For the first time in many years, Blizzard announced a new franchise today: Overwatch, a team-based multiplayer shooter with Pixar-like graphics.
The game looks great. It's a PvP shooter with classes, very reminiscent of Team Fortress 2. Here's the cinematic trailer:
And, more importantly, here's gameplay footage from the newly-christened Overwatch, which really does look fantastic:
Here's Blizzard describing the game in a press release:
The action of Overwatch takes place in a technologically advanced, highly stylised 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.
With an emphasis on accessibility and pure fun, Overwatch brings Blizzard's signature easy-to-learn, hard-to-master gameplay to the FPS genre. Harnessing the power of their hero of choice, players will join forces in teams of six and battle each other across a range of futuristic global locations, from the hologram-lit streets of London to a bazaar in the shadows of a high-tech Egyptian pyramid. Every battlefield is iconic and built to highlight each character's unique abilities, and fights can shift from streets to rooftops to open skies within the span of a breath.
"Overwatch is our take on a vibrant, near-future universe with amped-up characters and action-packed team-based gameplay," saidMike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "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."
The heroes of Overwatch each bring their own distinct weapons and superabilities to bear. Here's just a glimpse of the numerous heroes that will ultimately fill Overwatch's rosters:
- 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 armour, 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.
The beta will be out in 2015.
Overwatch is a reworked version of the PVP portions of Blizzard's Titan, the long-in-development MMO that was overhauled in mid-2013. Despite reports earlier this year that Titan had been cancelled, the game was actually turned into Overwatch last year, according to a person familiar with the project.
It looks like they have kept some of the class names — like Reaper — that we reported on last month.