Overwatch

Blizzard's take on the first-person shooter sees a generosity of character accompanied by beautifully deep mechanics.

Spotlight

Key events

28th December 2016

2016: A year in review

26th May 2016

Overwatch Review

10th May 2016

Face-Off: Overwatch

Esport "killer games" aren't right for Olympics, says IOC

"We cannot have ... a game which is promoting violence."

Don't expect to see esports in the Olympic Games any time soon. International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach believes the video games being played still promote violence and killing too much to be included.

It is a celebration of D. Va! Blizzard has unveiled a typically gorgeous new Overwatch animated short showing the Korea-defending backstory of D. Va, AKA Hannah Song, the former StarCraft pro turned elite government MEKA pilot; and Blizzard has revealed a Busan map for Overwatch based on a futuristic interpretation of South Korea's second largest city.

Overwatch is having another free weekend on PC

Get your Hanzo-n it this Thursday.

If you somehow haven't given Overwatch a try and are still considering doing so, you may want to give it a whirl this weekend, as Blizzard is making the game free on PC from 26th to 30th of July.

Next Overwatch update brings Brigitte's reign of terror to an end

Years of playing hero-based multiplayer games have taught me one thing: if I am having fun with a character that is probably because s/he is overpowered, because I am too rubbish to play characters who are properly balanced. This appears to be the case with Brigitte, the Overwatch healer-tank knight errant whose prowess with a mace left me speechless (and often, concussed) when she launched on public servers in March. Blizzard says her Shield Bash ability - the essential prelude to knocking a rampaging Doomfist into a pit - is too effective for comfort, and must be nerfed. For shame, Blizzard! Let the girl bash in peace.

The next and currently undated Overwatch patch will extend the cooldown on Shield Bash by a crucial second, giving opponents marginally more time to run away, flank her or nuke the shield before she smacks them upside the chops with it. "Shield Bash is Brigitte's strongest ability, and its short cooldown makes it very difficult to play around," Blizzard's Geoff Goodman writes on the official forum. "We'd like to keep her Shield Bash and subsequent melee combos powerful and effective, while just allowing a little more counter-play against it.

"We've talked about possibly reducing her defense somewhere, such as reducing her barrier health. However, her tank-hybrid nature is a core part of her kit and we want to make sure she maintains that feeling of being a difficult target to take down. Overall Brigitte's win rate is still the highest of any support, despite dishing out the lowest amount of raw healing per second. This speaks volumes to how powerful her kit can be outside of her direct healing numbers."

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Overwatch's new hero is a hamster

UPDATE: Wrecking Ball rolls out next week.

UPDATE 18/7/18: Wrecking Ball the hamster will roll out to all Overwatch players on Tuesday 24th July, Blizzard has now confirmed.

Overwatch's second anniversary brings back Seasonal Brawls

I wish it could be Christmas everyday (for about four weeks).

Overwatch turns two years old next Thursday and to celebrate, Blizzard is putting on an anniversary event featuring a new Deathmatch map, a bunch of new cosmetics and most of the previous Seasonal Brawls. It kicks off from the 22nd May.

Blizzard announces November dates for this year's BlizzCon

Blizzard has announced that this year's BlizzCon will take place on November 2nd and November 3rd, with tickets scheduled to go on sale in May.

BlizzCon 2018 will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center, California, and will feature the usual array of developer panels, Q&A sessions, cosplay, and contests. Attendees will also receive a commemorative BlizzCon goody bag containing "a cache of loot based on their favourite Blizzard games".

Tickets for the two-day event cost $199 USD and will be released in two batches. The first batch goes on sale at 7 pm PT on May 9th (that's 3am on May 10th in the UK), and the second will be made available on May 12th at 10 am PT/6pm in the UK. You can buy them here.

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We're about halfway through the first season of the Overwatch League and yesterday I was able to watch a few games in person at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles. Blizzard has always been a major player in the world of esports, but the Overwatch League, with its franchises and its plans for permanent stadiums in major cities around the world, feels different.

Blizzard confirms Torbj÷rn's daughter Brigitte is the next Overwatch hero, offers first details

After several days of teasing, Blizzard has confirmed that Overwatch's next and 27th hero will be - as pretty much everyone had already assumed - "engineer turned valiant squire", and Torbj÷rn's daughter, Brigitte Lindholm.

Brigitte, of course, made her public debut in the Reinhardt-themed animated short Honor and Glory last year. According to her backstory, Brigitte grew up learning her craft from master weaponsmith Torbj÷rn, before leaving home to serve as her godfather Reinhardt's squire. You'll get a small glimpse of Brigitte's origin story in Blizzard's introductory trailer below.

That flavourful cinematic endeavour is accompanied by a rather more detailed, informative look at Brigitte, courtesy of Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan. According to Kaplan, Brigitte is a support character first and foremost, but, uniquely, shares a lot of traits more closely associated with the tank role, making for an "interesting hybrid character".

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Overwatch hero 27 in the spotlight as the teasing begins

UPDATE: Schematic of shield and... jetpack cat tweeted.

UPDATE 28TH FEBRUARY 9AM GMT: Another day, another tease, and it's more schematics for equipment. This time there's a design for a shield which looks a lot like Reinhardt's - check the lion's head in the centre - only smaller, given the measurements supplied and the words "kompakt!!" scribbled next to it. The similarities to Reinhardt's shield reinforce this being Brigitte, as she not only makes and mends his equipment, she's very close to him - him being a godfather figure to her.

Overwatch on Xbox One X: does its dynamic 4K scaler hold up?

Digital FoundryOverwatch on Xbox One X: does its dynamic 4K scaler hold up?

A big upgrade over the standard console - and PS4 Pro.

The Xbox One X upgrades keep on coming, with Blizzard's Overwatch the latest title to receive 4K support. We went into this one with a certain sense of tredipation: after all, Overwatch's PlayStation 4 Pro support ended up delivering only 4K HUDs overlaid on a regular 1080p presentation. It was a big disappointment at the time, and while users did get improved texture filtering over the base PS4 version along with other minor tweaks, there was the sense that Pro was capable of delivering much, much more.

The good news is that Blizzard has delivered with its Xbox One X work. The patch itself is only a 650MB download, so don't expect a sweeping upgrade in the core artwork to support the 4K standard. What you get in asset quality is already equivalent to the PC's top texture setting, which was already in place on the base PS4 and Xbox One releases. But crucially, what the developer has delivered is a clear and obvious upgrade in resolution, worthy of your ultra HD display.

A dynamic scaler is in play on Xbox One X, and owing to the highly variable nature of the gameplay itself, the range of pixel counts covered is significant. Based on a sample of over 30 still shots derived from a wide cross-section of gameplay, the upper bounds of the scaler are indeed a full 4K. In the opening lobby area, for example, the character selection screen or less demanding spots on each map render at the maximum 3840x2160.

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FeatureOverwatch the game versus Overwatch the esport

We're not quite all soldiers now.

Overwatch's lineup of colourful kooks is one hell of a departure from genre norms. Valve's Team Fortress 2 had industry-leading silhouettes, but it's hard to compete with special-forces granny and company. It wasn't surprising, then, to see Overwatch bring in crowds other shooters never catered to. It turns out the people really enjoy the diverse cast Blizzard has brought to play. Overwatch near abandons the idea of the typical gravelly white guy (the one present was turned into a "tough dad" by the fandom). And while the studio has a spotty history with representing different colours and creeds, with Overwatch, Blizzard appears to be making an effort to become the frontrunner for inclusion in the triple-A games space.

