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All Articles: Overwatch
It’s hard to believe that Overwatch only launched a year ago, because it feels like Blizzard’s team-based “Hero Shooter” has always been with us. But a year it has been, and Blizzard kicked off a massive in-game event today, Overwatch Anniversary, to celebrate.
Like previous seasonal events, players will be able to obtain more than 100 new Anniversary-themed items in special Anniversary Loot Boxes. These Loot Boxes will feature new Legendary Skins, as well as new Voice Lines, Sprays, Player Icons, and a series of “dancing” Emotes. You can get a look at the new Skins and Emotes (including a very smooth Winston shuffle) at PlayOverwatch.com.
Three new Arena Maps will also make their debut in the Arcade as part of the Overwatch Anniversay event:
New Arena Maps in Overwatch Anniversary
- Necropolis: Ana Amari has made Necropolis her personal hideout—and an impromptu field base where she can keep an eye on things. Head to Ana’s preferred vantage point at the top of the ruins, and use the high ground (and the element of surprise) against the enemy team. Or walk the stone corridors below, and take the fight to them directly—just watch out for pits!
- Castillo: Castillo is an old fort looking out over Dorado’s bay. It’s the location of Calaveras, a bar frequented by questionable patrons; a graffitied Los Muertos hangout; and Sombra’s hacking den. Test your skills against the enemy team throughout Castillo’s multiple levels, and use its winding stairs for cover and strategic advantage.
- Black Forest: On the outskirts of Eichenwalde, the misty Black Forest map wraps around a long-overlooked battlefield dotted with the wreckage of Bastion units.
Flank your opponents on pathways between the castle and woods, and use the wooden balconies to move between the second stories of houses throughout the forest.
Finally, Blizzard has uploaded new Patch Notes for Overwatch’s latest update, as well as a new trailer for the Overwatch Anniversary event and a new “Developer Update” video hosted by Director Jeff Kaplan. Both videos can be found after the break.
The Overwatch Anniversary event will end on June 12, but remember, fans who don’t already own the game can try it out for free this weekend on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One. (more…)
Blizzard announces Overwatch Anniversary event, an upcoming Free Weekend, and Game of the Year Edition
In case you missed it, Blizzard has announced that Overwatch will play host to a special Anniversary in-game event beginning on May 23. The Overwatch Anniversary festivities will continue until June 12, and Blizzard kicked things off earlier this week with a “Year One” video thanking their fans for a great launch.
And if you’re someone who hasn’t joined the Overwatch community yet, Blizzard wants to entice you with an upcoming Free Weekend, scheduled for May 26-29, and a brand new Game of the Year Edition. The Game of the Year Edition will be available to download on May 23, and it’ll offer a range of goodies for all of Blizzard’s games:
Overwatch: Game of the Year Edition Contents
- Overwatch – 10 Bonus Loot Boxes — Enjoy 10 bonus Loot Boxes, which each contain random items that can be used to personalize your heroes. Loot Boxes may include skins, emotes, victory poses, voice lines, sprays, and highlight intros, as well as credits you can use to acquire many different customization options.
- Overwatch – Hero Skins — Pay homage to the original Overwatch strike force by wearing the vintage Blackwatch Reyes or Strike-Commander Morrison skins. Explore other heroes’ origins with Overgrown Bastion, Security Chief Pharah, and even Slipstream Tracer.
- Heroes of the Storm – Tracer Hero — Jump into the Nexus with Tracer and surprise your enemies in the blink of an eye.
- World of Warcraft – Baby Winston Pet — Adorably cuddly and highly intellectual, the Baby Winston pet will be at your side as you fight your way through Azeroth.
- Diablo III – Mercy’s Wings — Slay demonic forces throughout the High Heavens and Burning Hells as you don Mercy’s wings. All of Sanctuary will know of your allegiance to Overwatch!
- StarCraft II – In-Game Portraits — With portraits of Tracer, Reaper, Pharah, Winston, Bastion, and Soldier: 76, you’re sure to become a champion of the Koprulu Sector.
- Hearthstone – Card Back – You can also battle it out in Hearthstone with an Overwatch-themed card back fit for a hero!
Blizzard likely has big plans for Overwatch’s second year, and hopefully we’ll hear more about them soon.
Nintendo continues to dominate the retail charts with another strong showing in April for their Switch console. According to The NPD Group, Nintendo added another 280,000 Switch consoles to its tally last month, and the newly-launched Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sold more than 459,000 copies (in just two days) to take the top spot on the list of best-selling games. The company’s success also seems to be great for the industry as a whole, as the industry generated $636 million in sales in April 2017, a 10% increase over the year before.
The other big news in April is that Persona 5 pushed the franchise and gave the RPG the #2 spot on the best-seller list, just below Mario Kart 8.
“Persona 5 experienced the strongest debut month for any title in Persona franchise history, with packaged dollar sales five times that of the previous best-selling debut, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4,” NPD Analyst Mat Piscatella told GamesIndustry.biz.
Additional new releases were thin on the ground in last month’s Top 20, but Lego Undercover‘s re-release on the PC and current-generation consoles helped it secure a spot (#13). And as expected, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild continued to sell well, landing in the #3 position for the month. But the big retail winners in April all came from the backlist, including Grand Theft Auto V (#6), Overwatch (#9), Call of Duty: Black Ops II (#10), and Minecraft (#20).
The NPD Group’s complete list of best-selling games for April 2017 can be found after the break. (more…)
Nintendo smashed sales records in March 2017… but Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands was the top-selling game
Nintendo told us all about their record-setting sales month last week, but the NPD Group made it official today when they revealed their retail report on the video game industry for March 2017.
