Overwatch 2’s latest Control map arrives once Season 3 kicks off on Feb 7.
Following their promise to make each season feel distinct, Overwatch’s new map is taking players back to a familiar sight: Antarctica.
Long-time players will be able to recall the last time we visited the icy continent. Overwatch’s old “Ecopoint: Antarctica” arena map came out shortly after Mei’s “Rise and Shine” animated short got released back in 2018. Players will be able to scour the map for hints about the overarching story once Season 3 starts.
Season 2 saw a ton of changes that affected not only Overwatch 2’s hero balance, but also one of the biggest features that got introduced with the sequel. The developers recently announced that they will be removing Map Rotations from the game. Every available map in Overwatch’s roster will now be playable in Quick Play and Competitive game modes. This comes as a welcome change to the game, which many of the fans have applauded online.
Here’s everything we know so far about Antarctic Peninsula!
A Map of Unprecedented Scale
As the first control map designed for Overwatch 2’s game format, Antarctic Peninsula will take players on a thrilling mission through environmental storytelling.
For the most part, Antarctica is a frosty landmass that is largely uninhabited, save for the various species of penguins. Players will be able to play with these creatures once Season 3 comes along. Keep in mind however that the developers will be including the slippery bird’s natural ability to dodge bullets.
Antarctic Peninsula’s most prominent feature, the derelict ship that was used to rescue Overwatch’s Ecopoint research team sits stuck in the ice. Their mission unfortunately failed, leaving Mei and her associates frozen in ice following the events of the “Zero Hour” short where she rendezvoused with Winston.
The huge parts of this abandoned vessel already sound super fun to play in. Overwatch art director Dion Rogers pointed out that the Overwatch design team had to study real-life Icebreakers to figure out the sub-map components, so if you’re an enthusiast of nautical vessels, you’ll have a smart advantage for your callouts. But even if you aren’t familiar with any of the boat lingo, players will still be able to distinguish the captain’s quarters from the bow. And given the limited space, player heroes with verticality will have to time their plays to stay on a streak.
The research centers that grace the peninsula’s barren landscape serves as the map’s starting point if you’re on the Attacking side. Sizeable platforms and side buildings stand in between the offensive players and their main goal; all the while both teams try to avoid falling off the side of the map.
The first sub-map offers plenty of cover, and the open air can give flying characters a clear advantage.
You may also see the Antarctic’s adorable denizens spectating the loud firefights here.
Finally, the last part of the map leads players down cylindrical pathways carved into the core of a large ice shelf. The researchers found something here, and it’s going to be up to the players to find out what it was, and how it plays into Overwatch’s story as a whole. Lead narrative designer Gavin Jurgens-Fyhrie first expressed these ideas in a recent group interview, in which he said “(…) maybe there are some sort of secrets. I don’t know, maybe you can find something in the map that will tell you something even more exciting about the story to come.”
Fans of the game have a lot to look forward to this month. The stunning Amaterasu Kiriko Mythic skin makes its debut as the flagship for Season 3’s Battlepass. Besides that, recent hotfix notes have hinted towards a certain hero’s kit change. Find out more about the latest changes here.
The small mystery surrounding the main focus on the research team already has fans in speculation. Given the nature of the setting and how Overwatch takes inspiration from real life events, will we be seeing the first signs of a global catastrophe form in the arctic shelf? And will this looming environmental threat be enough to thrust both sides of the current conflict in an uneasy cooperation?
Knowing that small nods to the soon-to-be-released story mode are sprinkled all over the game’s latest game environments, Antarctic Peninsula is sure to be another fun addition for the game’s hardcore fans.
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