Update: Blizzard has now released the Overwatchi Horizon Lunar Colony moon map for all players, despite it being available for a few weeks via the PTR system.
The map is now available for everyone on PC, PS4 and Xbox One as part of a new patch for the game, and is a new Point A/B Assault map set on the moon. It’s got lots of enclosed areas with walkways above and even highlights that this was Winston’s old home by having tyres hanging from the ceiling and climbing walls.
The update also brings changes to McCree, Reaper and Roadhog. Reaper’s health orbs are being removed and instead, he’ll now receive 20% of all damage done to heroes as health. Roadhog’s weapon damage has been reduced by 30%, but will fire around 30% faster as well as gaining an extra shot. His head hitbox is also being reduced because it was “abnormally large”.
As for McCree, his ultimate now charges and gains powers more quickly, so opponents watch out.
Original story: The Overwatch update Blizzard was teasing on Twitter is actually a brand new map known as Horizon Lunar Colony and it’s taking us to the moon. It’s the original home of the game’s friendly gorilla scientist Winston and is a scientific base established on the moon to conduct experiments related to extraterrestrial habitation.
The Assault-type map is playable on the PTR right this second and actually features low gravity along one of the flanking routes near the first point. Apparently, Blizzard toyed with applying low gravity to the entire map, but eventually decided against it.
“Horizon Lunar Colony is an Assault Map set in a scientific base on the moon,” explains Blizzard. “Built as a first step towards humanity’s renewed exploration of space, the colony’s goal was to examine the effect of prolonged extraterrestrial habitation – on human and ape alike. The scientists’ research proved incredibly promising… until, suddenly, all contact and communications with the base were lost.
“Now many years later, attacking and defending teams must return to the moon and battle for control of the colony’s facilities, all while they discover clues as to the fate of its previous inhabitants.”
Original story: Blizzard has just confused everyone with one single tweet about a new Overwatch update. It looks like something big is happening, but no-one is quite sure what as yet.
The tweet came in the form of an in-universe news bulletin concerning the “possible fate of Horizon Lunar Colony” and unless you’re heavily invested in the game’s lore, it’s going to be hella cryptic.
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) May 30, 2017
And understandably, Twitterdom has reacted with a mass scratching of heads and stroking of beards – much to the delight of the social wizards over at Blizzard, who have been stoking the confusion.
I'm just gonna pretend like I know what any of this means… pic.twitter.com/QYW87Xo2gy
— Bazza (@BazzaGazza) May 30, 2017
OH BOY HERE WE GO AGAIN
— I Don’t Understand This Website (@Wimlar) May 30, 2017
what am I looking at
— thesniperjob (@thesniperjob) May 30, 2017
It’s all about Winston
However, if you take a look at that image, it’s pretty much a given that the next update is going to be focused on Winston. For those of you not familiar with Overwatch‘s patched storytelling, the Horizon Lunar Colony was where Chinese space exploration company, Lucheng Interstellar, raised a series of genetically enhanced gorillas for use in deep space testing. The colony went offline when the gorillas rebelled and all contact was lost.
Our buddy Winston was just one of those gorillas, as you can see in this Overwatch animated short featuring an adorable fuzzy baby Winston.
If you look closely at the image tweeted by the official Overwatch account, you’ll see that Winston isn’t the only gorilla who managed to escape the colony. Could this be a tease that Hammond is going to be the next playable character?
According to a new blog post from Blizzard, we may well be on the right track. Apparently, there’s been an in-world press conference where Lucheng Interstellar has confirmed “the colony’s databases and monitoring systems are still up and running this day”.
“While no direct communication has been established with the facility, the company has successfully retrieved interpersonal logs sent days and moments before the base lost contact with Earth.”
There’s some of the communication below. Note the references to Hammond.
It’s looking incredibly likely that there’s going to be a new Overwatch map set on the moon, complete with playable Hammond. But it could equally be likely that Blizzard is gearing up to launch new Overwatch animated shorts or new comic issue too.
Stayed tuned for more info as we have it.