Overwatch Blizzard World theme park map launches next week

UPDATE 22ND JAN: Tomorrow is patch day and ahead of the update Blizzard has revealed the new content coming to standard, non-event loot boxes. The most exciting are the new epic and legendary skins - pictures just below.

ORIGINAL STORY 17TH JAN: Overwatch's new Blizzard World theme park map finally has a release date: 23rd January 2018 - this coming Tuesday. That's on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Patches typically roll out early evening in the UK.

It's not clear if there will be hero balance changes in the update but we do expect new loot box items, including at least eight new skins. Among them are Mei and Reinhardt skins taken from their origin animations; a StarCraft Nova skin for Widowmaker; a barbarian skin for Zarya; and some World of Warcraft-inspired skins for Torbjorn and Doomfist (pictures courtesy of the Overwatch subreddit).

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Overwatch League launches with a bang and dominates Twitch viewing figures

Overwatch League launches with a bang and dominates Twitch viewing figures

UPDATE: More than 10 million viewers during opening week.

UPDATE 17TH JANUARY: Activision has said more than 10 million viewers tuned in during Overwatch League's opening week, with more than 437,000 online at the same time during the opening Dallas Fuel vs. Seoul Dynasty match.

The Overwatch League website has digested the first week's action in a handy post, and updated the Overwatch League standings accordingly. You'll be pleased to know London Spitfire are joint top with two wins, no losses.

ORIGINAL STORY 11TH JANUARY: Overwatch has struggled as an esport but yesterday Blizzard's big hope, the new Overwatch League, launched with a bang.

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What we learnt from Blizzcon's Overwatch Archives panel

Including the Jetpack Cat that never was.

Overwatch fans learnt quite a lot from this year's Blizzcon announcements. We now know the story behind Reinhardt's scarred eye, that we will soon be seeing a new support hero and map and that Jeff Kaplan continues to be the nicest man in games development. But at the Overwatch Archives panel the team shared even more behind the scenes information, including a look at the game in early development and ideas left on the cutting room floor.

VideoWatch: Blizzcon reacts to Overwatch's sexism problem

"I've learned over the years to just not talk in games."

The Overwatch team has been talking a lot about toxicity recently, with game director Jeff Kaplan explaining that negative behaviour from players is starting to have a real impact on the game and its development.

FeatureLetter from the meta: This week's top Hearthstone decks

Along with all the latest news from Metabomb.

A note from the editor: Metabomb is Gamer Network's specialist competitive gaming site with a particular emphasis on Hearthstone. Each week we're inviting the team to bring you a round-up of all the biggest news and events they've been covering.

FeatureLetter from the meta: This week's top Hearthstone decks

And all the latest news from Metabomb.

A note from the editor: Metabomb is Gamer Network's specialist competitive gaming site with a particular emphasis on Hearthstone. Each week we're inviting the team to bring you a round-up of all the biggest news and events they've been covering.

Sin City is the global capital of gambling. Casinos with colourful chips, well-postured croupiers and automaton pensioners plugged into slot machines. At first glance it might not seem sinister, but strip back the glamour and Las Vegas paints a sad picture - its denizens cogs in a billion-dollar machine fuelled by potentially addictive gaming. The novelty of the place can hide its true intentions.

Overwatch PTR update changes Mercy yet again

Overwatch's Mercy has been nerfed in the game's latest PTR, not long after the hero's recent rework.

In the last major Overwatch patch both Mercy and D.Va were remodelled to help balance the game. Mercy's ultimate ability was changed from Resurrect to Valkyrie, a move which grants the support character amplified skills and the ability to fly, while Resurrect became a regular move, albeit with a 30-second cooldown and a smaller range.

Since the patch went live, Mercy's been the most popular support character because, let's be honest, she's super powerful. But Blizzard seems to think she might be over-powered and so is testing some changes on the PTR.

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Overwatch's Halloween event returns next week

UPDATE: Yet more skins leak.

UPDATE 9/10/2017: Three more skins for Overwatch's Halloween Terror event have leaked through Facebook advertisements. Earlier this week we saw McCree and Reaper's spooky themed skins, via promotional video, but now we get a look at Mei, Symmetra and Zenyatta's newest looks.

Overwatch update to let Mercy resurrect players as a regular move

Overwatch update to let Mercy resurrect players as a regular move

But only resuscitate one at a time with a 30 second cooldown.

Blizzard is making colossal changes to how Mercy plays. In fact, she could just as well be an all new character.

Available in the latest update to the Public Test Realm, Mercy's entire moveset has changed. Instead of only being able to resurrect players as her ultimate ability, she can now do this signature move as just a regular ability.

To balance this boost, the Resurrect move has been nerfed. Instead of rejuvenating everyone within a 15-meter radius, she can only resurrect a single target within a 5-meter radius. That's still pretty good, you may think, but it's counteracted by a 30-second cooldown.

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Blizzard confirms Junkertown as new Overwatch map

UPDATE 23rd August 2017: Popular Overwatch streamer Unit Lost was among the first play new map Junkertown at Gamescom and share a video.

ORIGINAL STORY 21st August 2017: Blizzard has confirmed Junkertown as the new Overwatch map.

In Blizzard's preview video for Gamescom, ahead of its full conference on Wednesday, the developer revealed the new escort map will be none-other than the home of the chaotic duo Roadhog and Junkrat.

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Overwatch console reporting feature arrives with next patch

Blizzard has announced a reporting feature will come to Overwatch on consoles when the latest patch goes live.

Writing on the official Overwatch forum, game director Jeff Kaplan revealed the news.

"Reporting on console will be available when patch 1.14 goes live (the patch that has DM and TDM and is currently on the PTR for testing).

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Battle.net renamed Blizzard Battle.net

Bigger name change rejected, new logo erected.

For nearly a year Blizzard has been threatening to change the name of its proprietary online multiplayer service Battle.net to the more on-brand Blizzard.net. That is the name of the company, after all, which would theoretically make things less confusing. However, after a scant few months under the new monicker Blizzard rethought this approach because the Battle.net name has been around for over 20 years (since the studio launched Diablo in 1996). Changing it now has led to bewilderment.

New Overwatch patch "drastically" reduces amount of duplicates

New Overwatch patch "drastically" reduces amount of duplicates

The best things in life come in small packages.

The latest Overwatch patch aims to drastically reduce the amount of duplicates players get. Finally!

In the patch notes for the new update, Blizzard said it wants "the experience of opening a loot box to feel exciting and rewarding".

To compensate for this reduction of duplicate items, Blizzard has increased the overall amount of credits you receive from loot boxes.

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Blizzard announces clampdown on bad Overwatch behaviour

Blizzard has promised to get tough on bad behaviour in Overwatch, "effective immediately".

Penalties for reported and verified bad behaviour are being increased to include silencing, suspensions and bans.

"We believe that our in-game reporting and player penalty system is one of our most important features, and it's something we want to invest in significantly over the next year," wrote community manager Lylirra on the official Overwatch forum.

