May 31, 2017 Gaming Community: Overwatch Update Returns Players to the Moon for the First Time

This is an article written as part of a Playcrafting class on game journalism.

Blizzard today introduced a new map to the Overwatch public test realm as part of a larger update to the class-based shooter.

Horizon Lunar Colony, an assault/defense map, tasks players with controlling capture points on a moon base referenced previously in the game’s lore. The new area is the first to introduce low gravity gameplay, albeit only in a small portion of the map.

Additional hints to the evolving backstory of the game are featured throughout the map, primarily focused around primate character Winston. Blizzard teased the map’s release in previous changes to the base game. In a patch released last week, incidental new voice lines for characters that referenced the moon were added unannounced. The update also switched generic posters and computer screen art on certain maps from generic images to schematics of the moon base.

Finally, Blizzard introduced character balance changes in the update, including an overhaul of offense hero Reaper’s healing ability from collecting souls from fallen enemies to an percentage of damage inflicted. Offense hero McCree also received a faster damage charge time for his ultimate ability, while Tank class character Roadhog received a damage reduction.

Overwatch celebrated the one-year anniversary of its original launch on May 24. Blizzard marked the occasion with an anniversary event including a free-to-play weekend as well as the addition of new skins for many characters and dance emotes for every hero. The items are available to earn only during the event which began March 23 and runs until June 12.