Overwatch is a multiplayer team-based first-person shooter developed and published by Blizzard for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on May 23, 2016. It is their first original franchise since StarCraft and entered numerous periods of both closed and open betas since October 27, 2015.
The game is known for its stylized sci-fi atmosphere and relatively simple gameplay, which combines elements from class-based teamplay shooters (such as Team Fortress 2) with hero-based MOBAs (such as Heroes of the Storm).
Set in a futuristic Earth, after the fall of an international task force eponymously known as Overwatch, the game primarily involves 6v6 objective-based skirmishes wherein each player can choose from one of over twenty uniquely designed "Heroes." Each hero has their own set of abilities, which make them suited for specific team roles, and the objectives each team must complete changes depending on the map.
[see Guide for more detailed information]
The game's playable Heroes are split up into four categories: Offense (direct damage dealers), Defense (choke point maintainers), Tank (damage soakers), and Support (healers and utility providers). The game's initial release included a roster of 21 Heroes. As of the release of Moira, this total was increased to 26 Heroes.
- Soldier: 76
Game Modes & Maps
The attacking team must capture two control points consecutively by being the only team to stand on it for a certain amount of time, while the defending team must stop them before the round timer expires. Each match has two rounds, with the teams switched between rounds.
- Temple of Anubis
- Volskaya Industries
- Hanamura (limited-time Winter Wonderland version, released on December 13, 2016)
The attacking team must escort a payload on a fixed track to its destination by being the only team to stand near it, while the defending team must stop them before the round timer expires. Each match has two rounds, with the teams switched between rounds.
- Route 66
- Watchpoint: Gibraltar
A combination of the above game modes, the attacking team must capture the payload (similar to Assault) before escorting it on a fixed track to its destination (similar to Escort), while the defending team must stop them before the round timer expires. Each match has two rounds, with the teams switched between rounds.
- King's Row
- Eichenwalde (released on September 1, 2016)
- Hollywood (limited-time Halloween version, released on October 11, 2016)
- King's Row (limited-time Winter Wonderland version, released on December 13, 2016)
A king-of-the-hill game mode where both teams must capture a single control point at the center of the battlefield and maintain it for a certain amount of time. Each match is best of three rounds, with each round as a random battlefield in the map.
- Lijiang Tower
- Oasis (released on January 3, 2017)
A team-deathmatch game mode where each player only has one life per round, cannot switch heroes after the round starts, and must eliminate all members of the opposing team to win. For 1v1 duels, each match is best of nine rounds. For 3v3 skirmishes, each match is best of five rounds. Cannot be played in Custom Games.
- Ecopoint: Antarctica (released on November 15, 2016)
Added on November 15, 2016, Arcade Mode is a set of matchmaking playlists for special game modes with special rulesets. This mode replaces the Weekly Brawl mode (see Brawls below). Players can earn loot boxes by winning nine games in a weekly period (earning a loot box every three games won).
- 1v1 Mystery Duel - Elimination where both players start every round with the same random hero. Lúcio and Mercy disabled.
- 3v3 Elimination - Standard Elimination.
- 6v6 All Brawls! - Each round uses a different Brawl game mode.
- 6v6 Mystery Heroes - Each player respawns as a random hero and cannot switch heroes at any time.
- 6v6 No Limits - Hero selection limit disabled.
Brawls are special matchmaking modes with unique rule changes. Formerly, the game had one Brawl that is replaced every week (similar to Tavern Brawls in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and weekly Mutations in Left 4 Dead 2). With the addition of Arcade Mode, the game now has a playlist that switches between a known set of Brawls every round.
All changes (unless otherwise specified) can be reproduced in the Custom Game mode.
- Total Mayhem - Formerly "Arcade". Double health. Very fast cooldowns on abilities. Fast gain rate on ultimates. Escort and Hybrid maps only.
- MOBAwatch - Cannot switch heroes at any time. No duplicate heroes per team.
- Highly Offensive - Offense heroes only. Limited to 2 of the same hero per team.
- Overly Defensive - Defense heroes only. Limited to 2 of the same hero per team.
- Tanks A Lot - Tank heroes only. Limited to 2 of the same hero per team.
- Show Your Support - Support heroes only. Limited to 2 of the same hero per team.
- We're All Soldiers Now - Soldier: 76 only. Half health. Slow cooldowns on abilities. Slow gain rate on ultimates. Control maps only.