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Have you ever been sure that something was a fact? Perhaps something you 'know' to be an unequivocal truth, so you stroll to Wikipedia to look into it and upon getting there realise you were wrong. Perhaps you've even had a group of friends agree upon the validity of a statement, only to find you're all wrong. Now, imagine a huge cluster of seemingly unconnected people claiming something existed in exact terms, only to not be able to find concrete evidence of it. That's close to what a portion of Overwatch players are experiencing at the moment.

Doomfist has finally arrived in Overwatch after what felt like an interminable wait and, to be honest, he's not quite the hero I was expecting. He's a surprisingly mobile assault character who isn't voiced by Terry Crews and, at least thus far, I'm a big fan. He's a bit tricky to master, if you ask me, but all in all I think the Overwatch team has done a good job of making an interesting new hero.

I've picked a hell of a time to pen a love letter to Mercy. As these words are being written, the Overwatch-playing internet is having kittens over the long-awaited arrival of Doomfist - Talon elder, social Darwinist and a pugilist whose right hooks show up on a seismograph. Doomfist is yet another damnably cool addition to a line-up of damnably cool characters, all of them worthy of a game by themselves. His most terrifying facet may be his passive ability, which applies a fresh layer of overshield for every punch that connects, allowing a rampaging player to weather the concentrated wrath of the other team. But he's still going to need a medic at some stage, particularly if he falls into Sombra's clutches, and who better to supply the juice than a cybernetic valkyrie from Switzerland.

A year on from launch, Overwatch is a struggling eSport

This time last year, it was almost unthinkable that Overwatch's eSports scene and the word failure could ever appear in the same sentence. But that is the situation we find ourselves in.

The first few months of Overwatch's eSports life were positive. Small scale LAN events were semi-regular, there were online competitions offering a few thousand dollars a couple of times a month, and big name organisations were picking up teams left, right and centre.

But then BlizzCon happened, and the Overwatch League was announced. Blizzard promised a big-money league with location-based franchises and no relegation, but that is about all they said. At the time this seemed like one of the biggest and most positive announcements the world of eSports had ever seen - but now, just a few months on, with no news on when the League will launch, it is often credited with decimating Overwatch's growing competitive scene.

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VideoWatch: Johnny plays Overwatch live

Moving the payload from 3pm

If you've been keeping an eye on our YouTube channel this year, you'll know we stream a different video game every Tuesday afternoon. Ian Higton - who notably doesn't enjoy playing Overwatch - ordinarily runs the show, streaming such things as Player Unknown's Battlegrounds or Friday the 13th. The only snag is that Ian's PC is currently broken, meaning there's absolutely nothing stopping me taking over and streaming two hours of Overwatch this afternoon. Sorry, Ian.

The next Overwatch map takes us to the moon

"Through the miracle of science!"

The next Overwatch map 'Horizon Lunar Colony' is set on the moon, the original home of Winston, the game's friendly gorilla scientist. What a great sentence that was to type.

Overwatch now boasts more than 30 million players, all of whom want something very particular from Blizzard's highly-competitive, team-based shooter. Some may play a wide variety of heroes, switching between them multiple times per game, while others focus primarily on a single character (looking at you, Hanzo mains). Depending on their rank, playstyle and preferred game mode, players can experience a wildly different kind of game.

FeatureJeff Kaplan on the pressures of being Overwatch's game director

"Literally all night, every night, I'm thinking about the game."

The Overwatch community is infatuated with Jeff Kaplan. As Blizzard's first-person shooter has attracted a passionate fanbase from across the globe, so has its game director, thanks to his willingness to step in front of a camera, or jump into the forums to speak directly to players about the issues they care about. From sweeping hero redesigns to the removal of an overly-sexualised pose featuring Tracer's butt, Kaplan is almost always involved in the biggest conversations surrounding the game.

FeatureSay it in less

On the joy of leaving your mic off in multiplayer.

"Two prisoners whose cells adjoin communicate with each other by knocking on the wall," goes an aphorism penned by the French mystic and political activist Simone Weil. "The wall is the thing which separates them but is also their means of communication. It is the same with us and god. Every separation is a link." I doubt Weil would have been very pleased to see this sentiment applied to a video game like Rainbow Six: Siege - in which the only god is line-of-sight, and tapping on walls is a great way to get yourself shot in the ear. But I like to think she'd have appreciated how creatively players of such games reach out to one another through the simulation's constraints, especially once you remove direct speech from the equation.

Orisa, the third hero to be added to Overwatch since launch, is live now. It feels like people have been less interested in the new tank character when compared to the two previous hero launches - Ana and Sombra - but I think there's a lot to be excited about.

New Overwatch tank hero Orisa goes live today

UPDATE: Significant Lucio changes revealed.

UPDATE 21 MARCH: Today's the day new tank hero Orisa goes live on all three Overwatch platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Patches usually arrive late afternoon/early evening, around 6pm GMT.

Bastion is "too powerful right now", says Overwatch director

"Balance changes can be very difficult to make when emotions run so high."

Overwatch public enemy number one, Bastion, was changed on Tuesday this week. The robot was supposed to become less of a glass cannon, losing some ranged accuracy and therefore damage in exchange for manoeuvrability and survivability. But now people are having a hard time killing Bastion at all.

Poor Team Eurogamer. We'd all just packed off down the pub to celebrate a well-fought Breath of the Wild embargo day, ready to smash some lovely beers, when Jeff Kaplan had the absolute gall to choose that precise moment to launch the new tank hero on the Overwatch PTR. We were not best pleased, let me tell you.

Metabomb is hiring a Staff Writer!

The world could always use more heroes.

Metabomb - Gamer Network's competitive gaming site and sister-site of Eurogamer - is hiring a full-time Staff Writer to join the editorial team.

Blizzard wasn't kidding about an early 2017 release for Overwatch's next map, huh? We've been mucking around with Oasis on the Public Test Realm since late November, but it's now available on live servers for both PC and console players.

2016: A year in review

2016 was a strange year for video games. Recent memory is dominated by a handful of high quality blockbusters that failed to excite people. But let's not forget earlier this year, when a handful of superb blockbusters definitely did excite people. And I'm not just talking about Street Fighter, either (don't @ me).

In researching 2016, I was surprised to find it jam-packed with video game stuff. Lots of things happened. Lots of people left developers. Lots of people joined developers. Some developers closed down. Some developers sprang into life. Lots and lots and lots of video games came out, mostly on Valve's ever-bulging Steam. Most were crap. Some were good. But in the pursuit of some kind of meaning, some kind of trend, I was left frustrated. Video games continue to be very good, even though 2016, at its close, feels a little less groundbreaking than I'd liked it to have been.

January, typically a quiet month for video games, saw a number of high-profile developers move on. Marc Laidlaw, lead writer of the Half-Life series, retired from Valve. The move was seen as further evidence, not that it's needed at this point, that Half-Life 3 is just not happening. Then we learnt Leslie Benzies, long-time leader of Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar North, had left the company after a 16-month sabbatical. He later sued Take-Two for $150m in a move that's already aired a basket full of dirty laundry. Will the parties settle? I kind of hope not.

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FeatureEurogamer's game of the year 2016

This old dog still knows a few tricks.

You might not have known it from all the drama going on elsewhere, but 2016 was a mighty fine year for video games. Going through the top 10s submitted by Eurogamer contributors that led to our final verdict for game of the year - democracy is still live and kicking here on this website - it was amazing to see the diversity of choices made. Truly there was something for everyone in 2016, and it goes to show how broad this church that is video games has become.

