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Uniting gameplay and style: Behind Overwatch 2's complex map design

Uniting gameplay and style: Behind Overwatch 2's complex map design

There are many questions the team keeps in mind when creating a new Overwatch map, but ultimately, we want the art and aesthetics of any given map to add complexity and depth to the gameplay. We have made some changes to the maps to reflect broader Overwatch 2 shifts. One example includes adding cover to existing Overwatch maps to accommodate having one less tank. Another example includes the new daytime and nighttime cycles that make certain areas easier or more difficult to see, and it gives an overall different vibe to each map. This design philosophy and development inspiration is seen throughout the four new Overwatch 2 PvP maps debuting in the April 26th Beta test —New Queen Street in Toronto, Colosseo in Rome, Midtown in New York City, and Circuit Royal in Monte Carlo!

New Queen Street and Colosseo are the first maps for the new Overwatch 2 core game mode Push. Players will begin their match on opposite sides of a mirrored map and meet in the middle to push the robot forward to either end of their opposing paths. “Most of the goals for these maps align with the goals of the game mode. Push is inherently faster paced than other game modes like Control and Escort,” says Game Director Aaron Keller. He goes on to describe the Push maps as, “...a little more porous, meaning it’s easier for flanking. You need to watch multiple locations.”

There are tons of ways maps can support game modes, but they're also important storytelling tools that help us build the world of Overwatch. “We want players to feel like they time jumped into the future where these cities are in their Golden Era,” says Rogers. “With each map, we are trying to find the ‘Golden Moment’ through the cities' architectures, culture, vision—and we want that to come across in our design.” Toronto feels cool with the snow and beautiful red maple leaves, but it also has a warm, welcoming feeling that represents Toronto’s multicultural history. For Circuit Royal, the art team leaned heavily into the opulence of Monte Carlo’s expensive architecture and prestigious races that the city is known for! This is where the super wealthy go to play and watch AI compete in the races. Colosseo in Rome draws themes from the Renaissance as well as gladiators from Ancient Rome. New York has these sweeping skyscrapers and draws inspiration from art-deco style.

These new maps and features are still a work in progress. We’ll be closely watching how players engage with these new locations and game modes during the April Beta to consider further adjustments! We can’t wait to show you more!

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