Overwatch’s new 1.10 update has introduced us to the game’s halloween seasonal event, adding in a plethora of thematic changes to fit the spookiest time of the year. From an ominous organ rendition of the game’s main theme playing on the title screen, to a brand new castle defense PvE mode, Blizzard has pulled out all the stops to ensure every player is in for a month of tricks and treats. Of course, the game’s new limited cosmetics are of the main appeal here, with every character receiving a new Halloween themed spray, some characters getting new Halloween themed skins (Witch Mercy being my personal favorite) and others getting new voice lines or highlight intros.
Of course, that’s not all that’s been brought to the table this October. Several balance changes have of course been made, and the general UI of the game has been polished up. Also new is a leaderboards section that allows players to view the top ranked players in competitive mode for their region, and players who disconnect from competitive matches will now have until the match has ended to rejoin, all of which are welcome additions.
First and foremost, let’s go over the changes to the actual gameplay. Ana has received a few changes, with her ult’s charge time being increased by 20%, and her bionic grenade’s radius being increased from 3 to 4 meters. These feel like welcome changes to me, as Nano Boost is an extremely powerful ultimate, justifying a longer charge time, and her bionic grenade’s reach always felt just a little too small to me.
Widowmaker’s scoping animation time has been decreased by 0.22 seconds, and although I don’t play her very often myself, I’ve heard many complaints that she’s a very underwhelming character right now, so any buff is a welcome one, even if this feels rather small.
Lastly, Junkrat’s RIP-Tire ultimate now activates more quickly when, well, activated, which I think is a great idea, as I’m commonly killed while activating my ultimate or I just barely don’t get it to where I need it to be on time, so this will surely help. All in all, not many changes, but these few changes are surely only good ones.
Now on to the more unique details of the patch, the Halloween seasonal event, kicking off Overwatch’s 2nd seasonal event in total. The most interesting addition to this event is the weekly brawl: “Junkenstein’s Revenge”. This makes for Overwatch’s first true PvE mode (and no, quick play vs AI doesn’t count) and opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for the game’s future. In this game mode, players must choose to play as Soldier: 76, McCree, Hanzo, or Ana, and are tasked with defending a castle from near endless waves of “Zomnics” that will attempt to break down the castle’s doors. In the midst of the defense, Reaper, Roadhog, Junkrat, and Mercy all make an appearance as bosses, each boasting substantial health and wearing their respective Halloween costumes.
I’m most interested in seeing how Blizzard responds to the overwhelming positive reception for this mode. Could we possibly be seeing a permanent and longer PvE mod added to the game in the future? Only time will tell, but for those of us who would enjoy that kind of thing, this is most definitely a good sign for the game’s future.