are fairly self explanatory and will most likely serve their purposes attacking and protecting objectives. Tanks, as in other CRPGs, are the big tough guys designed to take the brunt of an assault. Support characters are healers. It’ll be interesting to see how this will work in a fast-paced action FPS, especially with tanks coming into play. A main tactic in World of Warcraft for tanks is “taunting”- getting the opponent to focus attacks solely on yourself- but of course in a 360 degree environment this will not be possible. All that we can do is wait and see how this mechanic unfolds.
Each game is a 6v6 and so Overwatch could be more likened to a MOBA than anything else. This will allow for intimate play between each class and hopefully will also push teamwork to a must. This being said, Blizzard have called it a “pick up and play FPS”, leading us to believe that the game isn’t necessarily as “hardcore” as a MOBA would usually be and instead could feature drop in and drop out servers the likes of which we’ve seen in games such as Call of Duty and, as mentioned earlier, Team Fortress 2.
View the video below for gameplay footage and let us know in the comments what impressions you get from it!
In classic Blizzard fashion, we haven’t been given an exact release date but a promise of beta sometime next year. “It’s ready when it’s done” is something that the company has based their launches on for a few years now and it’s worked out well for them. We can’t really say anything about this just yet but to make sure you account is flagged for Overwatch Beta and wait for an email later next year.