Blizzard apologises for Mei's divisive winter wardrobe

"Our 'cool meter' was off from yours on this one."

Overwatch's new Winter Wonderland event sought to highlight fan-favourite climatologist Mei by giving the character her own Snowball Offensive mode, but Blizzard's good intentions backfired as the developer saddled her seasonal content with a disappointingly lackluster Legendary skin. In fact, Mei's high-end holiday garb received such a poor reception that Blizzard has apologised for it.

FeatureOverwatch has become my favourite tawdry soap opera

On the family squabbles, romances and gags that make a great shooter feel special.

Overwatch is a game of Pixar movie sets, complex yet digestible hero classes and chirpy bastard robots who spew bullets into chokepoints till they're eaten alive by Oriental dragons. But above all else, it's a game about family - a family that lives at the intersection between official Blizzard canon and the crude, loopy or touching sitcom sketches, apocryphal romances and in-jokes thrown together by the most besotted Overwatch fans.

We're still enjoying Overwatch quite a bit, so these days it doesn't take much to convince us to jump back on for a livestream. That said, the latest patch brings with it an impressive festive offering, including frosty new skins, adorable emotes, sprays, victory poses, and a new 6v6 Arcade Brawl mode, Mei's Snowball Offensive. Located at Ecopoint: Antarctica, the mode sees every player using Mei, equipped with a snowball blaster that only contains one shot, though it can be reloaded at snow piles. Which is music to my ears, as I was never very good with Mei. Any items you unlock will be yours to keep, but the Winter Wonderland content is only available until 2nd January, so best hop to it.

A new map called Oasis has just gone live on the Overwatch public test realm, which is a nice midweek surprise. Oasis is a control map (so actually three separate stages) featuring lots of high vantage points, a jump pad and, most importantly, a busy road packed with drivers who aren't precious about running heroes over (maybe they could do with a trip to the D.VaLA). There's no Reinhardt shoulder either, so it's a pretty dangerous area.

Blizzard unannounced first-person project an Overwatch campaign?

On the Blizzard careers website are two adverts for an "unannounced game/project".

The software engineer adverts cite working with "a robust first-person engine for an unannounced project", and call "previous experience working on first-person or other action-oriented games" a plus.

That's it, no further clues, so what is the project? Our best guess: an Overwatch campaign. Which other first-person game and engine does Blizzard have?

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Overwatch's Symmetra is getting a choice of two ultimates

UPDATE: We take a look at her new photon barrier in action (it's brilliant).

UPDATE: Chris has been playing around with Symmetra's new build on the PTR today and has come away really impressed with her new photon barrier. If you use it correctly, you can effectively block a whole range of enemy abilities.

What does the Overwatch PS4 Pro patch actually do?

There was some excitement when Blizzard announced that PS4 Pro support had been implemented for its superb shooter, Overwatch. This was quickly followed by confusion when it appeared that the enhancements added were minimal to say the least. Indeed, to the naked eye, improvements during fast-paced action seem almost non-existent. Well, after breaking down the new update, we think it's fair to say that it's certainly one of the least impressive Pro upgrades seen to date.

A pixel count of Overwatch video captured at native 4K shows that it's definitely still using a native 1080p resolution - really, far lower than we were expecting. We decided to get in touch with Blizzard itself for a statement on what exactly this Pro patch does, if anything, and a spokesperson replied:

"Primarily, Overwatch players can expect improved performance in 1920x1080 resolution on PlayStation 4 Pro. We've also made several minor improvements that take advantage of the console's capabilities, including better texture filtering and UI enhancements."

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Overwatch: First Strike graphic novel cancelled

Overwatch: First Strike graphic novel cancelled

"We've ultimately decided to take the story in a different direction."

Overwatch: First Strike, the graphic novel covering the origins of Blizzard's popular competitive shooter, has been cancelled.

"While we are grateful to the team for the fantastic work they put into it, we've ultimately decided to take the story in a different direction," said Overwatch lead writer Michael Chu on the Battle.net blog.

"The original idea for the graphic novel dates back to the early days of the game's development and came from our desire to tell the story of the founding of Overwatch during the Omnic Crisis. In the years since First Strike's conception, we have done a lot of development on the universe and its stories. While the core of this story remains, we have changed and expanded upon how we see the events that took place during the first days of Overwatch."

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VideoWatch: Johnny plays Overwatch live

Arcade mode and Sombra from 3pm.

The biggest Overwatch patch to date is now live on PC, introducing a whole raft of changes to the game. Arcade mode introduces several new match types including 3v3 elimination and 1v1 duel modes, while Sombra finally makes her way into the hero roster.

The Eurogamer Podcast #20: Blizzcon and Barcelona

Aren't games a bit like big churches?

"Those who have not tasted his superbly creative bad taste are traitors." That's Salvador Dali, talking about the Sagrada Familia, which means that I've been looking things up on Wikipedia, which in turn means that this is the Eurogamer Podcast, where we talk about games, games, games! And my recent holiday in Barcelona. Have you been? You should definitely go. I had a wonderful time, and then I was quite brisk with an uppity lady at Gatwick, but hopefully Chris Bratt will edit that bit out.

After her inevitable Blizzcon reveal, Sombra arrived on the Overwatch PTR last night and she's loads of fun. Fast-paced and with a bunch of weird abilities, I reckon she's one of the game's most interesting heroes to play.

Blizzard announces Sombra, new Arcade mode, new maps, and a professional Overwatch League

Blizzard has announced Sombra for Overwatch as well as an Oasis map, a new Arcade mode that will offer new game modes, rulesets and maps, and an entire professional eSports venture called Overwatch League.

Arcade mode will begin with 1v1 and 3v3 battles on a new map called Eco Point: Antarctica. That's where Overwatch hero Mei was posted as a researcher before something went wrong and she ended up cryogenically frozen for a decade. Cool! He made that joke too.

Sombra and the 3v3/1v1 game modes, as well as the Eco Point: Antarctica map, will be on the Public Test Realm next week. The Oasis map, which wasn't detailed, will be available to test in December.

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Picture of new Overwatch character Sombra found on Blizzard servers

UPDATE: Something happened. It was rubbish.

UPDATE 2ND NOVEMBER: Something did happen yesterday - a groan. Blizzard released a small Sombra hacking-themed ARG, another one, that amounted to a countdown, another one. Mercifully this new countdown points to BlizzCon this weekend where we expect Sombra to actually be unveiled and also maybe released.

Overwatch's D.Va to be an announcer in Starcraft 2

Overwatch's D.Va to be an announcer in Starcraft 2

D.Va and Kerrigan in the same game? Is this a crossover episode?

Blizzard is bringing Overwatch's mech-riding esports-playing badass D.Va to Starcraft 2 as an announcer.

Available to BlizzCon attendees and Virtual Ticket holders, and going on sale at a later unannounced date for everyone else, this will be the first character outside of the Starcraft canon to appear in-game, even if it's just as an announcer.

This crossover breaks the fourth wall, but in a sensible way as D.Va is a professional gamer. "Although D.Va is known most recently for her activities within the Overwatch organization, her journey began in the StarCraft esports scene, where she became the #1 ranked player in the world at the age of 16," Blizzard explained in its announcement. "Her StarCraft experience makes her uniquely qualified to support you in-game!"

