Overwatch is Blizzard's new team-based shooter

Overwatch is a brand new, pick-up-and-play first-person shooter from Blizzard, marking the company’s first new franchise reveal in years. The game features a ridiculously diverse cast of heroes in an all-new universe, with an emphasis on “accessibility and pure fun”.

We first heard about the game when Blizzard foolishly registered a trademark, prompting fans to wonder what this new game could be – and now we know.

Revealed to a live crowd of more than 25,000 BlizzCon attendees, the world of Overwatch is a “technologically advanced, highly stylized future earth” in the middle of a global crisis. Overwatch itself is an international task force comprised of “soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities” – and while it was once formed to restore peace to the world, it’s since been disbanded.

The world still needs heroes though, and that’s where this lot comes from. With a lineup currently featuring five playable female characters (each with her own backstory and personality), two robots and a super-intelligent, genetically engineered gorilla, Overwatch brings something very different to the table. (This is just the beginning – we’re promised even more characters in the leadup to launch.)

Mike Morhaime, Blizzard CEO and co-founder explains:

Overwatch is our take on a vibrant, near-future universe with amped-up characters and action-packed team-based gameplay. With every new Blizzard game, we look at our favorite aspects of a genre and put our own spin on things. Our goal with Overwatch is to create an awesome FPS experience that’s more accessible to a much wider audience while delivering the action and depth that shooter fans love.

The new game is 6v6, where players are able to pick the hero of their choice to duke it out across a variety of futuristic global locations. Each battlefield – from a bazaar in the shadows of an Egyptian pyramid to the hologram-lit streets of London – is unique and has been designed to showcase and highlight each character’s specific abilities. Don’t get too comfy on the ground, fights can quickly move up to the rooftops – and beyond – with characters given the gift of flight.

If you’re at BlizzCon, you can get your hands on the game right now on 600 PCs on the show floor. The rest of us will have to wait for the Overwatch alpha test, which is kicking off some time in 2015. Want in? Head to the official website to sign up!

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