Overwatch's second DLC hero, Sombra, is now available on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
Sombra is also joined by a ton of new game modes, balance changes, and a brand new map. Here's a quick rundown of what's new in Overwatch, and some early impressions of Sombra gameplay.
As always, the full patch notes can be found on the Blizzard forums, but here are some of the main highlights.
Patch 1.5 has introduced The Arcade, which offers various new ways to play beyond the standard Brawls, Quick Play, and Competitive gameplay modes. Additionally, Quick Play no longer allows hero stacking, taking cues from Competitive Mode.
- Mystery Duel: A first-to-five set of 1v1 mirror matches on the new map designed for small battles. No health packs, no Lucio and no Mercy.
- Elimination: A first-to-three set of 3v3 games against an opposing team. A fight to the death without respawns.
- Mystery Heroes: A return of the random-hero brawl. Changes on respawn.
- No Limits: Old quick play rule set with hero stacking.
- All Brawls: A playlist of all brawls added to the game since release. Rotates as you play.
The Arcade game modes will rotate based on popularity and time.
New Arena Map: Ecopoint: Antarctica
Bundle up for a journey to Ecopoint: Antarctica, the former Overwatch installation where climatologist Mei-Ling Zhou was once stationed. While researching severe weather anomalies in the region, the station was hit by an intense polar storm. Running out of options and low on supplies, the team decided to cryogenically freeze themselves until the storm passed. They believed that it would only be for a few months, but Mei awoke nearly a decade later.
Ecopoint: Antarctica is a compact new Arena map that features multiple new game modes, including a 3-vs-3 battle and 1-on-1 duel. Check it out in the Arcade.
Sombra is a hacker that is also Overwatch's first stealth character. She can channel a disruptive beam that locks enemy's active skills for a brief period, including channeled Ultimate abilities like Roadhog's. She also has a translocator that gives her a 15-second window to teleport, and she can also stealth-sprint in brief bursts on a short cooldown. She wields a powerful machine pistol that feels similar in power and bullet spread to Tracer's, and her Ultimate nullifies all nearby enemy barriers and shields while locking out some of their active abilities for a brief period.
- Machine Pistol: Sombra's fully-automatic machine pistol fires in a short-range spread.
- Hack: Sombra hacks enemies to temporarily stop them from using their abilities, or hacks first aid kits to make them useless to her opponents.
- Thermoptic Camo: Sombra becomes invisible for a short period of time, during which her speed is boosted considerably. Attacking, using offensive abilities, or taking damage disables her camouflage.
- Translocator: Sombra tosses out a translocator beacon. She can instantly return to the beacon's location while it is active (including when it's in mid-flight).
- EMP (Ultimate): Sombra discharges electromagnetic energy in a wide radius, destroying enemy barriers and shields and hacking all opponents caught in the blast.
Early Sombra impressions
Sombra is super lame, making her the perfect hero for yours truly! It's easy to see the scope for advanced play using Sombra's abilities. Sombra's EMP blast doesn't work on all abilities and Ultimates, it seems restricted to abilities that are channeled, such as McCree's Dead Eye, or Roadhog's Whole Hog. There are exceptions even to this rule, though, as Zenyatta's Transcendence Ultimate remains unaffected. There's a great run-through of everything Sombra can, and can't hack, over here.
Using Sombra's thermoptic camouflage made it ridiculously easy to get into flanking positions against the enemy. Given the shotgun-like damage spread of her machine pistol, Sombra felt incredibly adept at ganking unsuspecting Bastions in turret mode, feeling as though she's designed to be a hard counter in those situations. Her invisibility also makes her particularly adept at harassing back row healers like Zenyatta. When combined with her translocator, sneaking in, assassinating, then teleporting out becomes a viable and satisfying strategy.
I haven't had much chance to use her hacking abilities yet, but shutting down a Roadhog's Ultimate using EMP feels astonishingly powerful. Reactive players will be able to not only harass and assassinate the enemy team's weaker targets with ease, but also disrupt various strategies and combos being deployed by the enemy team. The ability to harass and shut down Reinhardt's shield blocking should also prove very pivotal. Overpowered? I suppose time will tell.
Are you an Overwatch player? Or is there another first person shooter taking your fancy? Let us know in the comments!