Since announcing Overwatch at Blizzcon 2014, Blizzard Entertainment has taken the game on a tour of conventions, letting players get a taste. The arena-based first-person shooter draws heavily on the fighting game/MOBA-style of design, with a variety of distinct characters with unique gameplay abilities. It's one of the many arena shooters coming our way - Gigantic, Battleborn, Lawbreakers, and Battlecry say 'hi' - and one of the few I have yet to play in any fashion. I've been close, but have always had another appointment.
That's about to change hopefully, as Blizzard has announced that Overwatch is heading into Beta on October 27, 2015. If you're interested, you can head over to the sign-up page and click the big yellow button.
The Beta will come in two different flavors. There's the Closed Beta, which will begin its first phase on October 27 and be open to a small group of testers. The Americas region gets access first, with Europe and Asia joining afterward.
"In order to get the most meaningful and constructive feedback possible, the total number of players in the Closed Beta will be extremely limited-though we'll be adding more people from time to time to make sure we have the right number of heroes actively engaged," said Blizzard in its post.
Then there will be the Beta Test Plebian Period, or "Beta Test Weekends" as Blizzard is calling them. Unlike the sweet, sweet regular access Closed Beta folk get to help test the gameplay, those on Beta Test Weekends are mainly there to stress test the servers.
"These larger-scale Beta Test Weekends will be brought online occasionally for a limited time, generally over a weekend, and will run concurrently with our ongoing Closed Beta test," said Blizzard. "Because Beta Test Weekends are primarily hardware- and tech-focused, the number of heroes, maps, and gameplay modes will be restricted-but feedback on everything will definitely be welcome."
I always prefer these betas to the roaring crowds and limited playtime of convention demos. Sure, I love conventions and meeting people, but when I really want to game, I prefer to do so at home. Alone. Where the other players are barely a disembodied voice in my ear. That's just how I jam; if you jam differently, the best part about playing at home is you get to choose.
So if you're interested in Overwatch, sign on up. I may be playing from my opulent gaming den. If I see you online, I'll tip my hat to you. Nah, I'll probably just shoot you and move on, since I won't know who you are.