Blizzard is back with another holiday themed event for Overwatch. Obviously as it’s Christmas time, the Winter Wonderland event is all about the ‘most wonderful time of the year.’
Hanamura and King’s Row maps have had a generous layer of snow added to them, along with fairy light and festive cheer. All Loot Boxes have been replaced with the “impeccably wrapped” Winter Loot Boxes which include over 10 new Christmas themed cosmetic items.
Winter Loot Boxes can be purchased or earned and each one will contain at least one item from 2016’s Winter Wonderland collection. Once players have unlocked a Winter Wonerland cosmetic item, it’s theirs to keep and use forever.
Players will no longer be able to earn the new cosmetic items when the event concludes on January 2, so get in quick.
Alongside the festively decorated maps and Loot Boxes, Blizzard has added a brand new activity as part of Winter Wonderland; Mei’s Snowball Offensive. A 6v6, elimination battle, Mei’s Snowball Offensive puts a spin on Mei and Elimination.
Every player will play as Mei, but her trusty Endothermic Blaster can’t spray ice or blast icicles. Instead, it can fire one super powered snowball. An enemy hit by the snowball will be out, but missing will leave you open to attack.
Reloading Mei’s modified endothermic blaster isn’t as easy as pressing a button. Players will need to find a snow pile to reload and look out for enemy players in the process. Making good use of Mei’s ice walls and cryo-freeze is going to be key to success.
If you manage to survive long enough, you’ll be able to activate Mei’s ultimate and instead of freezing everyone around, her blaster becomes a semi-automatic snowball launcher. “Ho Ho Ho, now I have a machine gun.”
Blizzard has been incredibly successful at bringing players into Overwatch and there’s no doubt that the quality of the game is the main reason. Events like Winter Wonderland, Halloween Revenge and Summer Games are no doubt responsible for drawing in new players and getting established players to return.
During the Halloween Revenge event, Blizzard announced that not only had Overwatch reached 20 million players worldwide, but also that it was its fastest game to do so. It was also awarded Game of the Year at this year’s Game Awards.
Pinning down what makes Overwatch so popular is tricky. It’s undeniably slick, well designed and enormous amounts of fun to play and the Loot Box system borders on criminally addictive. Blizzard throwing in seasonal events and changing up the formula with the Arcade has also kept the experience fresh throughout the year.
Winter Wonderland is live now and ends January 2, 2017. Beyond that we have no idea what Blizzard has planned, but it’d be a safe bet that there’s a lot in the works for 2017. For now, enjoy chasing those holiday cosmetics and snowball fights.
Overwatch is available now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.