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The Overwatch kid who challenged ageist stereotypes

"We tend to say sorry about our squeaky voices..."

The stereotype is that kids are raucous in competitive online games. Switch that chat off before you're verbally assaulted for being rubbish, Granddad. But what if the slipper were on the other foot and it were actually kids being targeted and pushed around - and simply for sounding young?

What we expect from Blizzcon 2016

Sombra? Hearthstone expansion? More?

This year's Blizzcon schedule has been revealed, giving us some idea of what to expect from Blizzard's big ol' knees up come the start of next month.

There's no question Junkenstein's Revenge, Overwatch's new Halloween-themed horde mode, is good fun. Compared to the Brawl modes that Overwatch has had before, this is night and day, an introduction to the potential of Blizzard's multiplayer hero shooter as a co-op player versus the computer kind of game. But I'm happy Dr. Junkenstein's Revenge will soon go away.

I love Halloween. Seriously, ask anyone from my wonderful former hometown of Derry and they'll tell you: we take All Hallow's Eve very, very seriously. Over there, you'll feel left out if you aren't in costume. I'm fully expecting to see one or two Overwatch costumes in the crowds this year, which is funny - given some Overwatch characters won't exactly look themselves for the next 19 days.

Overwatch team working on two new heroes and six maps

And significant changes to Symmetra.

As much as I love Overwatch, I tire of some of the maps and heroes - and I don't play anywhere near as much as some people. The arrival of one new map (Eichenwalde) and one new hero (Ana) since the game's launch in May - nearly five months ago - isn't a lot.

Why can big-bellied Overwatch hero Roadhog hook people who are standing behind walls and pull them towards him? It's one of the most satisfying moves in the game, but because of all the physical variables involved in yanking someone from one place to another, and the lag, it's also one of the most problematic.

Last week, Hi-Rez Studios co-founder Todd Harris took to Reddit to address comments that upcoming team-based shooter Paladins was a copy or clone of Blizzard's Overwatch. Harris pointed out that Paladins was in development before Overwatch was announced but also said that the developers decided to stick to their guns despite elements of their game being similar to Overwatch, as other approaches didn't focus test well.

Blizzard story overlord Chris Metzen retires aged 42

"I won't lie - it's going to be really hard stepping away."

Chris Metzen is retiring. He's leaving Blizzard Entertainment after more than 20 years' service. He, the overseer of story at arguably the world's most successful game maker. He, the earring-wearing cool guy on the BlizzCon stage. He, the voice of Thrall. Retiring. And he's only 42.

Meet the first person to reach level 1000 in Overwatch

"I play like 16-17 hours per day."

His name is Maxime, and he's French. He apologises for his bad English but his written answers to my questions are fine. Maxime claims to be the first Overwatch player in the world to reach level 1000. You might know him better by his Overwatch name Tazzerk.

Good morning and happy Friday, here are Overwatch characters reimagined as dogs. No need to do anything else today, off you go, weekend has started. Do you know, I've had to sit on this story since yesterday - apparently Thursdays are too serious.

Overwatch fans had expected something to happen yesterday, following months of cryptic hints and speculation surrounding the identity of the game's next hero. With no big character reveal happening at this year's Gamescom, players were quick to point out that perhaps we'd hear something about Overwatch's 23rd playable hero on the 23rd day of the month.

VideoWatch: What's next for Overwatch?

Chris interviews the game's Principal Designer, and makes hearts at him.

Don't get me wrong, I like Overwatch's animated shorts, but had tomorrow's Bastion-led cinematic been the only thing we saw revealed at this year's Gamescom, I'd have felt a little shortchanged. Also, I had an interview booked in for today and there's only so much you can ask about Bastion's backstory: he's a friendly robot with a bird on his head. That's his whole thing.

Overwatch "taking action" against Lucio Ball exploiters

Plus: Competitive play season one pay-outs divulged.

In Overwatch, Lucio Ball is called Lucio Ball because only Lucio is allowed to play. Not D. Va, not Reinhardt, not anyone else. If anyone else shows up in your three-on-three ball game then it's a bug. And now that people have found a way to trigger the bug: it's an exploit.

I think it's fair to say the special summer games loot boxes available for the next three weeks in Overwatch have proved pretty divisive. Personally I can see both sides of the argument. I also happen to have very poor impulse control, so ended up buying 24 of the things in one go.

"ARE THEY GONNA BAN ME FOR USING PAINT NOW TOO"

Oh the things banned Overwatch cheats say.

Oh dear there appears to have been another wave of Overwatch bans, Blizzard primarily - or most noticeably - turfing out cheaters using triggerbots, which automatically shoot when the crosshairs are placed over an enemy. And I'm afraid to say some people aren't happy about it.

UPDATE 21ST JULY: Lost PS4 Overwatch progress appears to have been restored. The reader who originally contacted us confirmed as much, telling me all progress as well as coins and loot box content had been restored. And it's a similar story for people in the Overwatch forum thread, who say their rewards have been returned.

VideoWatch: Which ultimates can Overwatch's new hero interrupt?

"I think justice could use a little nap."

Those of you that watched yesterday's gameplay reveal for Overwatch's newest hero, Ana, will have likely paid close attention to the moment she prevents McCree's ultimate using her sleep dart ability. That has some serious potential, we think.

Our first look at Overwatch's new hero, Ana

UPDATE: Watch Bratt play her on the PTR.

UPDATE: I've just been hands-on with Ana on the Overwatch Public Test Realm. I like her! Despite not being quite as accurate as I would have liked, I still felt incredibly useful to my team. Everything she does, helps.

Overwatch updated to address Competitive Play skill rating issues when people leave games

Overwatch updated to address Competitive Play skill rating issues when people leave games

UPDATE: Change definitely live but Blizzard concerned calculations "don't make sense" to players.

UPDATE 12TH JULY: The reason people weren't seeing the below change in effect was because of a bug, Blizzard has explained. The change is definitely live now.

"At this time, we can confirm that the change is live and, according to the data that we have, has been working correctly since last Friday night," wrote Lylirra, community manager, on the Overwatch forum. "While leavers previously had an impact on how Skill Rating was adjusted, they don't appear to anymore (and haven't for a few days)."

Lylirra added - acknowledged, perhaps - that "it's not always clear right now why your Skill Rating is adjusted the way it is", as it takes into account other factors besides how many people are on each team. "That's a concern for us," she said, "because we not only want Skill Rating to be accurate, but also for it to make sense. The fact that it doesn't is good feedback for us, and seeing how we can make Skill Rating feel better/be clearer is definitely something we'll be keeping in mind as we look at ways to improve Competitive Play for future seasons."

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Overwatch patch fixes Zarya, Winston and Mercy bugs

Overwatch patch fixes Zarya, Winston and Mercy bugs

Shortens Competitive Play Sudden Death timers.

Overwatch was patched overnight on PC, PS4 and Xbox One to adjust Competitive Play Sudden Death timers downwards (times listed below) and also to fix a few hero bugs (on PC only).

Patch 1.0.5.1B sees to the damage-scaling issue with Zarya's right-click bomb shot. Her damage was getting stuck at high values despite her shield-gotten charge depleting.

