BlizzCon Brings StarCraft 2 & Hearthstone Add-Ons, Plus A Whole New Game

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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BlizzCon Brings StarCraft 2 & Hearthstone Add-Ons, Plus A Whole New Game

Wrapping up last week was a bit of a surprise as this year's BlizzCon came and left some new trailers in its wake. While not as big a deal as, say, E3, Gamescom or the Tokyo Game Show, BlizzCon often still has some exciting bits of news to arrive with it. This year was no different as a set of new trailers arrived showing off some future developments, and the news looked pretty good to say the least for Blizzard fans.

Blizzard's eponymous gaming convention had quite a bit to show off; not only were there two new expansions looking to come into play in StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, as well as Hearthstone: Goblin Vs. Gnomes, but there was also a completely new game in Overwatch, a team-based shooter game that's something of a departure from Blizzard's normal round of gameplay. That will be welcome, or unwelcome, depending on your affinity for Blizzard's current catalog.

The arrival of Goblins vs. Gnomes will bring in fully 120 cards for the game, the set revolving around Azeroth's biggest names in mechanical mayhem, be it Alliance or Horde. Cards offer the full range of effects from battle cries to new hardware, including the impressively-rendered Annoy-o-Tron, a bafflingly dressed automaton with a bell and a horn.
Overwatch, however, is the big ticket here, as it's Blizzard's foray into completely new franchise IP, which is a wild development by most any standard one cares to name. This time, Blizzard steps into science fiction without the word "Craft" involved, and gives us a world heavy with cybernetics in both its heroes and its villains.

A team-based shooter, the game looks to have its share of commonalities with Team Fortress 2, especially in that the various characters not only look like they stepped out of a cartoon, but each of the characters have a special ability that only adds to the gameplay. The maps are objective-based, according to word from Blizzard president

Mike Morhaime, and each game is a six-versus-six format. It's not particularly difficult to play, Morhaime elaborated, but it's tough to master, as would be expected of a game like this.

But still, after seeing adventure, MMO and strategy come pouring out of Blizzard for so long, it's really a whole different matter to see a team-based shooter emerge from the company. This is not its normal class of game, and that's enough to make you wonder. On the one hand, this is a fresh title for the company, and there's always a certain enthusiasm in trying something new and different. But on the other hand, this is clearly a departure from Blizzard's bread and butter, and a clearly experimental game like this--at least, for Blizzard, anyway--is the kind of thing that the company can really do very well. Oh, and for those hoping to see this on consoles? The answer is at the very least "not yet". It's potentially "not ever," but that's a point that isn't being addressed right away, and that's not the greatest of signs. There will be at least a wait, and that's not great news.

Still though, it should be interesting to see just what Blizzard pulls out of its hat. Given the growth of e-sports, it's a safe bet that Overwatch might well make it into some rosters along with Hearthstone, and that could be an interesting new direction as well. Only time will tell just how this all comes out, but it's a safe bet that it should be, at least, fun.

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