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Overwatch

Overwatch review

Heroic effort

120

Overwatch: Sombra abilities and strategy tips

Learn how to play Overwatch's hacker

13

Overwatch: Ana abilities and strategy tips

Learn how to play the support sniper

11

16 hours ago

Re-re-watch: Overwatch finally adding replays

For Overwatch players who wish to revisit former glories or learn from past mistakes, Blizzard are finally adding the much-requested feature of replays. As you'd expect from the feature that's been common in multiplayer shooters for oh so many years, it will let players view past matches from different perspectives at different speeds and all that. Me, I'm hoping I'll get to finally take some…

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3 days ago

Overwatch celebrates three years with old brawls, new looks and a free trial

Overwatch has now been kicking around the multiplayer shooter scene for three years, although it feels like longer, thanks to the game's constant barrage of seasonal updates and events. Blizzard are kicking off their anniversary celebrations with a trial week, so anyone still on the fence can try the game free here, and newcomers will get to try all of the notable event modes of…

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6 days ago

Dota 2’s paid “avoid player” option is part of a pattern of developers sidelining anti-abuse features

Dota 2's International 2019 Battle Pass has plenty of issues. As Matt wrote earlier this month, alongside a waterfall of cosmetics and a special mode, the pass will unlock an in-game assistant that seems to give owners an advantage over those who haven’t forked over at least £7.50/$10. But (as reported by The Verge) the pass is paywalling another key feature – the ability to…

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1 week ago

Feature: You could say their dominance came as a... Shock

Know It OWL: San Francisco Shock Special Edition

The thing about writing a column about the Overwatch League is that you have to be selective. There are 20 teams playing 16 games per week, so you necessarily have to pick out certain stories to follow and let others fall by the wayside. Unfortunately, that means that I have barely mentioned the team who just became our stage two champions, San Francisco Shock. Oops.…

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2 weeks ago

Feature:

How one deaf Overwatch fan is trying to make the game more accessible

If you’re tuning into the Overwatch League’s stage two playoffs this weekend, you might see a video featuring 14-year-old Danik Soudakoff. Soudakoff is an attendee of some of the games in the Burbank arena, a fan of the Los Angeles Valiant, and deaf. When attending games, he gets an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter to keep him informed, and he’s been a part of creating…

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Overwatch rolls out its rum-scented, sun-bleached Havana map

After a relaxing stay on the public test realm, the latest competitive Overwatch map makes its way to the regular leagues. Released yesterday, Havana is an Escort map set on the anachronistic but sunny streets of Cuba. Befitting the location, the attacking team are trying to get a truck full of rum barrels to the Don Rumbotico distillery, presumably to be filled with delicious dark…

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3 weeks ago

Turn-based Overwatch is the best way to play 3v3 deathmatch

Thanks to the Overwatch Workshop Blizzard released into testing last week, the test server browser is now full of custom games with enticing names like "Mystery Egg", "Thanos - No Endgame Spoilers" and "Skyrim". I've already told you about the joys of spaceships and Weeping Angels. Now I'm going to tell you about the delights of Turn-based Overwatch.

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Feature: OWL on the road

Know It OWL: Crowd pleasers

This week of the Overwatch League saw teams travelling to Dallas for what was advertised as “The First Home Game” (apparently the two separate teams that represent Los Angeles don’t count). Four thousand fans packed into the Texas arena, cheering for Dallas Fuel and splitting in two (if somewhat unevenly) when it came to the showdown against Houston Outlaws. It was a dry run, in…

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4 weeks ago

Overwatch Workshop shows off spaceship sims and Weeping Angels

The problem with D.Va, right, is that she's not a spaceship. Overwatch modder "Excors" has fixed that using the Overwatch Workshop, a tool Blizzard released last week that lets you twiddle with hero abilities and rule sets, then share them with the public. Spaceship Simulator plops souped-up D.Vas into a low-gravity free-for-all, swooping about and firing missiles at each other, as spaceships are wont to…

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1 month ago

Overwatch adds game-mode modding with Workshop mode today

They're not offering Valve-like levels of freedom, but Blizzard have just launched a basic modding framework for Overwatch. Workshop mode will allow players to dig into the game's logic to create custom modes and even tweak and tune heroes. Sadly, it won't be offering the option to create all new maps, models or audio, but players will at least be able to create custom servers running…

