Today, Blizzard announced that a new map called Horizon Lunar Colony would be made available on Overwatch. In fact, along with a video preview narrated by Winston, we found out that the map is actually playable right now!
Through the Overwatch Public Test Region (PTR), the new map, which is relevant to Winston’s backstory, has been made available to owners of the game on Windows PC. Please keep in mind that in order to participate, your Battle.net account must be in “good standing,” meaning no suspensions or bans…
Horizon Lunar Colony is an Assault map playable in quick play and competitive modes. Below, you’ll find the video that explains the lore behind the map, but if you’d rather read, here’s a little bit directly from Blizzard.
“Built as a first step towards humanity’s renewed exploration of space, the colony’s goal was to examine the effects of prolonged extraterrestrial habitation—on human and ape alike. The scientists’ research proved incredibly promising…until, suddenly, all contact and communications with the base were lost.
“Now, many years later, attacking and defending teams must return to the moon and battle for control of the colony’s facilities, all while they discover clues as to the fate of its previous inhabitants.”
Additionally, we got a full, new Developer Update from Game Director Jeff Kaplan, discussing how the new Assault map was ultimately chosen and what it means for Attackers and Defenders alike. One thing Kaplan notes as an important aspect to a lunar map is an aspect of low gravity, albeit within reason.
“We explored a lot of different options for the moon map. At first, we had low gravity in the whole map and we felt like it sort of turned the game a little bit into a gimmick and while it was fun for a little bit, it broke the game in some ways.
“But we didn’t want to get rid of that altogether…”
Kaplan goes on to talk about how certain sections of the map will open-up, allowing low gravity, while also allowing characters to magically breath without oxygen. However, when the map is added to the game, an arcade option will also be implemented for a limited time in order to let players experience how the map (and every other map) would feel if everything was low gravity enabled, because “it was fun for a while…”
For a bit more information on how the Horizon Lunar Colony map will work, and a little more story-specific details, definitely watch the full Developer Update below.