There's a useful tweak for Mercy to stop beams disconnecting from an ally when switching quickly between heal and damage-buff, or when pressing two mouse buttons at once, or while turning away.

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Blizzard pays tribute to Overwatch fan killed in accident day before launch

Blizzard has paid tribute to Overwatch fan Wu Hongyu, who passed away on 23rd May, the day before the game's launch.

As reported by Redditor rebirdhk, the Control Center map of Lijiang Tower now has the name Hongyu beside an astronaut suit with a phrase that translates to "heroes never die."

Redditor czhihongMercy posted a picture of a chat log Hongyu had been in the day he passed away, which they translated to "Hey guys, is anyone else really waiting for the launch tomorrow[?]"

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One of the nice things about seeing a game like Overwatch become so popular is that it inspires the fan base to get creative; whether that's with endless Play of the Game memes, or with some surprisingly inventive pornography.

Overwatch Competitive Play is launching today on PC

Overwatch Competitive Play is launching today on PC

Consoles versions due next week.

Overwatch's highly anticipated Competitive Play mode is launching today on PC. That's the good news.

The bad news is that console players will have to wait until next week.

"We don't have an exact date to share, but we can confirm that the patch is going through approvals right now on both platforms," Blizzard said in a forum update.

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The public test for Overwatch's highly anticipated competitive mode is now live, letting players try out ranked matches for the first time since the closed beta. Any progress or unlocks earned in the public test branch don't carry over to the main game, but nonetheless it's a good way to see what's ahead for Overwatch, even if my chances of earning a golden weapon are slim to none.

Digital FoundryOverwatch PC performance graphics guide

The chase for 60fps, and the hardware required to get the job done.

Encouraged by how Overwatch runs on a budget PC - where an i3 4130 and GTX 750 Ti is all you'll need to run at medium settings - our sights now shift to setups further along the spectrum. Blizzard's hero-based FPS demands 60fps or better by its frenetic nature, and this is the base requirement for the cards in test today. Gladly, Overwatch's low GPU demands mean just about any modern GPU can run the game at this refresh, and in the case of the popular GTX 970 or R9 390, there's loads of headroom to spare for a locked 60fps experience and beyond.

You might have heard the one about Blizzard pulling a lot of X-rated fan-made Overwatch content off the internet recently. But did you know just how much of it is out there? I thought I did, but oh man it is really quite something - even after Blizzard's supposed nerfing of all things Rule 34 on PornHub and various fan sites and Tumblr accounts. I made a video in an effort to understand the phenomenon, destroying my internet search history forever in the process. I'm definitely on a few watch lists now, if I wasn't before.

FeatureOverwatch: Blizzard answers the big questions

Competitive play! Server tick rate! Balance! More!

The Overwatch launch appears to have been a phenomenal success. With more than seven million players having registered since launch, across three different platforms, Blizzard's first multiplayer shooter is already one of the largest in the world. But for this game to truly achieve its ambitions, it's going to need to hold on to that playerbase in the months and years to come. Blizzard has reached its payload, but there's a ways to go yet.

Digital FoundryHow does Overwatch run on budget PCs?

Digital Foundry targets 60fps on sub-ú100 graphics cards.

Just how does Overwatch fare running on lower-end PCs? The good news is Blizzard has extremely good form in PC optimisation to date - and whether it's World of Warcraft or Starcraft 2, it's always offered graphics settings to cater to a wide spectrum of setups. It's an important topic for those without a top-of-the-line machine, who still look for solid 60fps performance in Blizzard's new shooter. Thankfully, to ensure as many people can play as possible, Overwatch adapts very capably to a range of cheaper graphics cards and CPUs.

Is Blizzard scrubbing the internet of Overwatch porn?

Or is the publisher simply protecting its assets?

Overwatch is such a phenomenon that Blizzard's latest multiplayer shooter has inspired a slew of fan-made porn based on the game. This too has been rather popular as Pornhub realised people searched for Overwatch-related porn 817 per cent more on 5th May when the open beta went live. But now it appears Blizzard is clamping down on Overwatch porn - or at least sexual content that uses assets from the game.

The Eurogamer Podcast - Overwatch, Doom and Total War: Warhammer

This is a really good week to talk about video games.

Right, yes. This should have gone up on Tuesday, but I was a little busy freaking out about giving Overwatch an Essential badge. Donlan likes to tell me that when we do give a game the big golden sticker, the review has to feel like an event. An event. That really adds to the pressure of writing the thing.

Overwatch Review

EssentialOverwatch Review

O Kaplan! My Kaplan!

The first time you play Overwatch, Bastion seems overpowered as hell. Here's a character that can, at any time, transform into a turret. An actual turret. If an enemy player gets set up in the right spot like this, they can hold off your entire team with a near-constant stream of machine gun fire. It feels hugely unfair. How are you supposed to reach your objective when the other team has player-controlled robot turrets on their side?! Why are we even using the other characters? The thing is, you're actually being taught a very valuable lesson here. Overwatch isn't broken. The balance isn't off. You just need to start thinking differently.

Overwatch

Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment

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FeatureAbout that Sombra Overwatch character, and other things besides

An interview with senior gameplay designer Michael Chu.

Blizzard didn't unveil a new Overwatch hero in its Soldier 76 'Hero' animated short yesterday - didn't do anything of the sort. I wasn't the only one fairly convinced Blizzard would throw back the curtain on a character called Sombra who would turn out to be Pharah's mother Ana Amari, an original Overwatch member whose whereabouts are unknown.

There's a story in Overwatch. It isn't rammed in your face, it doesn't get in the way of the action, but it is there. I didn't know much at all about it after 20 hours or so of playing but now I do, I wanted to share it with you, because knowing a bit more about adds a certain je ne sais quoi. It's cool, all right?

Here's help with finding the perfect Overwatch group

Our sister site MetaBomb has teamed up with matchmaking tool The100.

Quite a few of us in the office have become rather smitten with Overwatch, Blizzard's first foray into the first-person shooter market that's due out in just over a week from now. There's lots of cleverly designed heroes, loads of maps, and we think there's going to be a lot of love for the game.

Overwatch open beta had 9.7m players

Overwatch open beta had 9.7m players

Blizzard's biggest beta ever.

Overwatch's open beta had an astounding 9.7m players globally when it premiered last week on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

That's the biggest open beta Blizzard has ever had.

In the five days the beta was live folks spent more than 4.9bn minutes (that's over 81m hours) playing it.

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When you hit an enemy in Overwatch it needs to sound satisfying, right? That was the challenge facing sound designer, Paul Lackey, in the early stages of the game's development. 'What sounds truly satisfying?' he found himself thinking, as he grabbed a drink one evening after work. Overwatch's hit pip is now a reversed audio clip of the wonderful "pssht" noise that comes with opening a beer bottle. Of course it is.

Face-Off: Overwatch

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Overwatch

Highly polished on all platforms, with PC offering further refinement.

Overwatch's recent open beta was quite unlike any other. Barring the inclusion of competitive play, users were actually sampling the game in its entirety, with any improvements or alterations set to arrive via future updates. As Blizzard said, aside from some bug-fixes, "the version you are playing now is what will go live at launch."

The bottom line: while we will revisit the final game to cross any Is and dot any Ts, we can be confident that this is essentially the same technical experience as the May 24th launch code.

