The Overwatch second anniversary event has begun, and Blizzard is holding a free weekend for everyone to join in the fun. Free weekends are not exactly unusual for Overwatch, having held such events every few months. Although this time it also coincides with new content being added to the game.
A new death match map arrives in the form of Petra, a location set within an archaeological dig site in Jordan. According to Lead Hero Designer Geoff Goodman, each new map is designed to fit within a specific piece of lore in the game. That said, there has been little information about how Petra fits into the world (aside from some easter eggs).
Also important to Petra is the fact that it is the first Overwatch map to introduce destructible terrain in a way that affects the game. Until now, the most that players could do was break railings along walkways to clear lines of fire. In Petra, there is a floor in the middle of the map that breaks into a bottomless chasm. Making things more interesting is the fact that there is a large medkit in the middle of that very floor.
Lead Software Engineer, Bill Warnecke wouldn’t say if this feature will be introduced to regular 6v6 maps. Instead, Warnecke only said that the development team is watching player feedback very carefully. Especially in the newly introduced competitive deathmatch mode; where players take things like game balance a whole lot more seriously.
On a more lighthearted note, the Overwatch blog posted statistics collected from the two years that the game has been live. Recording over 40 million players, six new heroes introduced since launched (all but one of which happen to be female), and the 15 maps that have been added over the last two years.
Also recorded was the amount of damage done, number of objectives captured, and the number of times that Genji has asked for healing (which is surprisingly lower than we would have thought).
The Overwatch free weekend runs from 26 May until 29 May on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. A PS Plus account is not required to play the game on multiplayer for the duration of the event as well.