Timed exceedingly well with this morning’s revelations at the media briefing at gamescom in Cologne, Germany, many users started reporting that the Overwatch icon has appeared in the Battle.net client. After the desktop client was introduced, the addition of a game’s icon often meant that your account had been flagged to participate in alpha and/or beta testing for that game. That happened with both Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and plenty of people today have come to the conclusion that it was happening again with Overwatch. However, when folks took to the WoW forums to talk about this (since Overwatch doesn’t currently have any discussion forums of its own), Support Forum Centaur Vrakthis had this to say in response: Reading between the blue lines a bit, it’s clear what’s going on: instead of Blizzard using the desktop client as a repository of what games you have, Blizzard is shifting to

 

Lucio And New Maps Revealed At gamescom

by Crow on

As teased last week, which we speculated on extensively, Blizzard has revealed a new hero named Lúcio at gamescom, as well as two new maps. Let’s get into it. First off, take a look at Lúcio and his ability preview. Gameplay Analysis The first thing to talk about with Lúcio is his mobility. Being able to run across walls makes him an interesting target to hit, and the video demonstrates that it’ll give him options for moving around the map that other characters might not have. Knocking back enemies with his secondary attack, plus being able to improve his own speed with Crossfade, means that he’ll be able to escape hot spots. The fact that Crossfade improves speed for nearby allies means that he’ll be a big asset on offense, especially combined with Crossfade’s healing option and his ultimate ability. It’s important to point out that the shields from Sound Barrier appear to be very

 

OVERHYPE: From Russia With Mechs

by Crow on

A new teaser image from the Overwatch team resuscitates the hype train leading into gamescom on Thursday. Volskaya Industries CEO announces increased mech production after new attacks from Siberian omnium. pic.twitter.com/Cpu0HKAc80 — Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) August 4, 2015 So what can we extract from the image alone, since there isn’t actually an interview for us to analyze? Let’s get started: Right out the gate, this could almost certainly be a character reveal, except for the part where doing another Russian character after announcing Zarya seems like an odd choice. Granted, it wouldn’t be the strangest thing to have two Russian women in play, since it helps to overturn the Western bias that games have generally had throughout history, whether they’re developed in the West or not. The bottom line? Consider me dubious of the possibility that Katya is a new character. Second, there’s the bulk of the screenshot that showcases a

A new article has appeared on the Overwatch news feed, playing up the possibility that a new character is going to be revealed at gamescom next week. This article contains a couple of EDM music samples posted to music streaming site Soundcloud, which is interesting in and of it itself. In tandem with last week’s post of an image to imgur (which we totally missed; sorry everyone!) this shows that Blizzard seems to be interested in flexing some of the multimedia elements of the Internet itself as part of the approach of the transmedia storytelling that Overwatch seems poised to engage. Read the full article below, along with some speculation about who this new character might be afterwards. Lúcio, an acclaimed musical artist who’s built his career doing live shows, has already become something of a national icon in his home country of Brazil. Now he’s poised to win an international

Well, looks like the tease campaign is actually over: Soldier 76 now has an official profile page on the Overwatch site, complete with ability previews, character bio, and a pair of videos that showcase both his addition to the cast and an animatic sequence that provides his origin story. Check out the videos below and some additional analysis after that. Some sharp-eyed folks on Reddit also picked up on a few visual clues during the origin video: namely that a character appears who may be related to Pharah, as well as someone who may be Reaper before he goes all shadow-killy-time. No way to tell if this is true without more story materials, but it’s interesting to see Blizzard plant the seeds. Aside from all the story implications of 76’s origin video, this entire campaign has started to demonstrate how Blizzard plans to deliver on the transmedia story of Overwatch; doing

The Soldier:76 teaser campaign continues and drops its biggest bombs yet: the identity of the masked assailant, and where he falls in the growing conflict at the heart of Overwatch. Commander Jack Morrison: What really happened to the man who defined a generation? | http://t.co/TrEs7D3AvN pic.twitter.com/96BtVjFwum — Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) July 6, 2015 Read the full report below and then stick around for some analysis. I remember the day Jack Morrison died. It was the day the world lost a hero.Like other members of the so-called “Overwatch Generation,” I spent my childhood looking up to Morrison. He taught me that heroes were real. He made me believe that even I could be one. When he died under mysterious circumstances six years ago, I felt as if a part of my childhood died with him. The details about his death have always remained few and far between, a strange fact, given that he

 

New/Old Clues About Soldier 76?

by Crow on

After the reveal of the “Soldier 76” teaser image from earlier, one of our staffers recalled that it might not necessarily be an entirely new concept: apparently, Chris Metzen (currently Senior VP of Story and Franchise Development at Blizzard, and generally recognized as the guy who does the big amp-the-crowd pitch at BlizzCon every year) had an independent comic submission that he wrote with the same name back in 2004. You can read Metzen’s own summary of the concept on the art anthology site Sons of the Storm, which while not an official Blizzard site is made up of current and former Blizzard artists including Samwise Didier, Glenn Rane, and Wei Wang. This is the part of Metzen’s concept that stuck out to us: Essentially, the character – S:76 – is an old super soldier (there was a whole series of them – though the term ‘super soldier’ will likely

The hype train continues… somewhat erratically, really, because after the teaser image from a few days ago I expected it would be longer before we saw something else. Still, here’s what’s new: Who is "Soldier: 76?" New image provides clues about suspect involved in attacks on Overwatch facilities. pic.twitter.com/BOgmpKQghD — Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) July 2, 2015 So what does this image tell us that we might not have already known before? Well, first and foremost is the clear look at what our new hero’s backside looks like, with the clear “76” and a triangular frame. This cements the idea that our new hero is likely male, since that body shape wouldn’t make sense with a female character; Zarya’s body shape is still feminine even if she’s built like a glorious pink-haired earthmover. We can also tell that this dude is wearing a mask, which has been stated plainly in previous

In addition to re-jigging the Overwatch main site to help showcase their blog entries, it looks like the Overwatch team is also looking to start writing some news articles from an in-universe perspective. That’s what brings us this news report from Atlas News, which seems to go hand-in-hand with the teaser image we saw weeks ago. In related news that should surprise no one, Team 4 is going to be at gamescom 2015 in Cologne, August 5-9th. The timing of these teasers definitely indicates that we can expect to hear some big news out of Blizzard. Without further ado, let’s get to the Atlas News piece, with some commentary from yours truly after the article: Experimental Weapon Stolen from Watchpoint: Grand Mesa WORLD By Atlas News Staff 1 hour ago 7 Officials Confirm Connection to Earlier IncidentsGRAND JUNCTION, CO—A masked intruder has attacked a former Overwatch facility, injuring a number

UPDATE: It appears the tweet and teaser image have been deleted from the official Twitter feed. However, thanks to Reddit, the image has been preserved:  UPDATE 6/29: The image has been posted again on the official Twitter feed: Security breach reported at former Overwatch base in Colorado. Intruder's motives currently unknown. pic.twitter.com/sPMxXq9vl5 — Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) June 29, 2015 Original coverage follows:  The @PlayOverwatch feed just pushed this out a few minutes ago: Explosions reported at former Overwatch base. Assailant's motives currently unknown. pic.twitter.com/hF3nByEEuK — Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) June 19, 2015 So what could it mean? Well, first off, this is likely the start of a tease campaign, similar to what we saw before PAX East earlier this year. Recall that during that campaign, we were introduced to McCree, Zarya, and the Watchpoint: Gibraltar map. Assuming that this is something similar, we can likely expect more teases as we lead