What a pleasant Christmas surprise! Here I thought that most development would've shifted onto Overwatch 2 by now, but it seems Blizzard aren't finished with their original hero shooter just yet. Overwatch is adding a pretty new deathmatch map set in Japan, called Kanezaka, and it's coming to the Player Test Realm (PTR) this month.
Kanezaka is a lovely-looking Japanese village placed just below Hanamura (the assault map that also features in one of the game's animated shorts), and there's a cat café!
From the shots shown in the dev update below, you can spy Hanamura castle peeking out over the walls of Kanezaka. It seems we'll be fighting in the streets, as well as in a noodle bar, arcades and, importantly, a cat café (in which all the cat pictures are drawings of the developers actual pets, aww).
Kanezaka looks rather lovely, and I'm very excited to have a go of it. However, I'm even more excited because it sounds like it's going to have lots of lore for me to squeal about.
"There's a lot of contextual storytelling in this FFA map, with some easter eggs and payoff that's gonna come in Overwatch 2," Jeff "from the Overwatch team" Kaplan says. "We're gonna learn more, not only about our two favourite Shimada brothers, but possibly some other people related to that whole group."
Third Shimada brother confirmed? Ooh, what about a Shimada sister? I bet she'd wipe the floor with Hanzo and Genji.
Kanezaka will be arriving on the PTR at some point this month, and is expected to hit the live game early next year.
For those of you after some hot Overwatch 2 news, Kaplan mentions the devs will have more to share in February around BlizzCon Online.
If you fancy playing some Overwatch right now, the winter event has begun, adding some festive seasonal brawls to jump into.