The Rio Summer Olympics kicks off this week, and Blizzard Entertainment is celebrating with a new update to Overwatch that brings Olympic-themed cosmetic items to the PS4, Xbox One, and PC shooter along with a new soccer-style game mode called “Lúcioball.”
The Loot Boxes in Overwatch now come with the option to choose between a standard or seasonal Loot Box. The seasonal crate grants a chance to receive one of over 100 new cosmetic items for the Summer Games. This includes themed sprays, emotes, victory poses, highlight intros, player icons, and special skins based on the character’s country of origin. Each Loot Box received during the three-week long event will contain at least one item from the Summer Games 2016 collection.
In addition to the skins, Overwatch is introducing a brand new Brawl which features Lúcio exclusively. Lúcioball is a 3 vs. 3 twist on the game of soccer featuring the character.
“Teams will face-off in the beautiful Estádio das Rãs, located in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. Equipped with jump pads and speed-boosting walls, this unique arena amplifies Lúcio’s abilities, allowing players to punch, glide, block, bounce, and boop and their way to victory. Each game of Lúcioball lasts four minutes, and the team that scores the most goals in that time…wins!”
Lúcio’s primary fire button allows him to dribble, pass, and shoot the ball from short ranges. His alternate fire emits a blast of sound strong enough to drive the ball across the map. Other changes include his Crossfade ability affecting only Lúcio himself instead of the entire team, which makes sense as they are all the same character. Additionally, his Sound Barrier ultimate ability will pull the ball toward him from anywhere on the field.
Expect more special seasonal events from Overwatch like this in the future. The Rio Summer Games 2016 event will last until August 22, but Blizzard Entertainment plans more cosmetic items, maps, and modes for the future.
The Summer Olympics content is not the only change that arrived in this update. The PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC received a number of other changes as part of the patch. The patch notes posted on Battle.net reveal Blizzard has implemented a 10-minute timeout penalty for any player who leaves a competitive match before it ends. The developers have also reduced the amount of time given for team assembly during subsequent rounds on Assault maps.
The tips warning players they may be missing a Defender, Builder, Sniper, or another hero during team selection have also been changed. The “No Builder” and “No Sniper” warning were removed while “No Support Hero” has been replaced with “No Healer.”
A number of bug fixes from minor corrections to fixing frustrating in-game moments were delivered with the Tuesday Overwatch update, as well. The PS4 and Xbox One specific changes include a reduction in the time for the attacking team to capture the first point in the Assault gametype. The offensive team now has four minutes instead of five.
On the hero side, Ana received a welcome buff. The newest character to the Overwatch menagerie sees her rate of fire increase by 20 percent, and the number of rounds she can carry in a magazine jumps from eight to 10. Enemies will no longer wake up immediately after being damaged when knocked out by her Sleeping Dart either. There is now a half-second delay from being damaged to recovery.
“While Ana has been very well received, she was showing to be a little bit weaker overall. In addition to helping her feel better to play, these changes should also increase her healing and damage output,” Blizzard explained.
Blizzard continues to tweak McCree in search of the perfect balance. The gunslinger’s damage falloff range was decreased by 10 meters while his alternate rate of fire was increased by 15 percent. His recovery time from a Flashbang was also decreased to 0.35 seconds.
What do you think of the Overwatch Summer Olympic celebration event? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via Blizzard Entertainment]