Overwatch officially releases in May, with open beta added
Blizzard Entertainment announced today that “Overwatch” will arrive in stores on Windows PC, PS4 and Xbox One starting on May 24, 2016.
In addition to receiving the previously revealed Noire skin for Widowmaker, Overwatch’s ice-cold assassin, players who preorder or pre-purchase the game for PC, PS4 system, or Xbox One will also get a two-day head start on the upcoming Overwatch open beta for themselves and a friend.
In the open beta, players will have an opportunity to play all 21 heroes and experience the intense action, tactical depth, and vibrant world of Overwatch prior to the game’s release. Following the head-start period on May 3–4 for those who have preordered, gamers everywhere will be able to assemble a team of friends and check out the game free during the all-access period from May 5–9.
“Overwatch is a team shooter for everyone, with deep, cooperative gameplay, fast and fun competitive action, and a diverse range of larger-than-life heroes,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We think PC and console players everywhere will have a great time in the game, and we’re excited to give everyone a chance to try Overwatch out for themselves ahead of its May 24 launch.”
If you are new to Overwatch, players will join the ranks of a legendary force of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities, and clash on the battlefields of a near-future Earth. The game features a diverse cast of 21 heroes—each with their own unique arsenal of extraordinary weapons and incredible abilities. Teamwork is critical as players complete objectives, swap heroes on the fly, and combine their powers to game-changing effect—the action is intense, immediate, and fun.
The last time we heard about Overwatch was at BlizzCon 2015. At the time Blizzard has introduced a number of game features in the ongoing closed beta test.
In a new map type, Control, teams battle to capture and hold objectives in locations such as an omnic village in the mountains of Nepal and a high-tech skyscraper in a Chinese metropolis. Overwatch’s new progression system awards players with Loot Boxes containing an array of cosmetic items to personalize heroes, including sprays, emotes, voice lines, and skins such as Punk Tracer and Safari Winston.
In addition to Quick Play mode, which automatically matches players with teammates and opponents of similar skill online, players can test their mettle against computer-controlled opponents in a new Play Vs. AI mode, while Custom Games allow players to set special rules for hero switching, damage modifiers, and more. And there’s more to come in the future: Blizzard plans to patch in new heroes and maps post-launch at no additional cost. To keep up with the latest Overwatch news, head to the official website.
Windows PC, PS4 system, and Xbox One gamers will be able to join the fight for the future by picking up Overwatch: Origins Edition (SRP: $59.99), which comes with hero skins for five characters based on their storied pasts—Blackwatch Reyes (Reaper), Strike-Commander Morrison (Soldier: 76), Overgrown Bastion, Security Chief Pharah, and Slipstream Tracer.
It also includes a cache of Overwatch-themed content for several Blizzard Entertainment games, including a Baby Winston pet for World of Warcraft, Tracer hero for Heroes of the Storm, and more.
Overwatch will also be available in a limited-edition, retail-only Collector’s Edition (SRP $129.99, Windows/PS4 system/Xbox One), which contains the digital content from Origins Edition along with a full-color visual sourcebook, the Overwatch soundtrack, and a high-quality collectible statue of Soldier: 76—the vigilante alter ego of former Overwatch commander Jack Morrison. Windows PC gamers also have the option to download a digital PC edition ($39.99, digital only), which provides the core Overwatch experience.