For those of you who have had the chance at playing the open beta for Overwatch this past weekend have probably poured countless hours into trying out the extensive range of heroes. The great thing about the Open Beta is that it includes full launch day content, however more is sure to be added in the following months.
On a side note, the open beta has been extended for a further 24 hours for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One to 10:00AM PT May 10.
In a post on Battle.net, Blizzard wrote, “Over the last week, we’ve also had the opportunity to listen to your thoughts and opinions on the game; make improvements based on your reports in these very forums; and collect invaluable data just from you playing normally […] We couldn’t be more grateful. So, as a small way of saying thank you to our community and the millions of players who’ve logged in so far.”
Now, let’s get into some interesting facts that you probably never knew about Overwatch’s story, creation and characters.
- Overwatch is an international task-force responsible for leading the war during the ‘Omnic Crisis’ which saw the end of a war against highly intelligent robots who attempted to take over the world. After the war, Overwatch was kept around as a peacekeeping group, however due to corruption the taskforce was disbanded causing many to become mercenaries.
- Blizzard wanted Overwatch to be as relatable to a modern day Earth as possible with settings around the world such as Greece ‘Illios’, Japan ‘Hanamura’, America’s ‘Route 66’ and many more. In conjunction with setting, the games events occur post Omnic Crisis and the golden age thus the incorporation of new and old heroes that weren’t exactly apart of Overwatch.
- Overwatch has four different role classes for all types of gamers with specific play styles such as Offense heroes who are agile, can press the objective and can scout like Soldier:76, McCree, Tracer, Reaper, Pharah and Genji. Defense heroes are able to create choke points, establish defence fronts and guard locations such as Widowmaker, Torbjorn, Bastion, Junkrat, Mei and Hanzo. Support heroes provide the team with speed and damage buffs and healing like Lucio, Symmetra, Mercy and Zenyatta. Tank heroes have higher armour and health, heavy hitters and also providing protection like Zarya, Winston, Reinhardt, Roadhog and D.Va.
- Widowmaker formerly known as Amélie Lacroix was turned by a Talon terrorist organization to eliminate her husband Gérard Lacroix who at the time was an Overwatch agent. After kidnapping and subjecting her to a suppressive program of neural reconditioning basically turning her into a sleeper agent, Overwatch agents eventually found her and returned her to her normal life, however two weeks later she killed Gérard in his sleep. Widowmaker returned to Talon where she continued training in covert arts and has become the organizations most effective assassin.
- Tracer was once an Overwatch agent and one of the youngest people to be introduced into an experimental flight programme where she was chosen to test a prototype teleporting fighter called the Slipstream. During the test flight the device malfunctioned causing her molecules to desynchronize from the ebb and flow of time. Unable to maintain a physical form, scientists and doctors were helpless until an Overwatch scientist named Winston created a device that kept the Tracer in present time whilst simultaneously allowing her to control her own time.
- PC Gamer in an interview with Overwatch Creative Director Chris Metzen and Senior Game designer Michael Chu posed the question on the games ‘heroes’ as there are characters that are undeniably villains. Metzen commented, “we got trapped with the nomenclature we were using early on […] In a funny way, what I was sensitive to when we began Overwatch is I didn’t want to create a franchise that felt binary […] Because Warcraft had been so defined by that, and rightly so. […] Everybody’s play styles are so different, our vibe styles are different, too. So there’s players that like playing more dastardly characters.”
- Blizzard Entertainment has actually published a digital comic series which features the vigilante Jesse McCree released on April 21. For anyone wanting to get a bit of back story on one of the many colourful heroes in Overwatch. In a blog post Blizzard wrote a brief bio, “In Train Hopper, former Blackwatch operative-turned vigilante Jesse McCree hitches a ride on a hypertrain to Houston in the hopes of skipping town and laying low for a while. But soon after the engine starts, he realizes his trip is going to be anything but ‘low profile'”.
- Finally, Blizzard decided to remove a ‘sexualized’ Tracer pose which stirred up quite a bit of controversy back in April. The ‘Over the Shoulder’ pose in question stemmed from a community members complaint named Fipps who went on to commented, “WHAT? What about this pose has anything to do with the character you’re building in tracer? It’s not fun, it’s not silly, it has nothing to do with being a fast elite killer. It just reduces tracer to another bland sex symbol.” Blizzard in response to the topic of issue commented, “We’ll replace the pose. We want everyone to feel strong and heroic in our community. The last thing we want to do is make someone feel uncomfortable, under-appreciated or misrepresented. Apologies and we’ll continue to try to do better.”