For the first time in many years, Blizzard announced a new franchise today: meet Overwatch, a team-based multiplayer shooter with Pixar-like graphics that will enter beta next year. The game looks great. It's a PvP shooter with unique character classes, very reminiscent of Team Fortress 2.
Blizzard's Chris Metzen confirmed during an Overwatch panel that this game did evolve from the remnants of Titan, although he did specify that Overwatch is "a very different game."
For a full look at all of the announced classes, check out our breakdown.
Here's gameplay footage from the newly-announced shooter, 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 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.
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 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."
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 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.
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 actually morphed into Overwatch last year, according to a person familiar with the project. It looks like they've kept at least one of Titan's class names---Reaper---which we reported on last month.