Blizzard Entertainment’s team-based shooter “Overwatch” is available today across the globe. The highly-anticipated release is now available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
The launch of the game hit a few snags as players raced to get online. Typical server issues and matchmaking hiccups caused a few bumps in what has been a pretty smooth rollout so far for the new game. Blizzard’s tagline for the game is “The world could always use more heroes,” and it just added a few million heroic players to the online community.
The beta for the game alone attracted 9.7 million players, making the test Blizzard Entertainment’s biggest open beta ever.
Overwatch takes place on a near-future Earth, where teams of soldiers, scientists and adventurers clash for control of key locations around the world. These include castle grounds in Japan to mech-production facilities in the heart of Russia.
The game features a diverse cast of 21 unique heroes—including Tracer, the time-jumping adventurer; McCree, the outlaw gunslinger; and Winston, the brilliant gorilla scientist—each armed with signature weapons and awe-inspiring abilities. These extraordinary characters must team up and work together to complete critical objectives in a variety of unique play modes, including Assault, Escort, and Control. Players are able to swap heroes to adapt to the ever-changing situation on the battlefield—the action is fast and fun, and the tactical possibilities are endless.
“We’re thrilled to welcome console and PC gamers everywhere to the future world of Overwatch,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’ve worked hard to create a team shooter that anyone can enjoy, with rewarding cooperative gameplay, fast-paced competitive action, and a diverse cast of awesome heroes that we’re proud to add to the Blizzard family. We think shooter veterans and anyone new to the genre will find that Overwatch is an absolute blast to play.”
One of the more intriguing facets of Overwatch are the wide-array of game modes for heroes. Quick Play automatically matches players with allies and opponents of a similar skill level—a quick and easy way to jump into the fight.
Players can choose a Play Vs. AI mode that pits a team of human players against computer-controlled opponents, with multiple difficulty settings to choose from. Custom Games allow teams of friends to tweak the game’s rules, while the wild Weekly Brawl! offers up an unexpected challenge every week, like “Justice Rains from Above” (an aerial extravaganza starring rocket-powered Pharah and Mercy, the high-flying healer) and the intense “Arcade” brawl, which features more health, faster cooldowns, and quick respawns.
The publisher promised that there will be more to come after the launch of the game. Players looking for the ultimate team challenge will be able to test their mettle, earn ranks, and show off their skill in Competitive Play later this year. Blizzard also plans to patch in new heroes and maps in the future at no additional cost.
As players compete in matches—win or lose—they’ll level up and earn Loot Boxes; each containing an assortment of in-game credits or up to four cosmetic items to customize their heroes, including skins, sprays, voice lines, and new animations. Loot Boxes can also contain legendary skins that dramatically alter their heroes’ appearance, such as the dashing and adventurous Safari Winston, or Young Genji—a version of Overwatch’s mysterious ninja from before he received his cybernetic enhancements.
Windows PC, PS4, and Xbox One gamers can join the fight for the future today by purchasing Overwatch: Origins Edition. That comes with a collection of hero skins that provide players with insight into five characters’ pasts—Blackwatch Reyes (Reaper), Strike-Commander Morrison (Soldier: 76), Overgrown Bastion, Security Chief Pharah, and Slipstream Tracer—as well as a cache of goodies for several Blizzard Entertainment games, including glowing Mercy wings for Diablo III, a Baby Winston pet for World of Warcraft, a set of heroic StarCraft II portraits, an Overwatch-themed Hearthstone card back, and the playable Tracer hero for Heroes of the Storm.
Overwatch is also available in a limited-edition, retail-only Collector’s Edition which contains all of the content listed above along with a full-color source book, the Overwatch soundtrack, and a high-quality collectible statue of Soldier: 76—the vigilante alter ego of former Overwatch commander Jack Morrison. Quantities are limited so grab one early if you are a collector.
Windows PC gamers also have the option to download a digital PC edition, which includes all 21 heroes and provides players with the core Overwatch experience.
In addition to the English version, Overwatch has been localized into Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German, European Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, Russian, Korean, Japanese, and traditional and simplified Chinese. Overwatch has been rated PEGI 12.