Yesterday, Blizzard dropped Overwatch‘s latest map, a literal carnival of Blizzard references. “Blizzard World” is a theme park about Hearthstone, Starcraft, Heroes of the Storm and Warcraft. Playing it feels a lot like being invited to loud, garish party that you leave feeling just OK.
Putting aside cute Easter eggs, such as a spawn point designed like a Hearthstone tavern, Blizzard World is a cookie-cutter hybrid map: Part control point, part payload. Players pass through a defined choke point before claiming a point. Then, they take a payload through a winding pathway and into the goal. Alongside the path are a few small rooms and, above it, some platformed pathways. It’s a lot like King’s Row, a map with a somewhat straightforward strategy.
Unlike Overwatch‘s newer maps, such as Junkertown, Eichenwalde or Horizon Lunar Colony, Blizzard World feels plainer, despite its glitz and glamour. Its design doesn’t appear to vary from already-existing Overwatch maps in ways that immediately feel fresh. We’ve seen hybrid maps just like this before with tight choke points, long platforms and weaving side rooms. After a few games, Blizzard World didn’t feel too different.
Today, we gave it a spin:
Blizzard World serves its purpose – to showcase Blizzard’s numerous accomplishments and hype players for the publisher’s other games. Perhaps because of that, it seems to lack Overwatch‘s signature flair for interesting design. Blizzard World is enjoyable to tour, but it didn’t give me that great of a ride.