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Blizzard’s annual event, Blizzcon, is happening right now and the developer has announced a new IP, A Hearthstone expansion and a new standalone StarCraft II game.
The biggest news of the day was the reveal of Overwatch. Overwatch is totally new IP from Blizzard and is a online first person shooter. The game is class based and has a stylized look. Kotaku confirmed that this game is indeed built from some of what remains of the cancelled “Titan” game. Though Blizzard’s Chris Metzen pointed out that Overwatch is a “very different game.”
Blizzard has released video and screenshots of Overwatch, which is their first new IP in nearly 17 years. The game will have a beta next year, so players will have a chance to get their hands on it relatively soon. The game looks to have some aspects in common with the recently revealed Gearbox game “Battleborn.” You can read the Blizzard press release for Overwatch below:
The action of Overwatch takes place in a technologically advanced, highly stylized future earth. In a time of global crisis, an international task force of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities known as Overwatch had come together to restore peace to a war-torn world. After many years, the group’s influence waned, and it was eventually disbanded. Overwatch might be gone now . . . but the world still needs heroes.
With an emphasis on accessibility and pure fun, Overwatch brings Blizzard’s signature easy-to-learn, hard-to-master gameplay to the FPS genre. Harnessing the power of their hero of choice, players will join forces in teams of six and battle each other across a range of futuristic global locations, from the hologram-lit streets of London to a bazaar in the shadows of a high-tech Egyptian pyramid. Every battlefield is iconic and built to highlight each character’s unique abilities, and fights can shift from streets to rooftops to open skies within the span of a breath.
“Overwatch is our take on a vibrant, near-future universe with amped-up characters and action-packed team-based gameplay,” saidMike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “With every new Blizzard game, we look at our favorite aspects of a genre and put our own spin on things. Our goal with Overwatch is to create an awesome FPS experience that’s more accessible to a much wider audience while delivering the action and depth that shooter fans love.”
The heroes of Overwatch each bring their own distinct weapons and superabilities to bear. Here’s just a glimpse of the numerous heroes that will ultimately fill Overwatch’s rosters:
- Tracer, a former British test pilot who shrugs at danger, can execute impossible acrobatic assaults thanks to her ability to teleport, drop energy bombs, and even reverse time.
- Reinhardt, a hulking German soldier in battle armor, can charge great distances and pin his enemies to a wall or slam the ground with his rocket hammer to knock them off their feet.
- Hanzo, a bow-wielding Japanese mercenary, has the ability to scale walls with his bare hands, fire off a tracking device that illuminates nearby enemies for his team, and unleash a huge spirit dragon that does grievous damage to all enemies in its path.
- Symmetra, an Indian architech, manipulates light and energy to shield her allies and damage her enemies—and she can turn the tide of any battle by building a device that instantly transports her teammates to the front lines.
Here is some gameplay Blizzard released showing off Overwatch in action.
Hearthstone will be getting it’s first expansion next month. The expansion is called Goblins vs. Gnomes and will include 120 new cards. Blizzard released Curse of Naxxramas a few months ago, but this is said to be considerably larger and will have more content and additions. Blizzard released a new trailer for the upcoming Hearthstone expansion below.
Finally Blizzard showed off and talked about StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, which is a standalone game focusing on the alien race called the Protoss. You can read Blizzard’s press release and see the new trailer below.
ANAHEIM, Calif.— Blizzard Entertainment today offered the first glimpse of StarCraft® II: Legacy of the Void™, its highly anticipated conclusion to theStarCraft II trilogy, and a standalone game experience. Attendees of the company’s BlizzCon®gaming festival were the first in the world to play Legacy of the Void, with single-player campaign missions, a new cooperative gameplay mode—Archon Mode, and multiplayer battles featuring several new playable units all on display. Another gameplay mode, Allied Commanders, was also announced at the event.
StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void continues the story of Blizzard’s award-winningStarCraft II: Wings of Liberty® where the first expansion, Heart of the Swarm®, left off, with a new campaign that brings the sci-fi saga to an epic conclusion. Protoss legends Artanis and Zeratul attempt to unite their race in an intergalactic fight for survival against an ancient evil from the Void that threatens the universe. The fates of Terran hero Jim Raynor and Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades, also hang in the balance.
“Legacy of the Void will deliver the quintessential StarCraft II experience,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “The new single-player campaign will wrap up the massive story, and we’re excited to share new game modes that will open up different ways to play the game and additional units that will expand the rich strategic depth of StarCraft II multiplayer.”
Archon Mode, a competitive multiplayer mode unveiled at BlizzCon, is a new way to enjoy StarCraft II with friends. In Archon Mode, two players share control over a single base and units as they take on an enemy duo in multiplayer action. By sharing the responsibility of commanding troops and managing resources, players can focus on their own areas of the battle and execute more intricate strategies.
Allied Commanders is another gameplay mode new to StarCraft II. In this objective-based, cooperative experience, players can team up and take on the roles of powerful commanders from the StarCraft saga. Each commander offers unique abilities and upgrades and bestows special bonuses on their armies. Players are able to battle through a series of special scenarios together, leveling up their commanders’ capabilities as they progress.
Multiplayer battles in Legacy of the Void will be fought with an array of new units, as well as upgrades to veteran forces. Zerg swarms will welcome the return of the Lurker, a classic creature from the original StarCraft that lays waste to infantry with deadly spines that burst from the ground. The Protoss field a new weapon called the Disruptor, which can use massive energy spikes to wreak havoc through swaths of ground forces. And the Terrans have engineered some new technology, such as Tactical Jump, which allows their Battlecruisers to teleport to any location on the battlefield. Several more new units and abilities were exhibited at BlizzCon, showcasing the new strategic and tactical options in store for players with Legacy of the Void.
Blizzard also revealed that Legacy of the Void will include functionality that enhances online multiplayer play with automated tournaments, providing players with ongoing events that support the active StarCraft II community. Legacy of the Void will be a standalone expansion that does not require a license of the base game, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, or the first expansion, Heart of the Swarm. Further details aboutLegacy of the Void, including pricing and availability, will be announced at a later date.
Here’s the trailer for the upcoming standalone game.
Overall it was a big day for Blizzard news and a historic one too. It’s been a while, nearly 17 years, since Blizzard announced a new IP. Overwatch looks different than previous Blizzard games, but seems to have the same level of quality and care that they are known for. We will have to wait till next year to get to play it, but I’m excited to see what that becomes.