NPD analyst Sam Naji told GamesIndustry.biz: “March 2017 will go down in history books as the month Nintendo broke records.The Nintendo Switch had the biggest hardware launch for a Nintendo platform and the second biggest launch for any video game platform since 1995, the time NPD began tracking this category.”
However, even though The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild managed to sell more than 900,000 copies, it wasn’t able to secure the #1 spot. Instead, Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands was the best-selling game last month, likely due to Nintendo’s unwillingness to share their digital sales figures with the NPD Group. Other strong sellers on the Switch included 1-2 Switch (#13) and Super Bomberman R (#17).
Big debuts weren’t limited to Nintendo’s Switch, and it was a banner month for several new releases last month, as Mass Effect: Andromeda (#3), Horizon: Zero Dawn (#4), and Nier: Automata (#9) also smashed expectations. Combined with impressive Switch hardware sales, these games helped the industry record more than $1.36 billion in total sales for the month, a 24% year-on-year increase over March 2016.
The complete list of best-selling games from March 2017 can be found after the break. (more…)
Overwatch goes back to the past and revisits Tracer’s first mission in the new Uprising event
Blizzard is taking the world of Overwatch back to the past with the new “Uprising” event, which begins today and will be available until May 1st. Players will travel back to the heyday of the Overwatch, and relive Tracer’s first mission in a special cooperative brawl mode.
As you might have guessed, the “Uprising” event will also feature more than 100 themed Loot Boxes containing new Skins, Highlights, Emotes, and Sprays:
Relive Tracer’s First Mission
Journey seven years into the past and join a group of Overwatch agents fighting through the streets of King’s Row to quell an uprising led by Null Sector, a rogue group of omnics. Team up with your friends and play as Tracer, Torbjorn, Reinhardt, or Mercy to defeat the robots and liberate the city. There are no reinforcements. Failure is not an option. The future depends on you.
Experience a pivotal moment in history from before the fall of Overwatch. Join a strike team of Overwatch agents — including the newest recruit, Tracer — as they undertake a vital mission to stop an omnic uprising in King’s Row. Drop into the action and play as one of the four charged with completing this critical objective.
More information about the “Uprising” event can be found at PlayOverwatch.com. And two additional videos, a new “Origin Story” trailer and another “Developer Update” with Director Jeff Kaplan, can also be found after the break. (more…)
Nathan Drake is going to ride off into the sunset with one last “Game of the Year” award. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts hosted the ceremony for the 2017 BAFTA Games Awards last night, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was selected as the year’s “Best Game.”
Playdead’s Inside didn’t win the big prize, but the indie game scooped up four BAFTAs including “Artistic Achievement,” “Game Design,” “Narrative,” and “Original Property.” Ghost Town’s Overcooked (“Best British Game” and “Family”) and Campo Santo’s Firewatch (“Debut Game” and “Performer” for Cissy Jones) also managed to collect multiple awards as part of the festivities.
A whole slew of titles were able to pull out a win in one category last night, and they include That Dragon Cancer (“Game Innovation”), Rocket League (“Evolving Game”), Overwatch (“Multiplayer”), Pokemon Go (“Mobile & Handheld”), The Last Guardian (“Audio Achievement”), and Virginia (“Music”).
A complete list of winners and nominees from the 2017 BAFTA Games Awards is available after the break. (more…)
Overwatch players can now choose from 24 different Heroes before each match, as Blizzard added Orisa to the game on all platforms earlier today. According to her profile on PlayOverwatch.com, Orisa is a robotic centaur with a defensive-minded play style, but don’t worry, her attacks also pack a wallop:
- Fusion Driver: Orisa’s automatic projectile cannon delivers sustained damage, but slows her movement while she fires it.
- Fortify: Orisa temporarily reduces damage she takes, and cannot be affected by action-impairing effects.
- Halt!: Orisa launches a graviton charge which she can detonate, slowing nearby enemies and pulling them towards the explosion.
- Protective Barrier: Orisa throws out a stationary barrier that can protect her and her allies from enemy fire.
- Supercharger: Orisa deploys a device to increase damage inflicted by allies within her line of sight.
Blizzard also released a new trailer for Overwatch featuring Orisa, and it’s been embedded above for your viewing pleasure.
Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was named “Video Game of the Year” at the 2017 SXSW Gaming Awards last night, finally putting an end to Overwatch‘s winning streak. Nathan Drake’s final adventure also earned the big prize in the “Excellence in Narrative” and “Excellence in Animation” categories, and the treasure hunter himself won for “Most Memorable Character.”
However, don’t feel too bad for Blizzard, Overwatch took home three SXSW Gamnig Awards including “Esports Game of the Year,” “Most Promising New Intellectual Property,” and “Excellence in Multiplayer.”
The WWE’s Austin “Xavier Woods” Creed hosted the 2017 SXSW Gaming Awards, and he also handed out statuettes to a wide variety of other games including Pokemon Go (“Mobile Game of the Year”), Doom (“Excellence in Gameplay” and “Excellence in Musical Score”), Battlefield 1 (“Excellence in Technical Achievement” and “Excellence in SFX”), and Dishonored 2 (“Excellence in Design”). And this year’s “Tabletop Game of the Year” award was given to Fantasy Flight’s Arkham Horror: The Card Game.
You can find all the winners from last night’s SXSW Gaming Awards show after the break. (more…)