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Overwatch 2’s new map sends players (back) to Antarctica, where secrets await

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overwatch 2 Season 3 begins February 7th, and will introduce a new map for Blizzard’s hero shooter: the Antarctic Peninsula. The map should feel both new and familiar to Overwatch players; They’ve been fighting over a piece of that icy continent since 2016, when Blizzard added the Echopoint: Antarctica arena map to the original overwatch,

The Antarctic Peninsula will expand on that smaller map and on the game’s lore, giving players a new battleground that hints at Mei’s past in the region, the fate of her former co-workers, and hints of things getting “even more exciting.” in coming story about overwatch 2It’s called a blizzard.

The Antarctic Peninsula is a control-type map, the first new map of that type. overwatch 2 And the first one is clearly built with the game’s 5v5 team structure in mind. Like other control maps (such as Busan, Ilios, Nepal), the Antarctic Peninsula is spread over three locations. There’s the lab where Mei and her former team used to work; an icebreaker ship, sent by the original Overwatch team to rescue Mei and her allies, but becomes trapped in the ice; and an underground tunnel system where the centerpiece is a giant drill that has bored a network of tunnels through the ice.

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As players battle and explore the laboratory area of ​​the Antarctic Peninsula, they will get to see what Mei and her allies were up to before meeting the grisly fate of most of them. According to Overwatch Art Director Dion Rogers, players will also experience new levels of verticality and new control point layouts in both the Icebreaker and sub-level map components.

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Detailed shot of the lab section of Overwatch 2's new Antarctic Peninsula control map

Image: Blizzard Entertainment

“It’s super rad to be fighting inside an abandoned ship as big as an icebreaker,” Rogers said in a group interview this week. “We have quiet tunnels and engine rooms – you can get a lot of direction from it, because you can look at the bow of the ship and you can see where the captain’s room is. If you’re working together, You can tell a lot of key areas where people are. It’s pretty clear to understand where it might be, especially if you understand the language of the boats. We’ve done a pretty good icebreaker to try to integrate it into the level studied.”

Rogers said, “This particular level has a lot of protection from flying characters. So you have to be careful when you do the peekaboo tech strategy – you could catch a rocket from Farah.”

Level designer Trey Spisak explained that the location around Icebreaker’s control point and Drill’s near point would have a layout that players had not really seen in previous control maps. Spisak said there is a “narrow ridge” above the ship’s control point, “which we haven’t really messed with at the control point”. [before]”And a Platform Above the Point of the Drill,” an additional piece [of the map] Those are the standard things you’ll have to deal with when playing at a control point.

Spisak also stated that Blizzard considered the large drill actively drilling the Antarctic Peninsula and experimenting with being an environmental hazard like Oasis’ deadly highway or Busan’s bullet train, but decided against it. “Theoretically, we talked about maybe damaging the drill … but no, we tried it and thought it didn’t quite work,” Spisak said. “These kinds of things don’t work on every map. Some people like the Busan Barrier, some don’t. But it’s always good to try things out and push the boundaries.”

Screenshot of Overwatch 2's underground map, control points and drills from the Antarctic Peninsula

Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Players will have something important to interact with on the game’s new map, though: penguins. The Antarctic Peninsula will be full of penguins, and yes, you can shoot them. “You can shoot penguins, but you can’t kill them,” Rogers explained. “It’s similar to some of the other NPCs in the game [like pigeons], the penguins overwatch 2 Has incredible bullet-dodging skills, says Blizzard.

The Antarctic Peninsula will also help answer some questions about Mei’s past, set five years after the protagonist’s animated short film “Rise and Shine.” Lead Narrative Designer Gavin Jurgens-Fehri explains, “One question I’ve heard from the public and I’ve always been excited to answer is, ‘Hey, Mei and her friends/colleagues were frozen for ages. How to save them? Why didn’t anyone come?’ It’s A Sad Question, But The Answer Is Overwatch tried, One thing that’s really exciting about this map is that you get to see a huge part of the story that we’ve never been talked about or seen before. You can see the Overwatch Icebreaker ship that tried to come rescue Mei and our team, but failed. […] Overwatch disbanded before anyone got back there.”

Jurgens-Fyhrie hinted that it also has a tease overwatch 2lies hidden in the Antarctic Peninsula: “You can see some hints of what Mei and her team were trying to find there. And maybe there are some secrets. I don’t know, maybe you’ll find something in the map that Let that tell you something even more exciting about the upcoming story.

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