Brace yourself folks, winter is here! It so happens that I spotted the first snowfall—a dusting, really—of the season where my home office is located in Tennessee, then found out that Blizzard Entertainment is prepping its seasonal Overwatch event, Winter Wonderland, for December 12 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC. That in and of itself is news, but to go along with it, Blizzard is finally releasing a Hanzo skin.
"There's obviously going to be a lot of legendary skins. I don't want to reveal them all, I want to leave some surprise for you when you log into the game. But I can tell you a long awaited Honzo skin that you've seen before maybe in one of our comics is coming to light, and we think it's pretty awesome," Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan stated in a video announcing the return to Winter Wonderland.
In addition to new skins, Overwatch is getting a new Arcade mode called Mei's Yeti Hunt. Kaplan said the idea came about from Blizzard wanting to "try something different and fun. This will be an asymmetrical multiplayer mode with a boss fight similar to Evolve. This will feature five Mei characters against a single yeti-themed Winston character, which will be played by another player rather than be AI controlled.
Kaplan concedes that a 6v1 match is not very fair, but there is a twist. At the beginning, everyone playing as Mei will try to hunt down Winston and kill him. Meanwhile, Winston will be scouring the map for meat to fuel his Primal Rage ability. At that point, just as campers try to escape Jason in Friday the 13th, the script flips and everyone playing as Mei will be trying to escape before they are the ones hunted down and killed.
Is it "kind of silly and kind of ridiculous?" Well "absolutely," Kaplan says, and that's by design. The point of the seasonal brawls is just to be fun and light, and refreshing for a short amount of time, Kaplan adds. This isn't about long-term game mechanics or design, just something different for the holiday season.
Overwatch gamers will find out soon enough how the new mode pans out.