Blizzard looks set to again cross the boundary between two of its most popular games, bringing arguably the most infamous character from its multiplayer shooter Overwatch to its multiplayer online battle arena Heroes of the Storm.
According to Eurogamer, Heroes of the Storm 2.0 beta players can already play as Genji as part of testing for the upcoming version, which releases publically next week. In addition, Blizzard will release a special new battleground map, based closely on the character’s home turf in Overwatch, the Hanamura map. The update will undeniably provide an exciting crossover for players of two of Blizzard’s biggest games right now, Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm.
— IGN (@IGN) April 17, 2017
Genji in Heroes of the Storm is largely a carbon copy of the Overwatch character of the same name, bringing with him abilities from the multiplayer shooter. For example, he can attack with shuriken and a dashing swift strike, and he can deflect enemy projectiles back toward his foes. At the same time, those familiar with Genji’s Dragonblade ultimate in Overwatch will now be able to take advantage of it in Heroes of the Storm, too. However, that doesn’t mean Blizzard hasn’t tweaked Genji for his inclusion in Heroes of the Storm, adding another heroic ability, X-Strike to his roster.
“Perform two slashes dealing 135 damage. The slashes detonate after 1.25 seconds causing an additional 270 damage to enemies in their area,” the game’s version 2.0 patch notes read ahead of its release next week.
— GameSpot (@gamespot) April 18, 2017
According to Polygon, Genji isn’t the first Overwatch character to come to Heroes of the Storm, however. He’ll join a handful of other Overwatch characters already playable, including Tracer, Zarya, and Lucio. In fact, Blizzard is pretty comfortable crossing over between their two games. During the game’s Nexus Challenge event last year, each player who completed 15 games of Heroes of the Storm with a friend received the Oni Genji skin, Oni Genji Portrait and Oni Genji Spray in Overwatch.
Blizzard held a similar event earlier this year when players who completed a further 15 games of Heroes of the Storm received a Flames of Judgement Charger mount for use in their popular online role-playing game World of Warcraft.
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Heroes of the Storm, which launched on Windows and MacOS in 2015, brings together some of the most infamous characters from Blizzard’s different franchises, including Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft, The Lost Vikings, and Overwatch. Whilst Heroes of the Storm remains relatively popular amongst fans of Blizzard, it hasn’t managed to garner same widespread appeal as other games in the multiplayer online battle arena genre, like League of Legends and Dota 2.
Looking to try our latest Battleground? From now until launch, all matchmaking games in the Heroes 2.0 Beta will be played on Hanamura! pic.twitter.com/0pwsHLDplv
— Heroes of the Storm (@BlizzHeroes) April 17, 2017
The game’s next major update, version 2.0, went into beta testing on March 29 and will be released to the public on April 25. Alongside the aforementioned character and map additions, Heroes of the Storm version 2.0 will bring with it a major revamp of the player and hero progression systems. The current level caps of 40 for players in general and 20 for individual heroes will be removed as part of the update, and the uneven experience curve for leveling heroes will be fixed.
Heroes of the Storm will also finally get its own Loot Chest feature similar to that found in Overwatch. The chests will be provided as a reward for leveling up and allow players to get their hands on new heroes, skins, and mounts. In addition, the game’s in-game shop is set to be remodeled, adding the ability to purchase the aforementioned Loot Chests.
[Featured Image by Blizzard]