Overwatch 2 is gearing up for the launch of its new season next week. Season 3 has been confirmed by Blizzard as being ready to roll from next Tuesday, February 7. Ahead of this, players have been treated to an early glimpse at one of the new maps heading into the massively popular free-to-play shooter.
As reported in TheGamer, Overwatch 2 will see the addition of a new map named “Antarctic Peninsula” as part of its Season 3 content. Players will be heading off to icier climes as part of this new Control-style map, which will feature an icebound ship that players can explore, a set of underground tunnels and hero Mei’s lab, which will provide players with a bit more insight into the character’s backstory. The icebreaker ship itself was originally sent to rescue Mei and her workmates from the lab in the original Overwatch title, which may be of interest to Overwatch lore fans.
The new map has been discussed in more detail by Overwatch 2 art director Dion Rogers, as reported by Polygon. According to Rogers, players will be able to explore the map with greater vertical opportunities thanks to the unique placement of both the icebreaker ship and the tunnels that run through the Antarctic Peninsula area. “It’s just super rad to fight inside an abandoned ship as large as an icebreaker,” Rogers says, adding that “We’ve got cool tunnels and the engine room — you can get a lot of direction from it because you can see the bow of the ship and you can see where the captain’s chamber is.”
Players will benefit from clear team communication on this map, as Rogers explains further. “If you’re working together, you can call out a lot of very key areas where people are. It’s very clear to understand where that might be, especially if you understand the language of boats. We studied icebreakers pretty well to try to integrate this into the level.”
The map will also be one of the first to implement the game’s new five versus five format and will give players the chance to learn more about Mei’s origin story in Overwatch. According to the game’s lead narrative designer Gavin Jurgens-Fyhrie, “You can see the Overwatch icebreaker ship that tried to come and rescue Mei and our team, but failed. Overwatch disbanded before anyone could ever get back there.” It might even be that eagle-eyed players can spot some clues about why Mei and the researchers were out there in the Antarctic in the first place. “You can see some hints about what Mei and her team were trying to find out there. And maybe there are some sort of secrets,” says Jurgens-Fyhrie, “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.”
Overwatch 2 Season 3 gets underway next Tuesday, February 7. The game is available free to play on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC.