Overwatch’s Closed Beta Returned With New Mode, Maps

“Would it be possible for you to write the Overwatch info, Alice?” Pip asks as she swings through Unravel, and I… as a good friend, shall refrain from embarking upon An Hilarious Misunderstanding with several hundreds words about XCOM 2 ‘overwatch’ attacks. So. Closed beta testing has resumed for Overwatch [official site] (you can sign up over here), bringing with it new maps and modes and things.

This may be most immediately useful to folks in the beta but hey, it also tells the rest of us what to expect from Blizzard’s FPS.

For example: Overwatch will have a mode a bit like Team Fortress 2’s Control Point, named simply Control, with two new maps of its own. Blizzard explain:

“On Control maps, two teams fight over a series of objective areas in a best-of-three format. When a team is in control of the round’s objective area, they will make progress toward capturing it, and whichever team gets to 100% first wins the round. Each round (up to 3 total) will feature a new objective area located in a different part of the map.”

Its two new maps are Nepal, set around a robomonastery in the Himalayas, and Lijiang Tower in a Chinese futurecity.

Also: Overwatch will have the option to play against AI-controlled bots by yourself or with pals. That’s now in the beta too.

And: if playing video games isn’t fun enough for you, you’ll be able to enjoy ‘levelling up’ your account to get new skins and poses and other cosmetic bits.

See? Haven’t we all learned a lot?

I’m still a little surprised that Overwatch isn’t going to be free-to-play. It looks a fair bit like ‘Team Fortress 2 with MOBA characters’ to my inexperienced eyes and, given that those are free-to-play… I’ve made an ass out of ‘u’ (you) and me. It’ll cost £29.99/$39.99.

Pip will be popping back into the beta when she has a mo, and will tell us all what she thinks. It wouldn’t be the first time she’s told me to sit down and shut up and educate my foolish self.


  1. Lethe says:

    From coverage elsewhere it sounds like they’re borrowing the reward system from Hearthstone, i.e. you get cosmetic rewards of varying rarities simply through playing, but there’ll be an option to buy chests with random (cosmetic) gear too.

  2. Grizzly says:

    Is it more like TF2 was in it’s original form, more of a carefully orchestrated piece rather then the wall-of-items that it later became?

  3. Hoot says:

    If they gave pre-order people beta access I’d buy it today. Watched the cinematic trailer, I laughed and also got some feels, worthy of Pixar. Checked out the gameplay and it looks like it will easily be able to replace TF2 as my go-to multiplayer FPS (no offense, but the HAT stuff and the seemingly limitless pointless crap included in that game ruins it for me).

    • Duylar says:

      Ya me too. I’d pre-order if it guaranteed I could play beta. I suppose Blizz figures if they did that more people would pre-order than they currently want in the beta. I wonder if there’s anyone who didn’t pre-order in the beta?

    • Vandelay says:

      I’m with you on thinking this might be a TF2 replacement. I am very much ready for it too, as it has been years since we have had a multiplayer shooter that focused on being both fun, light hearted and competitive.

      It using the levelling treadmill just for cosmetic items is even better.

      • Hoot says:

        Absolutely. I much prefer either team based shooters or Quake-a-likes to the Battlefields and CS:GOs of this world.

        This Overwatch is looking like its taking what made TF2 great (individual classes, asymmetric playstyles, a fun approach) and expanding on that while providing actual cool free cosmetic progression through levelling, not just being able to equip a silly hat or watching mugs spend £40 on one.

  4. int says:

    Closed beta! But not for me.

    “I’ve made an ass out of ‘u’ (you) and me”
    Ah the Benny Hill assumption.

  5. Evil Pancakes says:

    Ok Blizzard, just tell me which god(s) I am to sacrifice this virgin goat to, to get beta access.

  6. Xzi says:

    I might be in the beta. Cautiously optimistic. For just just a second I moused over the ‘play’ button and it said, “sorry, you haven’t been invited to play Overwatch yet,” but then it just kinda went transparent and started downloading the newest build.

    I’m either about to squeal with joy or fart with anger. Latter option is not pretty.

    • Xzi says:

      Wow Blizzard, way to be an ass. Why download the newest build for me without giving me access. *Angry elephant sound*

  7. Raoul Duke says:

    Still mystified as to why this game needs so much coverage.

    • Sulpher says:

      On this site, or in the games media you peruse?

      • Raoul Duke says:

        On this site. It looks like a very mediocre class-based shooter with an overly kiddie graphics style. I haven’t read anything to suggest that it is in some way a revolutionary innovation within the genre. Yet it gets loads of coverage whereas the (excellent, IMHO) Dirty Bomb and other similar games get virtually nil. Overwatch is becoming the new ARK: Survival Evolved at RPS – someone, somewhere, has determined that what Overwatch had for breakfast each morning is newsworthy (to be fair – possibly someone looking at site metrics and what people click on has decided this).

        I guess I look at each such article as a lost chance to read something written by my favourite games writers about something else.

        • Dances to Podcasts says:

          To me it’s Dirty Bomb that looks like the average game. The Scrolls to Overwatch’s Hearthstone, so to speak.

        • fish99 says:

          It doesn’t look mediocre to me. The character designs, level designs, aesthetics, animations etc all look top notch.

      • Raoul Duke says:

        PS – in my case those are the same thing :)

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      It’s the new Blizzard game, and the first new-new game they’ve made in… yonks. It’s worth keeping an eye on.