- This is Ilios - Lucio and Roadhog only. Limited to 1 Lúcio per team. Single map only (Ilios)
- High Noon - McCree only.
- Justice Rains From Above - Mercy and Pharah only. Very fast cooldowns on abilities. Slow gain rate on ultimates. Assault maps only.
- Super Shimada Bros - Genji and Hanzo only. Very fast cooldowns on abilities. Slow gain rate on ultimates. Single map only (Hanamura).
- Charge! - Lucio and Reinhardt only. Limited to 1 Lúcio per team.
- One Shot, One Kill - Ana, Hanzo, and Widowmaker only.
- Ana Knows Best - Used in tandem with the Ana release. Ana, Tank heroes only.
- Girl Power - Female heroes only.
- Have Fun Storming The Castle - Single map only (Eichenwalde). No duplicate heroes per team.
- Head's Up - Unreleased. Genji, Hanzo, McCree and Widowmaker only. Damage only from headshots.
- High Noon - McCree only. Damage only from headshots. Single map only (Route 66).
- Mystery Heroes - Respawn as a random hero. Cannot switch heroes at any time.
- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - McCree, Reaper and Roadhog only.
Special Brawls are special limited-edition brawls that are used in tandem with special events. They cannot be reproduced in Custom Games mode.
- Lúcioball - Available during the Summer Games 2016 event, Lúcioball is a three-on-three game mode set in the Estádio das Rãs arena. Teams of Lúcio players must push a large soccer ball towards their enemy team's goal (in similar vein to Rocket League). Lúcio's primary fire is replaced with his melee attack, he cannot Crossfade out of speed boosting, and he cannot damage enemies. He can, however, use his Sound Barrier to pull the ball towards him, use numerous trampolines in the arena to high jump, and wall-ride certain walls faster. The team that scores the most goals in the time limit wins the match.
- Junkenstein's Revenge - Available during the Halloween Terror event, Junkenstein's Revenge is a four-player co-operative game mode set in a sectioned-off part of Eichenwalde. Players pick either Ana, Hanzo, McCree, or Soldier: 76 as they fight waves of "Zomnics" (zombie omnics) to protect their castle door within an amount of time. Throughout the match, they must regularly face Dr. Junkenstein and his monster, as well as The Reaper. At the end of the match, they must face all three bosses at once, along with The Witch, to win the match. Duplicate heroes are not allowed and players can not switch between heroes once the game starts.
- Mei's Snowball Offensive - Available during the Winter Wonderland event, Mei's Snowball Offensive is a six-on-six Elimination game mode set in Ecopoint: Antarctica. Teams of Mei players must eliminate the enemy team with their modified Endothermic Blasters (that can only fire a single instant-kill snowball). Melee is disabled and players can only carry one snowball at a time (in which they must find randomly-placed piles of snow to gather more). Her ultimate is replaced by a temporary buff that gives her infinite ammo (allowing her to fire at a rapid pace).
- Capture the Rooster - Available during the Year of the Rooster event, Capture the Rooster is a six-on-six Capture the Flag game mode set in Lijiang Tower. The first to three captures (or the team with the most captures at the time limit) wins the match.
Many years prior to the events of the game, the Omnica Corporation, a leading robotics manufacturer and AI developer, found that its Omnic robots became somewhat sentient. The Omnics organized themselves and started attacking their human masters in a global war that became known as the Omnic Crisis. To counter this threat, an international task force called Overwatch was formed under the United Nations to combine those with special powers, technology, and other abilities into a fighting force capable of countering the Omnics. Eventually, Overwatch managed to fight off the Omnics enough to end the war, and reach a peace accord with the remaining synthetic beings.
After the war, Overwatch remained active as an international peacekeeping force, but after multiple instances of criminal and terrorist actions occurring across the globe, Overwatch found itself embroiled in controversy. Branded as being corrupt and evil, like those they were fighting, public opinion slowly turned against the organization, culminating in an explosion at Overwatch headquarters that supposedly took the life of its leader and his second-in-command.
Afterwards, the task force was officially disbanded by the United Nations, and the members of Overwatch drifted away. However, after new attacks by the mysterious Talon group start happening around the globe, and rumors of a second Omnic Crisis awakening in Russia, the surviving members of Overwatch decided to reunite to once again protect the world from evil.