The first wave of Overwatch invites have been sent out to Battle.net accounts around the world, which also means the first chunks of information about the closed beta for Blizzard’s inaugural first-person team shooter will also start to become available.
I went digging through what I could find early this morning, and the good news for hardcore shooter fans: you’ll be able to create custom games and bot matches right away.
As soon as the game goes through the Blizzard authentication process, you’ll see from the main menu (screencap above) the option to create a custom game, find a match through the matchmaking service, play the tutorial or play against a round of bots.
For the initial closed beta, the private lobby has a pretty good selection of options. Below will give you a pretty good indication of what’s available.
As you can see, there are 7 playable maps for custom games, which is one more than what’s available for bot matches. Overwatch is a 6 vs 6 game and Blizzard aren’t letting you tweak with that at this stage, although it’s good to see four slots four spectators (which would mean each Blizzard server at this stage hosts a maximum of 16 clients).
Players can join private games through the Battle.net friend system. It’s gotten a UI overhaul to make it more fitting for Overwatch, and it’s never looked better. For privacy, I’ve blacked out the names on my list.
The options for bot matches are less extensive, although the mode is largely just there for people to get accustomed to new characters in a safe environment.
You can play as many as 6 bots or run around an empty server, a useful tool for learning the angles of the new maps. King’s Row, the Payload map set in London, is the only one so far that you can’t play a bot match on.