Blizzard uses its Overwatch livesteam at gamescom 2016 to reveal information on the game's new map, show off a new animated short starring Bastion, and reveal a new legendary skin.
Today's Overwatch livestream at this year's gamescom was mainly to reveal Blizzard's latest animated short, which featured everyone's favorite weapon of war and bird aficionado Bastion. The short was rumored to happen at the event, but the newest map, Eichenwalde, was a surprise to most. While the official map reveal was done yesterday, this event allowed Blizzard to give a closer estimate as to when the Overwatch map would be released. As a special bonus, Blizzard also previewed a new legendary skin for Reinhardt that is inspired by this new map.
The short "Last Bastion" was yet another gorgeous feat in storytelling by the lore masters at Blizzard. For a game that conceals the majority of its story, Overwatch has some incredibly deep tales to tell. One of the most heartbreaking is the story that revolves around the character Bastion, which is the focus of this short and involves the new map, incidentally.
Without spoiling too much, the short chronicles the moments following his awakening from a long, lonely hibernation. His journey of self-discovery has its ups and downs, with the audience in the end likely feeling more for the machine than they thought they would. Many gamers who simply write Bastion off as a mindless killing machine -- and a major annoyance for unprepared players -- might think about him in a different way from now on, which is likely Blizzard's intent.
As mentioned above, Bastion's tale takes place near Eichenwalde, the newest map in Overwatch and the setting of a famous and tremendous battle during the Omnic Crisis between the German military and the Omnics. Lead by Balderich von Alder, mentor to Reinhardt, a group called the Crusaders fought back the advancing army, but they were overwhelmed and defeated. The mission in the newest map is to collect Balderich von Alder's armor: a beautiful set lusted after by many that watched the map's trailer. Now, Blizzard has confirmed it as an upcoming legendary skin for Reinhardt, and the world rejoiced.
As for when Eichenwalde will be released, during the livestream Blizzard said the PTR (public test realm) will be getting the map soon -- that usually means around a week, typically. The new map will go live some time in early September.
While it is entirely possible this is it as far as Overwatch news is concerned, it also might just be the start. Blizzard could have something else up its sleeve, considering how hard the company was pushing the Sombra ARG shortly before the conference. When the Internet's amateur sleuths got majorly stuck while trying to find clues on one of Overwatch's most elusive characters, Blizzard stepped in and directed them where to go. It could mean the company is trying to wrap up the search before the big reveal, and some believe that reveal will be at gamescom.
On the flip side, it can be argued Blizzard already has enough on its plate at the moment to have another character reveal this close to the last one. Overwatch is currently wrapping up its first official event: the Summer Games. The first season of competitive play just finished and the second season will begin next month. Also, the new map will need to be put through the paces before it can go live. In addition to these major hurdles, the game is also continuing its character balancing with a few new buffs and one major nerf that is already controversial, and it is not even live yet.
There are a lot of great things coming down the pipe for Overwatch, and while the showing has already been amazing at this year's gamescom, fans are hoping for a wee bit more. Perhaps the Sombra mystery will finally be put to rest, or the fires of investigation fueled once again by some Easter egg hidden by the company. Gamers still have a few more days of the convention to find out if Blizzard is cooking anything else up.
Overwatch is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Source: Overwatch EU - YouTube