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Feature: Where in the world

Overwatch’s Cuban cars highlight a dedication to aesthetic over context

The latest Overwatch event, Storm Rising, takes our shooty-bang cast to Havana, Cuba, and the full escort map is available to noodle around in on the test servers before its launch in a couple of weeks. Like all of the game’s locations, it uses shortcuts to communicate place within the necessary constraints. There’s a rum distillery, of course, and a large sea fort presumably based…

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Feature: Let's talk about Justice

Know It OWL: The ups and downs of the Overwatch League fandom

We talk a lot here about the people who make the Overwatch League go around: players, staff, casters, analysts, production crews, photographers, and so on. It’s sometimes easy to forget, though, that any sport is also propped up by its fans, for better and for worse. This week, that fact was brought to the forefront by one retirement, one hometown clash, and a lot of…

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Overwatch has turned Reaper into an aggressively sneaky rascal

When I first saw Reaper, I thought "that's the Overwatch shootyman for me". If you look past the whole 'try-hard 13 year old's version of cool' deal, you'll see a stupidly high DPS assassin who can teleport and become temporarily immortal. But then if you looked past that, you'd realise the teleport was slow and left you achingly vulnerable, which meant it wasn't much use…

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Overwatch goes co-op again tomorrow in the Storm Rising event

Another time-limited co-op mission lands tomorrow in Overwatch, telling yet another tale of the sci-fi super-team's past. Similar to last year's Retribution event, it looks to be another four-player romp, this time with Genji, Mercy, Winston and Tracer on the trail of Talon money-mech Maximilian. While I doubt the level will contain half the car-chases and dramatic duels shown in the trailer below, it should give…

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Feature:

Know It OWL: Overwatch League stage two stirs things up

Welcome back to the Overwatch League! After a week off, it’s a new stage, a new patch, and just as much chaos. What’s the meta? I have no idea but “bunker comp” seems to be popular so let’s break that down first before turning our attention to how teams are dealing with this strange new world. Unsurprisingly, it’s the already chaotic Chengdu Hunters who seem…

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2 months ago

Overwatch teases new Cuban content

Blizzard's FPS Overwatch continues to drip-feed lore, this time with a teasing blog post that suggests the motley crew of heroes will be travelling to Cuba sometime soon, and that they won't be enjoying lovely weather. A local Havana newspaper shares the story of a family brewery lost to a megacorporation, before warning of a hurricane hitting the island.

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Feature: Overwatch League puppy bowl when?

Know It OWL: Stage one small talk with the teams

This week there weren’t any Overwatch League games, as the players took a well-deserved rest. But with stage one done and dusted and last week being all about the playoffs, we’ve been doing an awful lot of talking about pure results. That’s fine and all, but it’s hardly the only thing to care about in the League (otherwise we’d all just be Titans fans). So…

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Feature: A farewell (?) to Goats

Know It OWL: Stage one showdowns

The Overwatch League stage one playoff finals will “probably be the Vancouver Titans and New York Excelsior, but this stage has been so topsy-turvy that I’m willing to eat my words,” said I, last week. So here I am, munching, because it was yet another week of upsets culminating in an incredible showdown between San Francisco Shock and, well, still Vancouver Titans. Apparently no amount…

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Overwatch says its bad behaviour is down by 40%, but that doesn’t tell the full story

At GDC this week, Blizzard gave a talk discussing the endorsement system that they added to Overwatch last summer, claiming that it reduced bad behaviour in the first person shooter by 40%. Huzzah! Unfortunately, even if we take Blizzard’s own numbers totally at face value, it’s that remaining 60% you’re actually going to notice playing the game and interacting with the community.

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Feature: Once a Dragon, always a Dragon

Know It OWL: Playoff places and some long-awaited Justice

Without the Shanghai Dragons playing this week, I thought it might finally be the week I didn’t cry at the Overwatch League. But I forgot that there was an ex-Dragon, still yet to win, continuing his losing streak on struggling expansion team Washington Justice. And thanks to Chon “Ado” Gihyeon, despite it being the final week before playoffs, it once again became one in which…

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