Overwatch – Beta Kicks Off This Fall and New Characters Revealed


During Blizzcon last November Blizzard announced its first  brand new IP in several years, and that IP was Overwatch. A very stylish game that has a surprising amount of lore and back-story all though some of that might come from Blizzards canceled MMO codenamed Titan. Overwatch will feature squad-based combat with two opposing teams of six players each, and looks to borrow some of the winning concepts from Team Fortress 2, whereas one of the game-modes even is identically named and functions in the same way as the Team Fortress 2 counterpart, the game-mode in question is named 'Payload'.

Overwatch Beta Begins This Fall

During PAX East today, Blizzard has announced two new characters, the first one being called McCree, who looks to be quite the gunslinger, who can snipe enemies from relatively long-range with his primary fire or fill them full of holes close up by quick-shooting with the secondary fire.

His abilities are the following:

  • Peacekeeper
    McCree fires off a round from his trusty six-shooter. He can fan the Peacekeeper’s hammer to swiftly unload the entire chamber.
  • Combat Roll
    McCree dives in the direction he’s moving, effortlessly reloading his Peacekeeper in the process.
  • Flashbang
    McCree heaves a blinding grenade that explodes shortly after it leaves his hand. The blast staggers enemies in a small radius.
  • Deadeye - Ultimate Ability
    Focus. Mark. Draw. McCree takes a few precious moments to aim; when he’s ready to fire, he shoots every enemy in his line of sight. The weaker his targets are, the faster he’ll line up a killshot.

The second character is called Zarya and is the first female tank-class character in Overwatch which Blizzard introduced due to feedback from long time fans, since they have voice that they want to see more diversity in body-types, gender and races. "We're listening and we're trying hard," Blizzard said. Zarya is armed with a Heavy particle Cannon which is "ripped off a passing vehicle", her playstyle seems to be focused on shielding allies and herself.

Her abilities are the following:

  • Particle Cannon
    Zarya’s mighty Particle Cannon unleashes a short-range beam of destructive energy. Alternatively, Zarya can lob an explosive charge to strike multiple opponents.
  • Particle Barrier
    The Particle Cannon can emit a personal barrier that shields Zarya against incoming attacks, redirecting their energy to enhance her weapon’s damage and the width of its beam.
  • Projected Barrier
    Zarya surrounds one of her teammates with an energy barrier that simultaneously absorbs fire and boosts the power of her Particle Cannon.
  • Graviton Surge - Ultimate Ability
    Zarya launches a gravity bomb that draws in enemy combatants and deals damage while they’re trapped.

Lastly they announced a new map called Watchpoint Gibraltar. It's a former secret base of Overwatch. The map is a payload map-type in which players will need to escort a satellite drone throughout three checkpoints. And as for the Beta all Blizzard said was that it was coming "This Fall". I kinda look forward to Overwatch, granted it looks quite a lot like TF2 but with asymmetrical gameplay since none of the characters are "the same".  And I think that it's the asymmetrical gameplay that might be what interests me the most.

When the Beta launches this fall there will be 6v6 PvP to start with, If you wish to learn more about the game or sign up for the beta head over to the official site.