Blizzard Entertainment announced that there's a brand new mode set to arrive for everybody, whether you're playing on home console or on PC, in Overwatch. The new mode is none other than free-for-all deathmatch, and there's a special surprise for people playing on PC.
Anyone who is already part of the public test realm (usually referred to as the PTR) can start playing the new free-for-all deathmatch mode right now. The news comes courtesy of a developer post by game director Jeff Kaplan on the official Play Overwatch YouTube channel.
The video starts with Kaplan explaining that the team had originally said "No!" to deathmatch -- the free-for-all version -- because the focus was supposed to be on team-based play. A lot of the characters are specifically designed to be support characters, making it difficult for them to transition into a free-for-all environment. Well, times change and opinions change; Blizzard's opinion changed.
Things took on a different conceptual shape about deathmatch after the Arcade mode was introduced, and following the bevy of requests for more game modes in Overwatch.
Kaplan and the rest of the design team at Blizzard figured that with the addition of Arcade, it meant adding in game modes that didn't completely fit within the Quick Play or Competitive Mode architecture. So it was decided to add a deathmatch feature to the Arcade mode. So that's where you'll find it when it goes live for everybody.
One of the modes of deathmatch includes a core mode that is a free-for-all, where you and seven other players will duke it out and the first player to 20 kills wins. Also the team has enabled the ability to view kill/death ratios for the first time since it's the only way to properly win. Players intent on finding out just how good they are in Overwatch and what their K/D ratio is (a common feature in most other shooter games like Battlefield and Call of Duty) it's completely possible to do so via deathmatch.
There's a second mode called team deathmatch, which allows two teams of four to play toward getting 30 kills.
Additionally, loot box handouts at the end of the week will go toward those who finish within the top half of the deathmatch rankings for three or more rounds.
Blizzard decided to take some of the maps and tweak the spawn zones, choke points, and vantage points to better accommodate the free-for-all nature of deathmatch. This only applies to select maps, of course. In addition to the map tweaks, there's also a brand new map that is the home to Widowmaker.
The map is based around a chateau set within France, Widowmaker's home. The map will also help tell a little bit more of the backstory to Widowmaker and what she's up to in the map.
The deathmatch and team deathmatch are currently available in the PTR through the Arcade menu. After Blizzard fully tests the modes and iron out all the bugs, expect it to release in full for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners.