For the longest time, Blizzard has been staunchly against the idea of deathmatch modes in Overwatch. It’s a game about teamwork and objectives, after all. Deathmatch has a way of drastically de-prioritizing both of those things. Now, though, the dev team has had a change of heart.
In a new video, Jeff “From The Overwatch Team, Just To Be Sure You Don’t Think I’m From Any Other Teams” Kaplan announced that Overwatch is adding free-for-all and team-based deathmatch modes to the game’s Arcade. He acknowledged that he once said deathmatch would “never” come to the game, but said the Arcade, which was added to the game late last year, has proven to be a game-changer. “The coolest part of the Arcade,” he explained, “is that it’s opened up our ability to as developers to introduce game modes to you guys that we wouldn’t normally feel comfortable putting in the quick-play or competitive rotation.”
The core mode will be a free-for-all deathmatch where eight players face-off in a battle presumably to determine whose ‘ships are canon. All you’ve gotta worry about is eliminations. In an interesting wrinkle, you don’t have to come in first to earn a “win” toward your weekly allotment of Arcade loot boxes. Rather, you’ve just gotta be in the top half of players in a match.
Deathmatch will use a series of modified versions of maps that are already in the game as well as a brand new one: Chateau Guillard. It’s a fitting (?) place to host a deathmatch, because it used to be Widowmaker’s home before her husband kicked the bucket. We’ll get to learn more about her backstory while defiling any remaining good memories she had of the place with even more bloodshed. Fun!
Here’s a quick look at the new map, courtesy of Overwatch Central:
There’ll also be a team deathmatch option where two teams of six rush to get 30 kills. Kaplan said Mercy’s resurrects will take away kill credits from the other team, which sounds heinously frustrating and basically makes Mercy a required pick. I’ll probably steer clear until Blizzard realizes this is idea, while interesting on paper, is extremely bad.
You can try out Overwatch’s new deathmatch options on the PC public test realm right now.