Kyle Nakasaka ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Since being released in late May of this year, Overwatch has seen some very substantial content patches to an already very robust game. This content includes one new hero, one new hybrid map and two seasonal events, one of which we are currently in the middle of, and of course, plenty of cosmetics. As a result of all this content, it may be hard to keep up with it all, so to help, we’ll be going through it all.
One of the biggest and most prominent additions to the game is the introduction of Ana, the loving grandmother of Overwatch who is just now returning to the fight. Ana, once the proud Captain Amari, is one of the original members of Overwatch, and is the mother of high-flying rocket soldier Pharah. Ana was assumed to be dead after the Omnic Crisis, the world war against the Omnics (robots) that scarred many countries across the globe. After the war and dismemberment of Overwatch, Ana went into hiding after being wounded, both physically and emotionally. Now, Ana jumps back into the fray to return to the reawakened Overwatch and is ready to stand alongside the friends she had abandoned.
Ana is a support sniper, which means she’s a sniping healer. Ana has bullets that will damage when hitting an enemy target, but when they hit a friendly target, instead of phasing through the ally or not affecting them, will make contact with the ally and heal them for roughly the same amount. Not only that, but Ana has two very powerful abilities, Biotic Grenade and Sleep Dart, alongside her Ultimate ability, Nano Boost. Biotic Grenade is a very unique ability in which Ana lobs a grenade and explodes upon contact with any environment or characters and will do a small amount of burst damage to any enemies caught within the vicinity and a small amount of burst healing to any allies in the vicinity. Not only that, but the enemies who take damage from this ability have all healing to them prevented for a brief period and any allies affected will have a damage boost applied for the same duration. Her other ability, Sleep Dart, is a very useful tool that tends to be underappreciated. Sleep Dart is exactly what it sounds like, a sleep dart; Sleep Dart will put to sleep any enemy target for 5 seconds, leaving them immobile. However, if the target takes any damage, they will be woken up. This is an extremely useful tool as it allows for teams to pick apart the enemy by taking one member out of the equation for a brief period. Not only that, but it can also break people out of their Ultimates which can be a big tempo swing for your team. Her Ultimate Ability is the big draw of Ana; the Nano Boost. Nano Boost is a targetable Ultimate for allies that increases the target’s damage, damage resistance, and speed. This Ultimate ended up being so powerful that it briefly changed the prominent team composition from two tanks, two healers and two damage dealers to three tanks and three healers because it allowed for tanks to act as bigger damage dealers rather than a conventional tank. This isn’t the end of the additional characters though; the hunt for the next character, Sombra, is well underway.
In addition to Ana, a new map, Eichenwalde, has also made its way into the game. Eichenwalde is an abandoned German castle that was ravaged by the Omnic Crisis and was the site of a holdout against the Omnics by German Crusaders. Your mission on this map is to take possession (or keep possession, if you are defending) of the armor of Balderich von Adler, the captain of the Crusaders and mentor to Reinhardt via a capture point and a payload. Eichenwalde is a rather large map and many people are hoping that this will be the beginning of larger maps, but nobody knows for sure if that’s what the intention was.
The last addition to Overwatch are the seasonal events which bring in loads and loads of cosmetic items with every new one. The first one they gave to us was the Summer Games update, which was to commemorate the Summer Olympics, which gave us plenty of athletic-themed cosmetic items. This update also brought us a fun game mode for the duration of the games called “Lucioball,” a Rocket League parody game mode that pit three Lucios against each other in a brawl to score a comically large soccer ball into the enemy team’s goal. Currently, we’re in the middle of Overwatch’s second seasonal event, the Halloween Terror update. This update, of course, brought us plenty of spooky, scary, Halloween-themed cosmetic items. Not only that, but it also brought a game mode that has the community in high hopes about the future of Overwatch. The game mode that they’re bringing into the mix for all of October is called “Junkenstein’s Revenge,” a horde mode style game type in which your team of four pre-chosen heroes is pitted up against four Halloween-themed heroes and their horde of “Zomnics.” This game mode has got people very excited for more and hopeful that Blizzard will make a similar style game mode a permanent staple of the game.
This is not the last of the additional content by any means however. Blizzard has told us that there are currently three heroes in the works, two maps and four game mode maps that we have yet to see. The game mode has people in high hopes that it is a dedicated survival mode, but only time will tell what’s in store for the future of Overwatch.