In the heat of the night: see Overwatch’s Petra

The news that Overwatch‘s birthday event will tomorrow add a new deathmatch map named ‘Petra’ might not have meant much to you, but if you don’t know the name you’ll surely recognise the landmark. Watch the new trailer below and you’ll be instantly struck by the realisation that: oh my god, Petra is that Jordanian valley city made world-famous in the late 80s by The Sisters Of Mercy’s Dominion video. And now Overwatch is off there! Very exciting. Time to wash (and iron!) your white linen suits in preparation for the festivities.

Blizzard blarb:

“A group of archaeologists have begun an excavation and preservation project among the ruins of Petra, a new Deathmatch map that puts all heroes on their own, facing off against one another until one hero scores enough eliminations to win the match.

“Take in Petra’s majestic views, from high vistas to twisting passageways and deep caverns. Travel along deadly cliffs, but be careful to not fall off! A dilapidated bridge stretches across the map, and the ground underneath it can crumble away to reveal a lethal pit. Hopping on a green jump pad will boost you up to Petra’s higher levels and unlock new strategic possibilities for you. . . .”

Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday–Dominion!–is when Overwatch’s birthday celebrations will kick off with Petra, Competitive Mode support for deathmatch, new skins, and other shiny odds and ends. Overwatch will be free to play in full from May 25 to 29 too.

Anyway, enough of that, here’s this:


  1. tigerfort says:

    I am now very disappointed, having discovered that the “the annual Sisters of Mercy reference[…]” tag points only to this one article, rather than one every year back to 1873.

  2. LearningToSmile says:

    It’s a very pretty map. There’s a video floating around from someone who managed to play the map in game that showcases it a little better than the official one, and it looks really good.

    Overwatch maps really look the best when they mix the futuristic tech with nature and/or old, antique buildings. The overall look of their future tech is polished but quite generic(even when they’re going for some “exotic” inspirations) and it needs some contrast to make it work.

    Shame that FFA is currently barely playable thanks to Brigitte.

  3. Excors says:

    There’s an unofficial video of all the skins and dance emotes and the new map here. The entire event content got leaked a couple of days ago – apparently some people could simply launch the game in a certain way and get access to the new patch, which is a bit of slip-up by Blizzard. (Normally the content is downloaded in advance (at least on PTR) but is encrypted (though slightly sloppily), and the encryption key isn’t released publicly until the official launch. This time they must have misconfigured the servers or something.)

  4. joer says:

    I was just reminded of this recently too…. link to

  5. automatic says:

    Looking from a FPS perspective this seems like something ripped off from Warframe. The colors, platforms and technological gadgets mixed up with the ancient environment. Blizzard, like always, fed up on “references”. That’s not to say complete lack of originality.

    • Excors says:

      It’s not really a new style for Overwatch – Temple of Anubis, the first map they developed, already mixes ancient architecture with robots and solar panels and flying boats, so I think this feels like an evolution of that. (link to has some screenshots of Anubis from late 2013 / early 2014.)

      • automatic says:

        I could say Warframe is older than Overwatch and thus even Temple of Anubis but using high tech over ancient scenery is not an original idea to games since it’s at least as old as Stargate. The problem here is even the color palette is similar. Check it out and judge yourself: link to

        • Zorgulon says:

          Meh, what colour palette are they supposed to use? It’s red sandstone.

          I think a lot of us have been playing FPS games in archaeological digs since at least Goldeneye, and this is clearly in the same vein. No it’s not an original setting, but pinning it specifically to Warframe is strange.

          • automatic says:

            Color palettes are a design choice. There are tons of different red tones. Even at a same RL location you can have hundreds of color variations depending on the time of the day and season, so no, not locked to a specific palette. I’m saying they are copying Warframe because it’s also a multiplayer sci-fi shooter. Plus because it’s Blizzard, a company widely known to rip off other games and jazz the content up with some pop glitter.

  6. Premium User Badge

    zapatapon says:

    As far as I’m concerned, Petra was made world-famous in the late 50s by HergĂ©’s Adventures of Tintin.

    Call me old-fashioned, I suppose.

  7. PuttyGod says:

    The first thing I thought of when I saw that screenshot is the area in MGSV with the ancient ruins built into the cave/mountain.

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