We've already sampled the PS4 and Xbox One versions in the previous beta and little has changed there from a technical perspective. However, the open beta gave us an opportunity to see the online infrastructure given a genuine stress test. The good news is that the experience looks and feels polished with no unexpected issues cropping up during our time with the beta, a state of affairs replicated across all three platforms.

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Hello again! Listen, I said there was going to be a podcast the week after EGX Rezzed and there wasn't. That's on me. Completely my fault. 100%. I've let you down. That being said, there was also a bank holiday last week, which didn't help. And I had to go and visit my family before that as well. So yeah, technically it's my mistake. But also perhaps the bank's? Or my parents'?

Overwatch open beta extended by a day

Overwatch open beta extended by a day

Still time to Winston games.

Blizzard has extended the Overwatch open beta by a day.

It was supposed to end this evening. It will now run until 10am PDT on 10th May - that's 6pm UK time tomorrow.

"We hope everyone has been enjoying the Overwatch Open Beta," community manager Lylirra wrote in a post on Battle.net.

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Feature15 tips to get you started in Overwatch

Pharah more enjoyable experience.

I'm smitten by Overwatch and played feverishly through closed beta, and I learned a few things along the way. I thought I'd share them here - a few tips, if you like, to help with the open beta, which begins today (and runs until Monday 9th).

Gamer Network hosts Overwatch beta battles with readers

Gamer Network is hosting an early round of battles in Overwatch's beta, with a few lucky readers who are going hands-on with the game ahead of its full launch later this month.

Watch the action below as our best players fight it out. Join us at 7pm UK time for action on Xbox One, 8pm on PlayStation 4 and then finally at 9pm for battles on PC.

Want to chat with other people watching? Click here.

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No Overwatch Competitive Play during open beta

No Overwatch Competitive Play during open beta

UPDATE: Game won't change from now until launch, but a "TON" of content coming after.

UPDATE 6TH MAY:

There won't be any major changes to Overwatch from open beta to launch. "The version you are playing now is what will go live at launch," wrote game director Jeff Kaplan on the game's official forum. The open beta is live now (try it if you haven't) and runs until Monday, 9th May. The full game launches 24th May - argh, what a wait!

The most notable missing feature in the game right now is Competitive Play which, as outlined below, debuted briefly in the closed beta in April. Kaplan mentioned again that this feature would be reintegrated "shortly" after launch, and added, "We also never want to sacrifice the quality of the game by putting something live that isn't up to our standards."

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I love Play of the Game in Overwatch, that clip of someone doing something extraordinary during the battle you just had. I love the nervous little wait before you find out whose play has been picked. Will it be yours? Some games you know it won't because you had a stinker, but in other games - sometimes the stars align and enemies clump together like cat litter as your finger reaches for your ultimate ability. You think it's enough but has someone gone one better? Then there it is! There you are! The chosen one! Name in lights. Validation and recognition all in one smug lump.

Overwatch closed beta is ending next week

Overwatch closed beta is ending next week

But the open beta will follow in early May.

Overwatch's closed beta is coming to an end on 25th April at approximately 6pm UK time.

Blizzard specified that no new players will be invited to the closed beta in that time.

Of course, the game will enter an open beta on all platforms (PC, PS4 and Xbox One) from 5th-9th May, while pre-order customers who reserve the game prior to 29th April will gain access to it on 3rd May.

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Overwatch beta adds new season-spanning Competitive Play mode

Overwatch beta adds new season-spanning Competitive Play mode

Penalises players who bail too often mid-game.

There's a new Overwatch closed beta update and it adds an all new ranked mode.

Dubbed Competitive Play, this new mode is "Designed for those seeking a more serious challenge," Blizzard wrote in its forum. The new mode lets players "rank up though a series divisions and tiers in monthly seasons."

You'll have to be at least level 25 to partake in this more hardcore competition, and the matchmaking will try to pit teams against those of similar size.

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Blizzard pulls Overwatch hero after latest patch turns him invisible

The Overwatch beta received a big patch today that amongst other things introduced competitive play and replaced that Tracer victory pose.

But, more amusingly, Blizzard was forced to temporarily remove character Soldier: 76 after a new skin allowed players to turn him invisible. This, as you'd imagine, was not intentional.

The update added two new skins: Commando: 76 and Night Ops: 76. Although it's not clear which one caused the invisibility bug, both sound appropriately sneaky.

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Overwatch's Tracer has a new pose

More strut than butt.

Following last week's somewhat lively discussion, Overwatch hero Tracer has now seen the victory pose accused of reducing her to "another bland female sex symbol" replaced.

Performance Analysis: Overwatch beta on PS4 and Xbox One

A Blizzard game at 60fps: we wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks to a recent preview event showing PS4 and Xbox One beta versions of Overwatch, it's clear the developer's new hero FPS is a strong performer on console. All three versions (including PC) are slated for a May 24th launch, and 60fps is a very viable target on Sony and Microsoft's machines - something borne out in our tests below.

Blizzard has already confirmed both PS4 and Xbox One run at native 1920x1080 too, albeit with a dynamic resolution system in place. It means Overwatch can lower its pixel count when the action heats up, but this does ensure gameplay performance is always smooth (a trade-off we can fully get behind based on the results seen here). Despite this, we've yet to notice any visible hit on image quality, and we suspect its resolution scaling logic is very rarely put into effect on PS4. Even in heavy battles - taking the explosive Junkrat character for a spin on the Hanamura map - the game remains sharp at all times. Based on PS4 tests so far, we're sticking at a true 1080p for the majority of play.

Letting loose with this hero's explosive mines and grenades, PS4 isn't troubled in its pursuit of 60fps either. This is exactly how it should be for a competitive shooter - a locked 60fps line, with almost zero hitches throughout. The only moments we see a momentary hiccup is when the camera switches to the kill-cam view, incurring a minor blip. But during actual gameplay, the worst on record is a single torn frame on PS4 once - as we rev up Junkrat's ultimate ability. Even with all action congesting in the centre of a dojo, there's simply no slip from that top 60Hz refresh.

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You can play Tracer in Heroes of the Storm before the Overwatch open beta

Pseudo-British Overwatch hero, Tracer will be playable in Heroes of the Storm a whole two weeks prior to the launch of Overwatch's open beta.

Heroes of the Storm players who pre-purchase a digital copy of the Overwatch: Origins Edition on PC will unlock Tracer from the 19th April, with everyone else being able to purchase her from the 26th.

Although Overwatch is currently running an invite-only beta, it doesn't expand to an open beta until the 3rd May.

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VideoWatch: How does Overwatch play on consoles?

Hands-on with the Xbox One and PS4 versions.

We've seen plenty of Overwatch on the PC - thanks to the ongoing beta - but Blizzard's class-based shooter is also set to launch on both the PS4 and Xbox One in just under two months. So how exactly do those console versions compare?

Overwatch release date confirmed

Overwatch release date confirmed

UPDATE: Open beta for all platforms coming in early May.

UPDATE 07/03/2016 5.10pm: Blizzard has confirmed Overwatch's release date as 24th May for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Right stick with me here, the next bit is a little confusing.

There's an open beta planned on all three platforms from 5th-9th May and everyone will have access to that, wherever you decide to purchase the game. However, you'll get even earlier access from the 3rd May if you pre-order digitally, or purchase from select retailers. In the UK, that'll be GAME.

