Unfortunately, I couldn't go to Gamescom this year, but it is still definitely one I have been watching at home for all the eSports and the news. All the Overwatch content made me very excited, so make a cuppa and get comfortable!
1. Eichenwalde - A New Map!
Now, if you've been playing Overwatch since launch like me, some of the maps are beginning to get a bit old (Especially Watchpoint: Gibraltar. I hate that map.) So the time really feels right for Blizzard to give us a new battleground to play in. Eichenwalde is the first new map to be announced, and it looks beautiful. In true Overwatch style, the map is full of little details to make it less like a video game location and more a real place.
The bricks of the buildings look like you could touch them; the moss on the walls look fuzzy, with all the named buildings. It really looks like a little abandoned town complete with a castle! I mean come on! A castle! Assistant Game Director, Aaron Keller, in his interview with Soe commented that the map is set in an abandoned town outside the Black Forest in Germany. With all the abandoned houses, it makes an insane amount of different routes to get to where you are going. So many nooks and crannies to hide in or on top of and to definitely box in the opponents.
The new map is not quite a payload and not quite a control point objective. In fact, it is both. You start by attacking the control point and once your team has it, you then defend the payload. The payload is a giant battering ram for the castle gates. When you have got the payload to the castle gates and captured the checkpoint there, the ram batters down the door to get into the castle.
The game finishes at the body/armour of someone who looks suspiciously like Reinhardt. It has been confirmed since the announcement that this guy at the end is Reinhardt's old master, Balderich. To get a good look at the map, below is a video from popular streamer Unit Lost Gaming. He talks in depth as he plays on the map at Gamescom!
I'm really looking forward to playing this map myself on console in September, but for those of you on PC, you can find it live now on the PTR. In the words of Tracer, "what are you waiting for"? Let me know your thoughts if you have PC PTR access or were at Gamescom and tried the map!
2: Competitive Changes!
This was not technically announced at Gamescom but just before, so lots of interviews made comments on it. It is a major thing, which is why I have included it here. Everyone knows that the first season of competitive mode was a little bit of a sensitive issue. What with coin flips to decide who wins, supports not getting enough points and the loss of levels when you have a defeat. Blizzard has announced a brand new system for ranking. This seems to be based in a similar fashion to StarCraft II's leagues.
You will be in a skill rating from 1-5000 and this number will be put in tier brackets of Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master and Grandmaster. Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch's director, posted a video on YouTube explaining the changes, which you can find below.
Also, in even better news, you will not be able to drop tiers (unless in the top two - Master and Grandmaster), just skill rating. This is fantastic and makes much more sense. Also, sudden death is no more! Check out the video below from the man himself to see more information.
3: New Animated Short!
Gamescon was given the world premiere of the new short for Bastion. Whether you love or hate the little robot (Omnic is the official phrase here), this short gave you big feels! And now that Origin's skin for him makes sense, finally. Check out the short below!
Blizzard really goes to town on their animations for all their games. Pretty awesome.
4: Overwatch Esports
There were matches aplenty at Gamescom for the Overwatch Atlantic Showdown tournament. These are currently being re-streamed on Twitch repeatedly which you can find here.
Unfortunately there was no mention of Sombra, that fabled hero that has been teased through the game. But, to be honest, I'm sure most people are happier with a brand new map and the new changes to competitive. I do have a feeling that Blizzcon 2016 will have a tonne of new content for us to drool over though.
Were you at Gamescom? What do you think of the new content and upcoming changes? Is there anything (other than Sombra!) you wished had been announced? Let me know in the comments. Don't forget to follow here and to subscribe over at my blog to keep yourself updated with all things from The Gaming Mum.