A cold breeze blows through the fields of Overwatch 2: is it perhaps an ominous omen of an upcoming nerf? No, none of this (for the moment, at least!), is simply the new Antarctic Peninsula mapwith its load of deep snow, ice and… penguins.
Developer / Publisher: Blizzard / Activision Blizzard Prezzo: Free to play Location: complete Multiplayer: competitive online GO: 12 Available On: PC (Battle.net), PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch Launch date: Already available
Main inspiration of this new map, as clarified by Dion Rogers (Art Director), Trey Spisak (Level Designer) e Gavin Jurgens-Fyhrie (Lead Narrative Designer) during the short chat we were able to have with them, it was the short Marching – Rise and Shine in the original version – which as the most passionate fans of the narrative universe created by Blizzard will well remember was dedicated to Mei and the unfortunate fate of the scientific research group to which he belonged; starting point was also another existing map, ie Ecopoint: Antarctica. Among other things, the choice of this setting has also led to some difficulties: if, for example, for a city map it is easy to find references from which to then draw inspiration to translate them into elements suitable for the gameplay of a competitive shooter, it turns out that getting Googling images of the Arctic or Antarctica mainly returns huge ice fields, not exactly the best starting point to create an interesting battlefield!
ANTARCTIC PENINSULA: BETWEEN PENGUINS AND SHOOTINGS
That said, Blizzard’s designers worked hard, and within four months they came up with a research facility as large as it varies in its configuration. The idea behind Antarctic Peninsula is in fact to offer a “balanced” proposal, which does not see its three control points “dominated by a specific destination”; and the Overwatch 2 team also learned important lessons from the past, from maps such as Paris and, going further back in time, Anubi’s Temple, making sure any chokepoints weren’t too oppressive; particular emphasis has been given to the verticality of the map, in particular regarding the area surrounding the underground control point, between one heavy digging machine and another.
THE MAP IS DESIGNED TO OFFER GOOD OPPORTUNITIES TO ALL CLASSES OF CHARACTER
Even those who love to play flankers like Tracer or Reaper can be sure of finding the right opportunities to surprise the enemy team: the developers have explained that the meanders of the base and the icebreaker offer various side tunnels that a well-savvy player can exploit very effectively. Which doesn’t mean you’ll have to put your Reinhardt in the closet: the team has promised that he and the other ward-wearers will also have their own spaces to shine. I close these considerations by saying that to my question “Will Mei be stronger in this map? In short, given how cold she is ”the Blizzard team responded in complete seriousness, explaining that her area control capabilities and her ice wall will be invaluable tools in the right situation. Then, for God’s sake, we know that there is sometimes an abyss between the intent of the developers and what is then consolidated in the actual gamebut this is the inevitable cross of those who design something for a complex context such as that of a competitive game, and Overwatch 2 certainly does not escape this rule.
Let’s end this presentation by mentioning the slightly more accessory aspects of the map, but no less interesting for this. As fans of the narrative component of the Blizzard game will well know, each new setting always hides details that refer to the story of the game and its various characters, and this is certainly no exception: as clarified at the beginning, Antarctic Peninsula is dedicated in particular to Mei and her animated short, so there will be references to the adventures of the Chinese researcher; but the development team invited us to keep your eyes peeled looking for easter eggs and various references (maybe not forgetting to help the team, though). Looking to the future, the idea is to create other maps that are dedicated to characters already present in the game: for example, the interest in creating one set in Switzerland, Mercy’s homeland, has been mooted, but of course this should not be taken as a confirmation. There are many ideas circulating within the Blizzard studios, and it is not even said that all are related to the already existing story of the game! It was the case of Portugal, which as explained to us caused some confusion within the narrative team, realizing that the story of Overwatch 2 had not yet touched the Iberian nation in the slightest. But one thing is sure: in Antarctic Peninsula you will find penguins. Seriously, the team really insisted on the importance of penguins, how cute the penguins are, and how much effort they put into making penguins, so when the map comes out (available now in all modes, exactly like ‘had happened with Shambali) make sure you go look for them.
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