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FeatureSelling loot boxes and the trouble with ranked play - Blizzard on Overwatch

"I think players who claim they want competitive play are often not agreeing on what 'competitive play' actually means."

The Overwatch beta is back and it's brought with it a levelling system that never really stops. If players keep playing, they'll keep on levelling, and Overwatch, in turn, will continue to reward them with lovely glowing boxes full of loot. Inside you'll find new character skins, animations and spray paints (what is it with FPS games and graffiti, by the way?), some of which are considerably rarer than others. And because we're talking about Blizzard here, a lot of this stuff looks really, really great. Players want to own it.

The Eurogamer Podcast

We talk Overwatch, Firewatch, Homefront and Hitman.

Hello you lot! We're back with our every-other-weekly video games podcast, if you fancy giving it a listen. Oh gosh, please give it a listen. I really like recording it.

Watch: Overwatch's progression system detailed

No level cap! Loads of Loot! Beta now live!

UPDATE: Don't want to read words? Well here's Chris Bratt to save the day with an overview of Overwatch's recently announced progression system in video form. Look at the pretty pictures. Listen to his dulcet tones.

Overwatch closed beta returns next week

Overwatch closed beta returns next week

Adds a new game mode, two new maps, and AI matches.

Overwatch's closed beta is returning on 9th February in Europe and the Americas (and 16th February in Asia) after Blizzard took it offline in December to make improvements.

It was originally supposed to return in January, but the developer delayed it so it could fine-tune a new game mode.

It's unclear what that new game mode is just yet, but Blizzard noted in its announcement that the closed beta will include such a mode along with the following enhancements:

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Overwatch closed beta delayed until February

Overwatch closed beta delayed until February

New game mode to be included.

Overwatch's closed beta was planned to relaunch in January, but it's been delayed until next month, Blizzard has announced.

The reason for the delay? Blizzard is adding a new mystery game mode.

"One of the things we noticed players consistently mentioning was their desire for more game modes in Overwatch, in addition to Point Capture and Payload. Without getting into specifics, we are working on a new game mode," game director Jeff Kaplan wrote on the Battle.net forums.

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FeatureBlizzard: why we won't sell Overwatch heroes

"I totally get why players had apprehension."

It must have been a strange Blizzcon for the Overwatch team this year. On one hand, they'd just launched their closed beta and people seemed to be having a brilliant time with it. They had some big reveals planned for the show itself, in the form of three new heroes and the news that the game would indeed be coming to consoles. But that, really, wasn't what the community wanted to talk about.

Overwatch beta to go offline next week

Overwatch beta to go offline next week

Will return in "mid-to-late January".

Blizzard will be taking the closed beta of Overwatch offline on 10th December, the developer has announced.

The good news is it will be brought back online in "mid-to-late January". Players who have access to it now will retain access to the alpha when it returns in 2016.

Furthermore, more players will be added to the closed beta upon its return. "We do plan to invite more players to the Closed Beta after it comes back online," Blizzard stated. "The exact timing and how many players are invited will be determined by our testing needs."

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I've fallen pretty hard for Overwatch. Blizzard's latest venture into the multiplayer FPS genre isn't set to launch until the spring of next year, but we've already been mucking around in the game's closed beta for almost a month. Despite only offering a couple of different game modes (three if you count the 'hybrid' maps), it still feels like this game is bursting with variety. That's largely thanks to an impressive roster of characters - we're looking at 21 heroes since Blizzcon - that all manage to offer very different playstyles.

BlizzCon 2015 live report

Overwatch on console! New Hearthstone Adventure! Warcraft movie trailer debut! No Diablo. Sad face.

Overwatch on console! New Hearthstone Adventure! Warcraft movie trailer debut! No Diablo. Sad face.

FeatureTitan's soul: a day with Overwatch

Never beta 'gainst Blizzard.

The name of the game may be Overwatch, but we all know what we're playing is a slice of a bigger project Blizzard would no doubt rather forget. Titan, the long-in-development game designed to revolutionise the MMO genre, never quite found its flame - save, that is, for one bright spark that Blizzard couldn't quite put out: a team-based shooter that went into beta last week.

Overwatch beta now live in Europe and America

Overwatch beta now live in Europe and America

Qualifying players gain access to Blizzard's new game over the next 12 hours.

The closed beta for Overwatch, Blizzard's upcoming arena shooter, is now live in Europe and America.

Those who have opted into the beta selection process and have been chosen to participate in this first wave will have access to the game automatically applied to their Battle.net accounts during the next 12 hours. If you've yet to sign up for the beta, you can still do so by logging into your account.

Earlier today, Blizzard warned its playerbase to ignore phishing emails purporting to provide them with their beta key. No keys will be issued at this stage of the beta programme, and so any official-looking emails are instead from someone looking to get their grubby hands on your hard-earned WOW gold and the like.

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Overwatch closed beta begins this month (in the Americas)

Overwatch closed beta begins this month (in the Americas)

Open beta weekends to follow shortly thereafter.

Blizzard has outlined its beta plans for its upcoming competitive first-person shooter Overwatch.

There are actually going to be two different betas: a closed one for gameplay feedback, and an open one as a network stress test.

The closed beta will launch on 27th October for the Americas, and will gradually make its way to Europe and Asia, in that order, as more players are introduced.

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Blizzard's new Overwatch gameplay videos show complete, unedited matches

Blizzard's spent the last week-and-a-half putting out complete, unedited 60 frames per second matches of its in-development team-based shooter Overwatch, and we've rounded them up.

Overwatch is similar to Valve's Team Fortress 2, but takes inspiration from MOBAs in terms of map mechanics and hero designs.

Each of the videos focuses on one of the game's heroes. The latest showcases Japanese bowman Hanzo, and takes place on King's Row, a Point Capture / Payload hybrid map set in England.

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Is Overwatch related to Blizzard's failed MMO Titan?

"There are things from Titan in Overwatch, but…"

When Blizzard announced its new shooter Overwatch at BlizzCon, a question immediately presented itself: was this project related to - possibly even a repurposed portion of - its cancelled massively multiplayer game, codenamed Titan?

Blizzard details Overwatch, its upcoming competitive first-person shooter

Blizzard details Overwatch, its upcoming competitive first-person shooter

"We wanted to give players other things to do than put crosshairs on targets."

Blizzard is a known quantity in the video games industry having delivered such megahits as World of Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft, and most recently Hearthstone, but its announcement of Overwatch, a competitive first-person shooter, was met with equal parts excitement and trepidation. Blizzard's never made a shooter before and the genre is already overcrowded as is. Could the studio that made Kerrigan a known gaming icon compete in the same space as Team Fortress 2, Call of Duty and Halo?

The company behind WoW is confident that it can as it suggests Overwatch will feel unlike other games currently occupying this space. "Back in 2002 with World of Warcraft, we skimmed a lot of comments [saying] 'what business does Blizzard have in the MMO category? You guys don't know what you're doing. You're the RTS company!' But we figured it out, with your guys' help, and we plan to do that same thing with the shooter," said game director and Blizzard vice president Jeff Kaplan at a BlizzCon panel earlier today.

"What we like to do is look at genres we love and sort of revere and think of all the ways that we can bring out the best elements of those genres," he added.

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